Short Term Rentals
Effective June 27, 2023, permits from the city will be required to operate a short-term rental (STR) property within the City of Bella Vista. Permits must be renewed annually, and must be posted clearly visible at the location of the STR.
STR permits are required by city ordinance, which was approved by City Council members at the regular meeting December 18, 2022. This ordinance takes effect February 27, 2023, and the requirement to have a permit approved for operation of an STR takes effect June 27, 2023.
SHORT-TERM RENTAL is defined as “residential dwelling unit, portion of dwelling unit, or bedroom of dwelling unit leased or rented to guests for a period of less than thirty (30) consecutive days,” not including timeshare units or properties in commercial zones served by sewer.
This ordinance sets the maximum number of "entire house" short-term rental units in Bella Vista to 600 at any time. Please note: this cap does not include those units that are owner-occupied, commercial units on sewer, or time share properties. Additionally, City staff will update this web page at the end of every business week with the total amount of permits issued towards the cap.
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Download a one-page information sheet here.
Applications can be found on the permit application page, along with other supporting documents, and should be submitted to Community Development Services either by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or in person to 616 W. Lancashire Blvd. Applications will be considered in the order they are received, and owners will be notified by the CDS permitting system, iWorq, through email if the permit is issued. Payment is required to complete the application. For online applications, card payment may be taken via a secured link to pay sent via email by staff. Should staff need further information regarding the application, the applicant will be contacted via email or phone.
PERMIT APPLICATION PROCESS
By city ordinance, operators of STR units who are Bella Vista residents will have priority for submitting permit applications for 30 days, starting Feb. 27, 2023. Those property owners who are not Bella Vista residents can apply for permits starting March 30, 2023.
TO APPLY FOR A PERMIT, YOU WILL NEED:
- Complete application with fee including name, address, phone, email of property owner and name, address, phone, email of local point of contact who lives within 50 miles (if not property owner)
- For septic lots with a Certificate of Occupancy 5 years and older: A copy of report from a licensed septic installer showing that the septic system on the property is operational within requirements of the AR Department of Health OR proof that the system has been pumped within the last 5 years. If the system is less than 5 years old, no inspection or pumping required.
- Proof-of-compliance form for local A&P taxes from Discover Bella Vista (email email@example.com for questions)
- Declarations page of homeowner's policy showing adequate endorsement or rider for short-term rentals (example endorsements are labeled short-term rental, vacation home, and shared home)
- General site plan showing existing structures and available off-street parking
- Owner-occupied: $50 initially, then no cost for renewal each year
- Non-owner-occupied: $150 initially, then $100 renewal each year
To be considered owner-occupied, the rental property must be the applicant’s primary residence. For example, the applicant must reside at the property full-time, during the length of rental periods.
PERMIT WILL BE ISSUED IF:
- The property passes a city safety inspection (not required for renewal or if the property’s Certificate of Occupancy was issued within 5 years prior to date of permit application).
- The contact info for the property owner and local point of contact is clearly posted in a visible location at the property, and a copy of the city’s noise and parking regulations are provided for guests. See here for a provided form.
- The property must have a minimum of two (2) off-street parking spaces. (On street parking is strictly prohibited for STR guests.)
- 3 guests per bedroom for properties on septic system
- 3 guests per bedroom, plus two additional guests for properties on sewer
The property should be used for the purpose of overnight rental only, and not for things such as weddings, meetings, parties, etc. On-street parking for short-term rental guests is not allowed.
- First offense violation: $250-$500 fine
- Second offense violation: $500-$1,000 fine
- Third offense violation: $1,000- maximum allowed by the state plus loss of permit
Those who have a permit revoked cannot be issued another for one year.
Direct questions to Sarah Costa in the Planning Division, firstname.lastname@example.org or 479-268-4980, ext. 614.