Short-Term Rentals

The Chisago County Board of Commissioners adopted the Chisago County Short-Term Rental Licensing Ordinance, #060320-1 (PDF) on June 3, 2020.

It is the intent of the ordinance to allow the use of private vacation rental homes, but also mitigate possible adverse impacts to health, safety, welfare and quality of life of surrounding properties. In doing so, the Ordinance establishes standards for the licensing of short-term rentals that seek to strike a balance between protecting homeowners' private property rights; enhancing localized economic activity and tourism; preserving the residential integrity of neighborhoods; and promoting and protecting the health, safety, and wellness of the citizens and patrons of short-term rentals.

The Chisago County Environmental Services Department is charged with carrying out the directives of the Short-Term Rental Licensing Ordinance. Additionally, Chisago County has retained the services of third party vendor, Host Compliance to assist in successful and efficient Short-Term Rental identification, licensure, and monitoring. If you received notice of Short-Term Rental licensure requirements it was generated with the assistance of Host Compliance.

Short-Term Rental License Required:

Short-Term Rentals throughout the incorporated (city) and unincorporated (township) areas of the County are required to obtain and maintain an annual Short-Term Rental Housing License. A Short-Term Rental in Chisago County means any home, cabin, condominium or similar building that is advertised as, or held out to be, a place where sleeping quarters are furnished to the public on a nightly, weekly, or for less than a 30-day period and is not a bed and breakfast, resort, hotel or motel, or other permitted venue as determined by the County. Advertising and promotion of short-term rentals commonly occurs via AirBnB, VRBO, Expedia, Tripadvisor, etc.

  • If you are interested, please complete our Short-Term Rental Housing License Application (PDF). Detailed application requirements are outlined on the application form and within the Ordinance and must be submitted and approved prior to rental of the property. Once the application along with all required supplemental information and payment of fee are received, Chisago County Environmental Services will determine the completeness of the application, review the application, and issue or deny the license.
  • It is important to note that Short-Term Rental locations proposed within a City require license applicants to obtain city official acknowledgement and signature on the license application prior to county review. To view city information, please visit our City Contact Information PAGE.
  • Licenses are required annually and include a license fee of $300.

General license requirements are outlined in the Ordinance and include, but may not be limited to:

  • Short-Term Rental operations shall conform to all City and Township Ordinances, if so enacted, and may be further restricted or prohibited as so determined by a host City of Township.
  • Proof of liability insurance coverage suitable for the commercial liability coverage of the Short-Term Rental. In satisfaction of this requirement a "Rental Endorsement" or other "occasional rental use" acknowledgement should be identified on the insurance document provided.
  • Proof of Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) Lodging License and/or acknowledgement from the licensee and/or property owner identifying that a MDH Lodging License review of the Short-Term Rental is currently in process. Check out the MDH website for information on Lodging in Minnesota. For contact information, please refer to the MDH "Local Book" (PDF) which is updated frequently with the contact information for all Lodging staff across the state. You will need to check out the information specific for Chisago County to find the assigned inspector's contact information. The general number for MDH Metro that will offer direction on state lodging regulations can be reached by calling 651-201-4500.
  • No past due property taxes.
  • Fully compliant and adequately sized Septic System or connection to a central (city or community) sanitary sewer system. For additional information, please check out our Septic Compliance PAGE.
  • Properly contained garbage, refuse, and recycling containers kept in fly-tight, watertight rodent-proof containers stored within a building or screened and secured enclosure.
  • Owner maintained and guest registration information.
  • Enforcement of quiet hours, vehicle parking, and site use standards.
  • The owner is to provide and distribute property contact information to the county, renter(s), and each adjacent land owner as outlined within the Ordinance.
  • The owner is to provide each renter, in a form that is readily retained and posted/deliverable on-site, information identifying maximum occupancy, emergency contacts (police, fire, hospital, and septic tank pumper), rental unit address, and operational guidelines and rules including proof of license and any special license obligations, conditions, and restrictions to abide by.
  • Posting rental unit address outside in a manner that is clear and visible from the street.
  • NOTE: The Chisago County Short-Term Rental Licensing Ordinance and program does not ensure compliance with Minnesota State Fire Code or Minnesota Department of Health rules. It is the responsibility of the Owner and Owner's Authorized Agent to comply with all local, state and federal laws beyond that of the county ordinance and to disclose such compliance to all renters during the time of occupancy.

Quiet Hour and Parking Requirements:

Short-Term Rental quiet hours are between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 8:00 a.m. at which time indoor and/or outdoor activity audible from property boundaries must not be carried on beyond a general conversation level in a manner that disturbs the peace.

Parking shall be accommodated completely on-site in designated improved spaces. Parking and/or vehicle storage shall not occur in or on yards, boulevards, septic system, or other green spaces. Parking cannot restrict access by emergency vehicles or the traveling public and shall not impede the ingress or egress of the property.

24/7 Call Line:

Chisago County has developed a 24/7 call line to report non-emergency incidents involving short-term rental properties: (Hotline Number: 651-374-9393).

This call lines does not provide emergency response, if the nature of the activity presents an immediate health or safety situation you must Dial 9-1-1.

Additionally, if you are an immediate neighbor you will have been provided direct Short-Term Rental Owner and/or Agent contact information pursuant to the County Short-Term Rental Licensing Ordinance. Direct contact with the Short-Term Rental Owner is encourage. If contacting the owner and/or agent is not practical please dial the 24/7 call line (Hotline Number: 651-374-9393) with details of the complaint and violation(s).

Please note that complaints will be taken seriously and anyone who knowingly makes a false report of a violation of the Short-Term Rental Licensing Ordinance may be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor.

You can also try to resolve your short-term rental issue online by visiting the Tips Page with Host Compliance.

Their system will walk you thru the process. You simply need to choose what best describes the issue you are reporting from the following options:

  • Unauthorized short-term rental
  • Load party
  • Disturbances or trespassing issues
  • Trash related problems
  • Fraudulent owner occupation
  • Violations of occupancy limits
  • General noise issues
  • Advertising violation
  • Other types of nuisances.

Short-Term Rental Enforcement / Violations:

Violations of the County Short-Term Rental Licensing Ordinance are a misdemeanor. Additional penalties also include forfeiture of applicable rental license. Misdemeanors are punishable by up to 90 days in jail, or a fine up to $1,000, or both.

The Chisago County Environmental Services Department will investigate all complaints of this Ordinance, notify the Owner within a reasonable period of time and direct correction of the violations within a reasonable period of time. Any complaints substantiated and not resolved with the Owner will result in enforcement action. If compliance is not obtained within the time period specified, or if three (3) substantiated complaints occur within the license period, then the license may be subject to revocation and additional penalties.