September 21, 2017 – As part of the 2017-19 state budget, Wisconsin lawmakers enacted a new law that protects the ability of homeowners to rent out their homes on a short-term basis. The law was passed in response to a growing number of communities banning the rental of residential dwellings for any period of time less than 30 days. Rather than regulating the behavior of the occupants of short-term rentals like any other property to ensure compliance with noise, parking and other local ordinances, these communities have placed blanket prohibitions on any rental less than a month.
Due to the growing popularity of short-term rentals through online platforms like AirBnB and VRBO, lawmakers feared these bans would negatively impact both the tourism industry and second-home real estate markets. Accordingly, the new law encourages local governments to regulate short-term rental activity rather than ban the activity altogether.