DATCP Short-term Rental Regulation Changed

The WRA successfully advocated against unrealistic regulation

 August 02, 2022

The Department of Agriculture Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) proposed new rules regarding the regulation of short-term rentals with pools and hot tubs. Essentially, the rule would have required short-term rental property owners with pools and hot tubs to meet the same requirements as commercial pools and hot tubs, in turn creating unnecessary burdens on residential property owners, making it financially impractical for property owners to continue to rent their property.

The WRA advocated for the adoption of Wis. Stat. § 66.1014, which protects the rights of property owners to rent their homes on a short-term basis.  

Because residential swimming pools are not subject to commercial pool requirements at the time of construction, requiring a pool to conform to those requirements as soon as a home is rented on a short-term basis makes it practically impossible for homeowners to get a public pool license. As a result, the DATCP's proposed regulation effectively prohibited short-term rentals with a pool or hot tub, which goes far beyond the DATCP's authority to "license and regulate" pools. 

Thus, the DATCP’s proposed regulation conflicted with the policy embodied in Wis. Stat. § 66.1014, giving homeowners a right to rent their home on a short-term basis. 

The WRA, along with several different organizations, spoke in opposition to the DATCP's proposed rule at the April 2022 meeting of the Joint Committee for the Review of Administrative Regulations (JCRAR). Later that month, the JCRAR suspended the DATCP's rule regulating short-term rentals until the next legislative session. However, in July, the DATCP submitted for approval a final proposed rule that did not negatively regulate short-term rentals with pools and hot tubs.

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