We have to shut down

We have a small cabin in the woods, on our property that we rent out. We received a letter from the county, 3 pages long with things we need to do to rent out our cabin. Things we could never do. We have no choice but to close down. There are 2 motels in the area and we compete with them I am sure so we believe they must have gone to the county. I have heard that hotel and motels want to get rid of Air BNB. There is nothing we can do about it, what they want would cost so much we could build a motel for all that.

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I am sorry to read that and a little surprised that in a place like Montana they care about shutting down a small business like yours. I thought Montana was one of those big private property protecting states like Texas.

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Any market for a long term rental of the property?

Curious about the demands- what did they want you to do?


It use to be, but big city folks are moving in with their laws and you gotta do this and do that

Sounds like it’s time to start attending country board of supervisor meetings, getting to know the members, and then start lobbying to change their laws. I would get ahold of other Air hosts in your area and get organized!

Oh, and join your local visitors bureau, get active, and get their support too.


What is it they need you to do? I’m trying to imagine improvements that could possibly cost a huge amount.

Today all businesses are pretty regulated and it’s a nuisance, I know, but really it’s a good thing that overnight accommodation is required to be of a certain standard. Some of what local authorities want is totally bonkers. For example, here I used to keep our fire extinguishers on the floor by the cooker. Easy to grab if there’s a fire, you’d think. But they insisted that it should live on a bracket in the cupboard under the sink. The most recent inspector we had agreed with me that it takes longer to get out and fight a fire with but, you know, ‘rules is rules’.

Then a while ago they tried to bring in a regulation that all STRs should have landlines. (That one failed :slight_smile: )

By the way, I find it hard to imagine that the local motels would have gone to the city to report you. The idea of hotels and motels wanting to get rid of short term rentals is 90% media hype. There are STR clients and hotel clients - just as there are Ford customers and Ferrari customers.

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Our fire marshall required them to be mounted onto the wall with brackets.

I agree either a neighbor who works at town hall or knows someone there doesn’t want the OP to rent or needs to remove competition would be much more likely.

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Sounds like a last ditch effort by some poor landline department at the phone companies.


Crazy isn’t it? It would have been pretty easy to do but I objected wholeheartedly (as you can imagine). I mean, why? :slight_smile:

Many areas require them for eldery or disabled guests to have guaranteed access to 911. What they fail to mention is if your house was setup with landlines at any point in time and you have never removed the jacks or cut the lines, you can just plug in a phone and dial 911 even without service.


I didn’t know that. Thanks!


there are 2 motels in the area, a neighbor, we have 23 acres and the others have large pieces also, this one neighbor is from California and goes to the authorities about everything any one does around here, something new for here. His wife works for one of the motels and they have cabins they can not rent because the price is to high, ours is lower. Anyway they are asking for all kinds of documents and license that we just don’t have

And they would be impossible to get?

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If your city has recently brought in more regulations about documents and licences, then it could simply be them being efficient and making sure that all STRs in the area know about the new requirements and not a neighbour at all?

Several years ago additional regs were put in place here and we had to take out a small bank loan to cover them. This shouldn’t be a problem if you’re able to show the bank your accounts and that you’re a viable business.

Is your local authority okay with causing the closing down of a viable local business?

So why do you think their price is higher?
The need to have all kinds of documents and licenses and have to pay for it.

It is a good thing that authorities start to level the playing field.

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If I want to do.less than 30 days I would have to :

  1. Pay 500$ for license
  2. 350$ for inspection
  3. Put alarms on all outside doors and windows that go to the pool
  4. Put a fence around pool
  5. Hard wire all smoke detectors and put them in each room : bedrooms etc.
  6. Landline
    Total estimated cost 5-6k.
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My partner’s cottage is in a very conservative township run by the same good old boys year after year. There were some very nice Airbnbs on our lake. Well, the boys held a meeting in the winter when the City folk weren’t around.

They want $750CAD a year to park an Airbnb in the county, and a piece of the action. No talk of inspections at this point but these aren’t the brightest bulbs, so it’s best to say nothing.

There is a big casino in town that has been laying people off because people can’t afford to gamble, so rooms and concerts are the priority. Not sole proprietors.

That all looks “legit”, beyond the landline. You have a pool, and hence, the additional codes to follow. Most of these I would do privately anyways???

I have 7 units in my house total of 28 beds.

I need:

  1. Connected smoke alarms in all rooms where guest have access to, to be inspected every year.
  2. Fire extinguishers on every floor, to be inspected every 2 years.
  3. Safe escape route, shut off by fire doors.
  4. Escape route needs safety lights, inspected every year.
  5. Every 5 years my electrical system has to be inspected
  6. I need lightning conductors, that need to be inspected every 5 years
  7. I need to collect VAT and Tourist tax

Etc etc

So it is easy for an (illegal) STR host to be cheaper, than a small business.