FAQs About Short-Term Rentals

FAQs About Short-Term Rentals

Do you rent a dwelling or room to visitors for temporary periods of time? Make sure you apply for a short-term rental license from the City of Stillwater.

Below, you'll find helpful links and frequently asked questions about having a short-term rental in Stillwater.

Helpful websites


Q1: What does the City consider a short-term rental?

  • A short-term rental is defined as the rental of any dwelling, portion thereof, or habitable accessory structure for a temporary period of time up to 30 consecutive days per guest within a 90-day period. This includes rentals through third-party companies such as Airbnb and VRBO.

Q2: How do I apply for a short-term rental license and how much does it cost?

  • How to Apply
    To apply to operate a short-term rental in Stillwater, an application is available online or can be picked up at Stillwater Municipal Building. The application identifies the documents required to submit. Visit our Online Forms page and download the application under the Business Licenses & Registrations tab.

  • Fees & Expiration
    The fee for initial application to operate a short-term rental is $100. Licenses expire annually on Jan. 31. The renewal fee for a license before it expires is $10.

Q3: Where can a short-term rental be located?

  • Ordinance 3435 authorizes short-term rentals in three residential zoning districts: single-family small lot residential (RSS), single-family large lot residential (RSL), and two-family residential (RT). A link to our zoning map is available on our Mapping Stillwater webpage.

Q4: Who can operate a short-term rental?

  • Only the owner of the property can operate a short-term rental, not a renter or a leaseholder.

Q5: I applied for a short-term rental license. What happens next?

  • Once the City receives an application for a short-term rental, we send a notice to the property owners within 300 feet of the property for which the short-term rental application was submitted. The property owners receiving the notice have 30 days to file an objection to the short-term rental at that address or in that neighborhood. If any objection is filed within the 30-day period, a hearing is scheduled before the Stillwater Planning Commission.

Q6: Who pays for the lodging or room tax on the short-term rental?

  • The short-term rental pays for the lodging or room tax either with the property owner obtaining a sales tax certificate from the State of Oklahoma or having a rental agent collect the tax.

Q7: Can I submit a complaint to the City about a short-term rental?

  • To ensure compliance with the regulations, the City will track and monitor complaints about short-term rental properties. You can file a complaint regarding short-term rentals in your neighborhood using the Short-Term Rental Complaint Form available on our Online Forms page under the Business Licenses & Registrations tab.

  • A process of how violations are handled is also available on this page (see Short-Term Rental Enforcement Procedures).

Q8: I don't have a contract with my rental agency.  How do I prove they are collecting tax on my behalf?

  • In place of the required contract as documentation the rental agency is collecting tax on behalf of the short-term rental property owner, a screen-shot of the rental agency application that identifies the property address and indicates tax collection by the agency is acceptable.

Contact Information

For additional information or questions, contact City Clerk.

  • Phone: 405.742.8243

  • Fax: 405.742.8208

  • Mailing Address: City Clerk’s Office / P.O. Box 1449 / Stillwater, OK  74076

  • Office Location: Municipal Building / 723 S. Lewis St.

Content last reviewed 05.13.2020