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Guide to Short Term Rentals

Thinking about renting out your home? This guide walks you through the entire process of setting up your property as a short term rental for visitors to stay in Portage County, Wisconsin. From obtaining permits to listing the property, we have all the details here. Check out our Complete Guide to Short Term Rentals for the step-by-step process.

Need some more information before starting this process? Here are some Things to Know Before You List your short term rental property that will help answer initial questions. 

Quick Links:
Complete Guide to Short Term Rentals
Things to Know Before You List Your Property
FAQ's Frequently Asked Questions + Terms
Print-friendly Guide to Short Term Rentals


Here's a list of frequently asked questions and terminology related to short term rentals!

What is a Short Term Rental?


Short Term Rental is defined as any building or structure used as a home or sleeping place that is offered for rent or a fee and for fewer than 30 days. 

What is a Tourist Rooming House?


A Tourist Rooming House (TRH) refers to any lodging place (homes, cabins, cottages, etc.) other than hotels and motels that include sleeping arrangements and are offered for pay to area visitors.

What is a Transient?


"Transient," or "tourist" refers to anyone who travels to a location other than their permanent address for a brief time for a variety of reasons such as vacation, pleasure, recreation, culture, business, or employment.

What is a Lodging Marketplace?


A Lodging Marketplace is a third-party business or organization that helps property owners list and advertise their property for short term rentals. The lodging marketplace collects state and county taxes on behalf of the property owner and sends those funds to the appropriate tax authority.

Common examples of lodging marketplaces are, and

How does operating a Short Term Rental affect my taxes?


Lodging marketplaces collect state and county taxes on behalf of the property owner and send those funds to the proper tax authority. 

If you live in a municipality that collects room taxes, including but not limited to the City of Stevens Point, the Village of Plover, or the Town of Plover, additional room taxes are applied. Contact your municipality for more information on room taxes. 

Who should I contact if I have questions?


For questions about specific local municipality requirements:

  • Visit the Portage County Directory to find out the contacts in your municipality. (Town Offices begin on page 38, and Village Offices begin on page 46.)

For questions related to Portage County licensing requirements:

For questions about Portage County zoning requirements:

For questions related to State Seller's Permits: