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Insurance and Compliance

Insurance

Per Sec. 7-203 of the City Code of Tuscaloosa, every person wishing to obtain a license for short-term rentals must provide proof of insurance that includes 1) a rider on a homeowner's policy that expressly covers short-term rentals and provides a minimum coverage of $1 million liability and personal injury coverage or2) a commercial insurance policy covering short-term rentals at the permitted address that provides a minimum of one million dollar liability and personal injury coverage.

Insurance must be held for the duration of the short-term rental license/permit.

Building and Fire Code Compliance

Every premise in the City or the Police Jurisdiction applying for a short-term rental business license must meet applicable Building codes and be equipped with required safety equipment. (Sec. 7-204(a))

Single-Family Dwellings (Whole Home Rental)

A single-family dwelling, less than 3-stories, must provide:

  • Smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms
  • Operable egress windows in sleeping areas
  • Proper hand and guardrails
  • GFIC protection where required
  • Fire extinguisher(s)
  • Properly displayed 9-1-1 address
  • Emergency lighting egress

Per Sec. 7-205, single-family dwellings must be inspected by a Licensed Home Inspector (verification can be done at the Alabama State Building Commission website). An inspection report must be completed on the form established and available on this site or through the Chief Building Official.

Owner-Occupied Homes with Individual Rooms for Rent

Per Sec. 7-204(b), in addition to the requirements listed for single-family dwellings, short-term rentals where the home is occupied by the owner during the rental and/or in which individual rooms are rented to separate lodging parties must  be equipped with a fire sprinkler system in conformance with all applicable Building and Fire Codes.

Multi-Family Buildings

Per Sec. 7-204(d), in addition to the requirements listed for single-family dwellings, short-term rentals in multifamily buildings must meet all applicable Building and Fire Codes.

If upgrades are required, a building permit must be obtained from the City of Tuscaloosa Office of Urban Development, Building and Inspections Division.