Duluth expands oversight of vacation rentals

DULUTH, Minn. (AP) -- Duluth is expanding its oversight of the growing market for vacation rentals.

The city on Lake Superior has begun requiring homeowners to apply for permits if they want to rent out their properties to tourists and to comply with applicable regulations.

Vacation rentals differ from traditional lodgings like motels because renters take a key and are basically on their own. They're offered few services, if any, and managers are often off-site.

The Duluth News Tribune says the city's rules reflect a consensus reached by a statewide task force formed in 2008 to study the burgeoning vacation rental market. The focus was to ensure that vacation home rentals operating as businesses are a safe lodging alternative, and that they're managed and regulated on a level playing field with other lodging options.

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