I’d like to take a moment today to discuss the ADA compliance regulations for short-term rentals in Mille Lacs County. I’ll keep this brief, but please feel free to reach out with any questions. Essentially, Mille Lacs County is extending the state of Minnesota’s commercial lodging code to personal residences utilized for Airbnb or similar services. You must convert a property into a ADA compliant property to get the County license to do a short term rental. This has been a rule for over a year now.

Over the past year, I’ve had several helpful conversations with the County regarding this matter. Reach out to me if you have questions on the issue. Just recently, I received a call from an out-of-state buyer interested in a property on Mille Lacs Lake. They were unaware that converting the property into an ADA compliant space would be required for short-term rental use. This can be a costly and sometimes unfeasible endeavor, depending on the property.

I’m actively in contact with them and will keep everyone informed as I navigate through these regulations. In my opinion, it’s crucial for brokers to ensure that clients understand the potential costs and viability of using their property for short-term rental if they have expressed that is their intent. This includes the potential need for ADA compliance, which can involve significant expenses—such as installing ramps that can cost anywhere from $15,000 to $25,000.

To assist clients in understanding these requirements, I’m compiling a list of qualified architects licensed in the area who can inspect properties and provide estimates for achieving ADA compliance as per the County’s regulations. While some properties may be feasible for conversion, others may present financial challenges that buyers may not be prepared for.

I want to express my gratitude for the patience and assistance provided by Mille Lacs in navigating this issue. They’ve been accommodating, grandfathering in some of the VRBOs I’ve managed, which has been immensely helpful.

In summary, it’s important to recognize that converting a property into an ADA compliant space is a requirement for short-term rentals in Mille Lacs County, in accordance with the Minnesota commercial lodging code that they are applying. Despite being in effect for over a year, it seems many realtors and buyers are still unaware of these regulations. For more information, please don’t hesitate to contact me or Keenan at the county or MN Real Estate and Management.

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