Short Term Rentals
On April 19, 2018, the Walworth County Board of Supervisors adopted a Short Term Rental Licensing code for properties in unincorporated Walworth County. A copy of the actual ordinance and the subsequent amendments that were adopted can be found:
- Chapter 26 - Article VII - Offering a Residential Dwelling as a Short Term Rental
- Chapter 74 - Zoning (Defines: Dwelling, Lodging Facility, Short Term Rental)
The County Initial Licensing Application (PDF) can be downloaded. There are instructions on how to find the various information the application is looking for on page two of the form. Use the Annual License Renewal Application (PDF) to apply for an annual renewal of a County licensed operation. View Short Term Rental FAQs (PDF).
Bed & Breakfasts
If you are staying in the home while guests are there, you should discuss your options as a bed and breakfast with the County's Planning staff. Please contact the Senior Planner at 262-741-4972.
Before the County can approve a license, you must first obtain a state license. Information on the state license can be found: Tourist Rooming Houses.
If your property is served by private drinking well, the State of Wisconsin will require you to complete testing of your well as part of obtaining your license. You can do so with a private company, or you can use the Walworth County Health Department's well testing services.
Information on these services can be found: Walworth County Health Department - Water Testing.
If your property is served by a Private Onsite Wastewater Treatment System (POWTS, aka "septic system" - not public sewer), the septic system must meet minimum Code requirements for the proposed occupancy. Typically, any septic system installed after 1980 will have a Sanitary Permit on file with the County that identifies the design capacity of the septic system. If the existing Sanitary Permit on file with the County provides the necessary information for review of the Short Term Rental application and the 3-year maintenance requirement is up to date, then no further evaluation of the septic system is needed.
If no Sanitary Permit is on file with the County or a Sanitary Permit does not provide the necessary information to complete the review of the application, then an appropriately licensed professional(s) will need to evaluate and conduct an inspection of the existing septic system to ensure it conforms to the minimum Code requirements. The evaluation will need to determine items such as design capacity, location, setbacks, soil suitability, etc. The Septic Inspection Report will need to be completed and returned to the County for review.
Note: Keep in mind the evaluation/inspection may result in the need for the existing septic system to be replaced.
To find out more information on the septic system please contact our office at 262-741-4972.
Other Useful Links
As part of your application, you will need to submit a site plan. This can be a simple, hand-drawn plan, or you may choose to use an existing survey the County already has on file. You can find information on your property and determine if the County has a survey by searching our County's Geographic Information System (GIS).
Instructions (PDF) on how to find information on permits, recorded document information and surveys.
Note: Instead of using the "Energov" link as described in these instructions, choose the "Survey History" link instead. If you want to view the property history, choose "Documents".