Short Term Rental Licenses

Short-Term Rentals in Amesbury

In an effort to manage the safety of short-term rental units and the impact on community services like Police, Fire and Inspectional Services, Amesbury Zoning Ordinance XI:U mandates that all short-term rental properties in Amesbury obtain a license to operate. 

Apartment KitchenDefinition of Short-Term Rental Unit 

This definition includes rental of a residential dwelling, or bedrooms within a dwelling, in exchange for payment, as residential accommodations for a duration of less than thirty (30) consecutive days but does not include a bed-and-breakfast home, investment properties, hotels/motels. We encourage homeowners who are considering applying for a short-term rental unit permit to review Section XI.U.3 Requirements to learn more about what types of units are eligible and other restrictions that may apply. 

Obtaining a Short-Term Rental Unit License

To apply for an annual short-term rental unit license, visit the OpenGov website at: The application process will guide you through the necessary requirements, inspections, and fees. The license is valid for one-year from date of issuance and must be renewed annually. Issuance of a license is subject to inspections for compliance.

Application Fee* 

A licensing fee of two-hundred dollars ($200) per short-term rental unit shall be due with each annual application.

*Additional licenses and fees may apply determined on a case-by-case basis

Penalties and City Actions for Non-Compliance

Complaints shall be made to the Inspectional Services Department and investigation shall commence within 30 days. Violations may, at the compliance officer’s discretion, result in a warning or the maximum appropriate fine. Violations of this ordinance may result in loss of the short-term rental license.

 Violations may include but are not limited to:

  • Offering an ineligible dwelling or bedroom for lease
  • Violation of any applicable law, ordinance, rule, or regulation
  • Failure to observe the limitation of days per year
  • Failure to include required parking information
  • Violation of parking requirements
  • Noise complaints
  • Trash complaints
  • Failure to furnish a community information card to guests or furnishing one without the required minimum information
  • Failure to remit any required excise tax or surcharge as required by law
  • Failure to pay property taxes or surcharges on the property

Property owners who are found to be in violation of the requirements of the Licensing Ordinance and/or its related short-term rental ordinance by the enforcement agent or their designee are subject to fines and penalties, including immediate revocation of their short-term rental license, and:

  • A fine of $250/day for each individual day that is out of compliance to be levied by the City of Amesbury against the property owner. 
  • Immediate revocation of the property owner’s Short-Term Rental License by the enforcement agent (Inspectional Services Department as warranted).

Should the short-term rental license be revoked, the property may not be in any way used as a short-term rental until a new license is applied for and granted by the licensing board. No such license shall be granted if the property is in violation of any requirement of the City’s Zoning Ordinance or any applicable law, ordinance, rule, or regulation.


If you want to verify if a short-term rental property is permitted to operate in Amesbury, please fill out this form.