Renting out house (or a room in your Columbia home)? Have you thought about … ?


If you’re considering renting all of or part of your home or a house you have, here are some things to consider:

  • Have you leveled with your neighbors? Have you told them they’ll be having visitors vying for parking spaces? That there’ll be new folks in the neighborhood?
  • Have you tuned in your insurance agent? Think your insurance carrier might want to know?  
  • Are you registered to collect State taxes? The state’s SALES, USE AND HOTEL OCCUPANCY TAX states “The hotel occupancy tax, imposed at the same rate as sales tax, applies to room rental charges for periods of less than 30 days by the same person. In addition to hotels, the tax applies to rentals of rooms, apartments and houses arranged through online or third-party brokers.
  • Are you registered to collect with Lancaster County? Lancaster County has a hotel room rental tax and the county hotel excise tax.
  • How is your property zoned? “Columbia Borough is defined by various zoning districts. The Zoning Ordinance lists permitted uses for each district. Districts include residential (rural, low density, medium density, high density), commercial (downtown, neighborhood, highway), industrial (light, general), park, and conservation. Each district has specific regulations including set backs, structure height, parking and sign requirements.”
  • Have you registered your “business opportunity” with the Borough of Columbia? Using Internet search techniques, we were unable to arrive at a business census for Columbia Borough. The 2012 US Census Bureau shows there were 570 business establishments in Columbia. During recent borough meetings concerning the Knox Box issue, the claim was that the borough sent letters to all businesses. One wonders, though, whether there are covert businesses operating without identifying their properties as business establishments.


  1. Let’s be clear, this post addresses “short-term rentals” in residential units.

    Are you suggesting Columbia’s a nice place to visit but people wouldn’t want to live there?

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