Recently, my backyard was the site of a wedding reception. In the past, we have hosted a rehearsal dinner, graduation parties and other events open to invited guests in addition to the family. Perhaps because of this, in recent weeks I have been asked by friends with large yards or unused buildings if they could offer their premises to the public and make a bit of extra income. The short answer is no, not without spending time, money and aggravation to secure required permits.
If a homeowner receives payment to rent their property, it is considered a business and must comply with applicable city and county requirements, including securing a conditional use permit from the city clerk’s office. The process is not easy, takes time and can be expensive. There will be a public hearing; you will need to provide adequate off-street parking, comply with noise ordinances and much more. If you attempt to operate without the required permits, your party can be shut down by the police if someone complains about noise, too many cars or another issue.
After the permit is granted, a business name and entity type (LLC, corporation, etc.) should be registered with the Idaho Secretary of State’s office. Liability insurance will also be required. Check first with your homeowner’s insurance company to find out if they will insure the business. If not, contact an independent insurance agency.
You may have a lovely yard, a vacant barn or something similar that could benefit others, but before accepting money, be sure to do your homework. You can, however, host an occasional private event for family and friends as long as neighbors don’t complain.