SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – As neighbors in Nixa deal with an unlicensed Airbnb, KOLR 10 Investigates looked into how many unlicensed Airbnb homes are operating in Springfield and surrounding towns.

KOLR 10 Investigates looked at data from Springfield, Nixa and Branson. All three cities have rules about permits or licensing for short-term rentals, and found there are likely hundreds of people renting out short-term stays with no city oversight.


  • 360 active business licenses for short-term rentals
  • 471 Springfield homes listed on Airbnb


  • 4 active short-term rental licenses
  • 12 Nixa homes listed on Airbnb


  • 400 active business licenses for short-term rentals
  • More than 1,000 properties are listed on Airbnb

The City of Branson said it uses an umbrella method to license nightly rentals, meaning a business is able to obtain a license for its first unit and then acquire more properties without the need for additional licenses.

There are multiple businesses operating more than one Airbnb unit in Branson, so the total number of approved short-term rentals cannot be reflected using the city’s current reporting method. Branson leaders are reviewing this process to determine if the umbrella method is best suited for the city going forward.

Airbnb is not the only place people list their properties, however, to avoid double-counting any homes listed on other sites like VRBO, KOLR 10 Investigates only looked at Airbnb properties.