Richmond County Will Start Regulating Airbnb Rentals

Watchful Eye

There will be no more free reign on running Airbnb rentals in Richmond County, VA starting January 1, 2022.

Currently, Richmond County doesn’t have regulations for renting homes or rooms on platforms like Airbnb. But this month, the board of supervisors approved a short-term rental ordinance. Once it goes into effect at the beginning of the year, property owners will need to apply, pay a $100 fee annually, and the property will be added to a registry.

If the county finds that a person is operating without being registered, the property owner will have 14 days to comply. If that’s not done, the county can impose a $500 fine.

The ordinance also limits occupancy to two people over the age of three per bedroom, and the occupancy limit must be posted in the residence.

Operators can’t allow their guests to have large parties, weddings, receptions or other events that draw people who aren’t occupying the property. There is also a range of other rules addressing things, such as parking, noise, and making changes to the exterior appearance of the home. And property owners must agree to allow county officials access to their home for inspections.

This new code also allows the county to bar property owners from listing a property for two years if there are violations of state or local laws, ordinances, or regulations relating to short-term rentals on more than three occasions.

But, Richmond County staff don’t doesn’t issue fines for zoning issues often, and this ordinance isn’t about being heavy-handed or slapping fines on people Richmond County administrator Morgan Quicke and Hope Mothershead, the director of planning and zoning, told the board of supervisors.

The real focus, they say, is to having a short-term rental registry so it’s clearer where short-term rentals are operated.

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