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Short-term Rentals

Isle of Wight County Board of Supervisors adopted a Short-term Rental Ordinance on December 14, 2023.

A Short-term Rental is defined as  the provision of a room or space that is suitable or intended for occupancy for dwelling, sleeping, or lodging purposes, for a period of fewer than thirty consecutive days, in exchange for a charge for the occupancy. A short term rental operator shall be  further defined as the proprietor of any dwelling, lodging, or sleeping accommodations offered as a short-term rental, whether in the capacity of owner, lessee, sublessee, mortgagee in possession, licensee, or any other possessory capacity.

A short-term rental is allowed in the following zoning districts:

  • Rural Agricultural Conservation (RAC)
  • Rural Residential (RR)
  • Village Center (VC)
  • Neighborhood Conservation (NC)
  • Suburban Estate (SE)
  • Suburban Residential (SR)
  • Urban Residential (UR)
  • Planned Mix Use (PDMX)
  • Planned Residential (PDR)
  • Planned Mobile Home Park (PDMH)

The following Supplementary use regulations apply for Short-term Rentals

  1. A zoning permit is A zoning permit shall not be issued for a short term rental until the following procedure has been completed:
    1. The zoning administrator is to send written notification by certified letter to the last known address of each adjacent property owner advising them of the proposed short term rental and informing them that the permit may be issued if written comments are not received within thirty (30) days.
    2. The property shall also be posted with a sign pursuant to section 9-1006 for no less than fourteen (14) days prior to the expiration of the thirty-day period.
    3. If the zoning administrator receives no written objection from any property owner so notified within thirty (30) days of the date of sending the notification letter, and the zoning administrator determines that the proposed short term rental otherwise complies with the zoning ordinance and the requirements for sewage disposal, the zoning administrator may issue a zoning permit for the short term rental.
    4. If the zoning administrator receives written objection from any property owner so notified within thirty (30) days of the date of sending the notification letter, then the zoning administrator may not issue a zoning permit unless and until such time as a conditional use permit for the proposed short term rental is approved by the board of supervisors with a recommendation by the planning commission.
  2. An authorized agent must be designated as a point of contact who is available to be contacted and to address conditions occurring at the short term rental within thirty (30) minutes. Physical responses to the site of the short term rental is not required. The Operator shall be notified in writing of failed attempts to receive timely responses from the authorized agent. Failure to respond in a timely manner shall result in a complaint subject to the penalties set forth below.
  3. The Operator must register their short term rental unit with the Community Development Department and receive a registration number.
  4. The Operator authorizes County employees to enter the subject property upon reasonable advanced written notice to the Operator, at least one (1) time during the calendar year for which registration is valid, to verify the short term rental is being operated in accordance with applicable regulations.
  1. The zoning permit may not be
  2. No more than one (1) short term rental may be operated on any
  3. Operators may enter into rental agreements with only one (1) party per legal dwelling unit per twenty four (24) hour period.
  4. A residential dwelling unit located within a building that contains three (3) or more dwelling units may not be operated as a short term rental.
  5. The maximum number of lodgers per night, over the age of eighteen (18) years, shall not exceed two persons per bedroom but in no case shall exceed sixteen persons six (6). This number shall be reduced to conform to the occupancy requirements of the Virginia uniform Building code and/or the Virginia Department of Health.
  6. The number of persons allowed to gather at a short term rental at any one time shall not exceed twice the maximum number of permitted overnight guests, including children. Only the maximum number of overnight guests shall be permitted at a short term rental between the hours of 10:00 PM and 7:00 Short term rentals shall not be used as event centers as defined by the Zoning Ordinance.
  7. Operators must obtain a business license and register for transient occupancy and state sales
  8. Short term rentals must meet current building and zoning regulations and be subject to a safety inspection from the County to confirm the installation of smoke alarms, fire extinguisher and a posted emergency exit plan prior to permit approval.
  9. One off-street space per guest room is required in addition to the parking required for the
  10. No visible evidence of the conduct of a short term rental is allowed on the outside of the
  11. The owner/operator shall not prepare meals for
  12. Operator shall provide proof of liability insurance to rental activity at registration and each subsequent renewal of at least one million Such insurance coverage must remain in place at all times the short term rental is being operated.
  13. Accessory structures, not including permitted accessory dwelling units, shall not be used or occupied as short term rentals.
  14. All advertisements for any short term rental shall include the short term rental registration number for such dwelling.
  15. A zoning permit for a short term rental may be revoked by the Zoning Administrator, or designee, for the following reasons:
    1. In the event of three (3) or more substantiated complaints of violation of applicable state or local laws, ordinances and regulations, as they relate to short term rentals, within a calendar year; or
    2. Authorized agent’s failure to respond in a timely manner more than twice; or
    3. Failure to maintain compliance with any regulation set forth in this section. An Operator whose short term rental zoning permit has been revoked shall not be eligible to receive any new short term rental zoning permit for the remaining portion of the calendar year in which the permit was revoked, and for the entire following year.
  1. Except as provided in this section, nothing herein nor the issuance of a zoning permit shall be construed to prohibit, limit, or otherwise supersede existing local authority to regulate short term rental of property through general land use and zoning Nothing in this section shall be construed to supersede or limit contracts or agreements between or among individuals or private entities related to the use of real property, including recorded declarations and covenants; the provisions of condominium instruments of a condominium created pursuant to the Condominium Act (§ 55-79.39 et seq.) of the Code of Virginia, 1950, as amended; the declaration of a common interest community as defined in Code of Virginia, 1950, § 55-528, as amended; the cooperative instruments of a cooperative created pursuant to the Virginia Real Estate Cooperative Act (§ 55-424 et seq.) of the Code of Virginia, 1950, as amended; or any declaration of a property owners' association created pursuant to the Property Owners' Association Act (§ 55-508 et seq.).