Short-Term Rental Regulations
Charlotte is Trying to Eliminate Short-Term Rentals
The City of Charlotte is trying to eliminate short-term rentals by making it extremely difficult to run an STR business by way of rules and regulations proposed in the Charlotte Unified Development Ordinance (UDO).
Have you read the Charlotte UDO? Do you know what it is? Well the team at Charlotte Short-Term Rental Association has developed this quick guide to the UDO.
Charlotte UDO: Guide for Short-Term Rental Owners, Investors and Hosts
Charlotte’s leaders have sketched out a plan to implement some permanent restrictions for properties listed on Airbnb, Vrbo, and other similar platforms.
According to Laura Harmon, Unified Development Ordinance senior project manager, these regulations are being considered after “numerous recent complaints of noise, lack of parking, increased trash and litter, and concerns about homes being turned into party houses.”
The Unified Development Ordinance (UDO) proposes to put Charlotte’s 2040 Comprehensive Plan into action through rules and regulations.
- It’s a 608-page document that combines eight ordinances into one.
- Among them are rules that would limit the length of stay for renters and would limit the number of residences in a certain area that could be registered with the short-term rental services at the same time.
“There are already other ordinances in place that will protect residents from neighboring houses to become party houses. These regulations aren’t going to fix those, they’re going to make it harder for the people who are doing it right,” says Bryan Holladay, a lobbyist who has worked in the development industry.
Why does it matter? If you plan on living in Charlotte in the next couple of decades, these ordinances will affect you. But, the 600-page document, which we’re expected to read and give input on, is full of legal-speak and very specific rules for property owners wanting to use their space as a form of revenue.
Charlotte UDO highlights as they pertain to short-term rentals:
Properties used to host guests from online travel agents (OTAs) such as Airbnb and VRBO fall under the same category: short-term whole-dwelling rentals.
Short-term whole-dwelling rentals
- A Short-Term Whole-Dwelling Rental is “a complete dwelling offered for rent for a period of less than 30 consecutive days.” (UDO 15-51).
- Under the UDO section 15-51, one short-term whole-dwelling rental would have to be at least 400 feet from any other short-term whole-dwelling rental. That’s roughly one STR every 1½ blocks. This will be a huge impact to many Charlotte neighborhoods.
- A “local manager” has to be available 24 hours a day. (UDO 15-29)
- No parties, events, classes, weddings, receptions, or other large gatherings will be allowed. (UDO 15-29)
- Can’t be any type of vehicle, camper, or trailer. (UDO 15-30)
- “The regulations are not platform (e.g. Airbnb, Vrbo, etc.) specific. If the entire dwelling unit (e.g. single-family house) is rented out for less than 30 consecutive days per occupying party, it is considered a short-term whole-dwelling rental.
Traditional bed and breakfast
- Traditional B&B’s are defined in the UDO as “a single-family detached dwelling where a resident/owner provides lodging for a daily fee in guest rooms with no in-room cooking facilities and prepares meals for guests.” (UDO 15-41)
- Guests aren’t allowed to stay longer than seven days in a row. (UDO 15-14)
- All rooms should be accessible from the inside of the building, not the outside. (UDO 15-14)
- Food from the B&B can only be served to guests staying at the B&B. (UDO 15-14)
SRO (single-room occupancy)
- An SRO is a “residential development where single rooms are rented individually as a permanent and/or primary residence.” (UDO 15-51).
- “SRO’s shall be limited to one occupant per room.” (UDO 15-30)
The UDO isn’t finalized yet and CASTRA is organizing an effort to fight these regulations and propose instead, a set of fair regulations that will make Charlotte a city where STR hosts and residents can all benefit from responsible legislation that promotes the peaceful coexistence of business owners and home owners. We work hard to boost our community and provide a safe and amazing experience for everyone.
The Charlotte City Council is scheduled to vote on these regulations in July 2022 as part of the larger UDO adoption.
CASTRA will be hosting a series of virtual meetings to discuss the UDO proposal and plan our response. Please join our Facebook group to stay informed and be part of the conversation.
For more information on the Charlotte Short-Term Rental Association or the impacts of the Charlotte UDO on STR businesses please contact:
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The Charlotte Area Short-Term Rental Association (CASTRA) was created to help STR owners, investors and managers in the Charlotte area with short term rental needs. Our goal is to provide education, support and advocacy for our members in order to promote compliance with city, county and state ordinances and help navigate the maze of regulations and legal issues surrounding the STR industry.
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