Rental Sharks Circle Charleston Home Owners

Posted By Jesse Nelson @ Jan 13th 2020 6:41pm In: City News

Short Term Rentals

You have probably heard stories of friends or family making good money from short term rentals. With the popularity of short term rentals advertised on platforms like AirB-N-B, many active home buyers are looking for homes that provide the potential to make passive income from renting a room, carriage house or section of the main property. For quite some time there was the proverbial "Wild West" in Charleston with rentals all over town going unchecked by code enforcement. Those days are over. 

Today, Charleston City has a relentless team of Code Enforcement officers ready to find and PROSECUTE, that's right PROSECUTE, homeowners for providing short term rentals to guests without proper authority. Charleston is now only city in the US to criminally prosecute for illegal short term rentals. The short term rental sharks of Charleston are always on the job searching  for those renting online without  the proper permit. A "short term" rental is defined by the city as any time frame under 29 days.  

Be careful where and how you rent your home in Charleston City. With a hefty fine of over $1,000, it pays to be in the know. Make sure you are moving into a neighborhood without  short term rental restrictions and that the home is your primary residence to remain in compliance and ensure you'll be able to obtain the proper permit. We recommend checking with the city as part of your due diligence should a short term rental in Charleston City be a priority for you.

Many buyers have become jaded trying to decipher with the city what home is or isn't eligible for short term rentals. Renting in the county may be the path of least resistance. 

There are stark differences between renting in Charleston County and the City of Charleston. Here are a few key advantages of renting in unincorporated Charleston County that are not allowed in the City :

*You may rent your entire home to guests without a homeowner being present in the County.  

*Some zoning areas will provide for a second home or investment property to be rented with a special permit. 

*County rules provide for an in-law suite or separate dwelling to be rented simultaneously along with the primary residence.

*Charleston county places no limit on how many guests can stay at once in a home so long as there is at least one off street parking space for every bedroom that you rent. 

Just remember, it is a home owner's responsibility to ensure that their rental is in compliance with City and County zoning regulations. Platforms like Home Away and AirB-N-B will not cover you for being  out of compliance. 

As always, we are here to help with all of your real estate needs and make sure you make the right decision with your purchase. 


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