In June 2017 Raleigh’s Short Term Rental Task Force delivered a report containing definitions and recommendations for regulating short term rentals. Since that time we have obtained more information including what City Council recently learned from a trip to Asheville where we met with Asheville’s Mayor and city officials.
Raleigh’s STR Task Force recommended three types of short term rentals referred simply as Type I, Type II, and Type III:
Type I rentals – defined as short term rental of less than 30 days in which the owner or property manager is present during the entire period of the rental.
Type II rentals – defined as short term rental of less than 30 days in which the owner or property manager is not required to be present during the entire period of the rental, but must reside on the property for more than 180 days of the year.
Type III rentals – defined as short term rental of less than 30 days where neither the owner or property manager resided on the property.
It is instructive to compare these definitions to what Asheville has implemented. One type of short term rental is called a “homestay.” Homestays are rentals of up to two guest rooms where overnight lodging is provided for compensation in a residential district. Homestays are stays limited to less than 30 days and are managed by a full-time resident of the property who is present and residing in the home when lodgers are present.
In order to be “present during the homestay term,” the full time resident shall be at the property overnight and not away on vacation, visiting friends or family, traveling out of town for business or personal reasons, etc. during the homestay term. However, the full-time resident may be temporarily absent from the property for purposes related to normal residential activities such as shopping, working, attending class, etc.
Asheville’s homestays most closely correspond to the Task Force’s Type I rentals. Asheville allows other short term rentals that are for 30 days or less that are not homestays. Those short term rentals are referred to as short term vacation rentals (STVRs) and are restricted to certain non-residential districts that allow lodging. STVRs most closely correspond to the Task Force’s Type III rentals.
Asheville does not provide short term rentals that correspond to the Task Force’s Type II. However, if a property doesn’t meet the homestay requirements, an applicant can submit a conditional use zoning for a STVR. My interpretation is that this would be the mechanism for allowing whole house rentals in residential districts.
Aside from the general definition of a homestay, Asheville has several requirements for them:
- No activities other than lodging shall be provided
- No additional displays of goods, products, services, or other advertising shall be visible from outside the dwelling
- No additional off-street parking is required
- Only one homestay shall be permitted per lot/parcel
- Homestay permits shall be limited to one person at any given time
- No signage shall be allowed for homestays
- The length of stay of guests shall not exceed 30 days
- Exterior lighting shall be residential in nature and shall comply with the lighting requirements of the UDO
- The homestay owner or operator shall maintain liability insurance on the property, which covers the homestay use and homestay guests
- The homestay owner or operator must pay any applicable taxes, including occupancy and sales taxes, to the appropriate governmental entity
- The homestay must be reviewed annually and inspected for compliance
To compare, let’s consider the details of what the Task Force recommended for Type I rentals.
- A Type I short term residential lodging facility must have a resident manager. The resident manager may be either the property owner of the Short Term Residential Lodging Facility or another person appointed by the property owner.
- This resident manager must be domiciled on the premise for at least 181 calendar days per year and must be present in the dwelling unit throughout the rental period. Proof of address of the resident manager and telephone number must accompany the application.
- There shall be a maximum of five total bedrooms permitted within a Type I short term residential lodging facility.
There are no caps for either Asheville’s homestays or Type I rentals.
Regarding whole house rentals, AirBnB released a report for New Orleans and stated that whole house rentals account for 4% of all their listings. In other words, homestays or Type I rentals should account for about 96% of short term rentals. This report is available here: