In response to the popularity of home sharing sites like AirBnb Fairfax County enacted a new Short-Term-Lodging (STL) ordinance on October 1, 2018.
Owner occupied (or tenant occupied with the owners’ permission) properties may potentially qualify for being used for Short-Term-Lodging. Short-Term-Lodging is defined any occupancy of a dwelling for a period of less than thirty days.
The operator (owner or tenant with owner permission) that has the home as their permanent residence is required to (or intend to) occupy the home for at least 185 days out of the calendar year. A dwelling may be used for Short-Term-Lodging no more than 60 nights per calendar year with a maximum of 6 adults lodgers at a time (or less depending on the size of the home.) Only one rental contract is allowed at a time.
You also have additional requirements. Among those, one parking space the owner/tenant has the authority to reserve has to be assigned for the use of the lodgers. Also, a fire extinguisher, interconnected smoke detectors and exit plans need to be posted in each sleeping room.
The operator has to apply and obtain a $200 zoning permit every two years. The operator also has to collect Transient Occupancy Tax and file a monthly return(regardless of whether taxes are due) plus make monthly payments (if any.)
So, in conclusion – there are quite a few requirements and limitations on the property to be used as well as requirements for registration and accounting to comply with the ordinance.
Remember! The new ordinance do not bar community associations from prohibiting short-term lodgings within their community or subdivision.
More information at the Fairfax County website.