Short Term Rentals

City Council adopted an ordinance regulating short-term rentals on May 26, 2022, with an effective date of January 1, 2023.  City Council recently adopted “Ord 2023-022 Section 4-21 STR of the City of North Charleston Code of Ordinances, Appendix A, Zoning Regulations, to Modify Regulations for Short Term Rentals.”

Short Term Rental Ordinance

A “Short Term Rental” is defined as “a dwelling unit intended to provide temporary sleeping accommodations for no more than two persons per bedroom, up to eight (8) persons (including children) maximum, for a period not to exceed twenty-nine (29) consecutive days per rental.

Note:  Short term rental permits are only issued for legally established dwelling units, and thus recreational vehicles (RVs) are not eligible.

Requirements to establish a Short Term Rental

Step 1: Meet the Following Conditions

  1. Limit the number of overnight guests in the STR unit to no more than two persons per bedroom, up to eight (8) persons (including children) maximum, and post the maximum in the STR and include in advertising.
  2. Provide a minimum of one (1) off-street or allocated parking space for each two (2) bedrooms rented, with a maximum of four (4) spaces allocated for the STR unit.
  3. Identify a contact, with twenty-four (24) hour cellphone availability, who is available to be on site within 30 minutes of notice.
  4. Obtain Approval from the property’s HOA/POA, if applicable.
  5. Be up to date on all required taxes.
  6. Have no more than three (3) Notices of Violation of the City’s zoning, noise or refuse ordinance in the previous one-year period. Issuance of the fourth such Notice of Violation shall render all previously issued STR permitting and licensing null and void.
  7. Agree to not host events, such as weddings, parties, or similar gatherings, on the property AND not post any STR signage, other than the STR decal issued by the City and a sign of no more than one square foot identifying the unit as an STR.

Step 2: Apply For A STR Permit

Short term rental permit application 

You must create an account on the portal and upload the following documentation:

  1. Proof of ownership of the property (tax bill, tax record, or deed)
  2. Proof of HOA/POA Approval, if applicable
  3. Contact Information of a LOCAL contact who will be available to respond to the property within 30 minutes
  4. Site Plan of the building(s) on the property that shows the location of the building and the off-street parking spaces, an aerial via Google Maps with the highlighted structure is sufficient
  5. Pictures of the parking spaces on the property
  6. Pictures of the exterior of the building in which the STR will be located
  7. Pictures of the entrance of the building to be used by the STR guests
  8. Pictures of the interior of the STR, furnished as to be used by the STR guests

Within one to three weeks of application (depending on application volume), you should receive an email from the Planning and Zoning Department either asking for additional information or providing approval and outlining the next steps.

Step 3: Pass Inspection(s)

Building and fire inspections are required prior to approval of a STR permit. The inspections will be scheduled after online submittal of a COMPLETE STR permit application and approval by the Planning and Zoning Department. The building and fire inspections will look at fire protection, egress, electric and heating components.

Short Term Rental Fire Protection Criteria

Additional information for safe operations

Step 4: Obtain a Business License

A business license will be issued ONLY if the STR permit has received approval by the Planning and Zoning Department.  Applicants will be notified to apply for a business license when the Planning and Zoning Department issues its approval.  Please DO NOT apply for the business license for the STR until a approval of the STR application has been emailed by the Planning and Zoning Department.

Step 5: Obtain the STR Permit

The Planning and Zoning Department will issue the STR permit when all of the following have occurred:

  1. The STR application has received approval from the Planning and Zoning Department;
  2. The proposed STR unit has passed the building/fire inspection;
  3. A business license for the STR use has been granted; and
  4. The $250 STR application fee has been paid to the City’s Finance Department. (The application fee for STR permit renewals is $100.)

This permit should be posted in the STR unit; the STR decal must be posted on or near the door which will be used to access the STR unit; and the STR permit number and maximum occupancy (as shown on the issued STR permit) should be added to all listing(s)/advertising for the STR unit.

Please note the following:

  • A separate STR permit and a separate business license is required for each STR unit.
  • A Short Term Rental Permit must be renewed annually by February 28. The associated business license must be renewed by April 30.  

Short Term Rental Enforcement

For any concerns or complaints, please contact [email protected] or 843-740-2818