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Vacation rental hosts in Norfolk, Virginia, must follow new rules

  • Sep 13, 2022 | Jennifer Sokolowsky

Norfolk, Virginia

The Norfolk, Virginia, City Council has increased the number of short-term rentals that will be allowed in the Ocean View neighborhood according to a new vacation rental ordinance. The measure raises the limit on vacation rentals permitted in Ocean View apartment buildings from nine to 24 units.

Under the new law, short-term rental operators will be required to have noise monitors, security cameras, and garbage collection agreements for their properties. The ordinance also requires hosts to get a conditional use permit to operate short-term rentals with more than four bedrooms or located in apartment buildings. All short-term rentals operating with three or more units in the same building are required to obtain a certificate of occupancy, and properties with more than nine vacation rental units must have on-site management.

Currently, about 215 short-term rental units are registered with the city. Up to 300 are operating without permission, and can be penalized by a $200 fine.

The latest changes revise the original 2018 law, which required short-term rentals to register with the city and obtain a business license. Vacation rental operators must also:

  • Provide paved parking
  • Post signage inside and outside of the property with contact information for a representative who can respond on site within 20 minutes in case of any issues
  • Provide remote entry, changing the access code between stays
  • Follow occupancy limits of two people per bedroom

Nearby, Virginia Beach has also recently loosened its restrictions on coastal vacation rentals. The City Council voted to allow new short-term rentals to operate in the Oceanfront Resort zoning district and approved new safety regulations for all short-term rental properties.

Hosts are required to have a conditional use permit in order to offer vacation rentals in the new overlay district. Under the new short-term rental overlay district rules, short-term rentals can operate in specific areas of Virginia Beach if 75% of people in a neighborhood petition the City Council to allow them.

Short-term rentals in good standing before the new law was passed may continue to operate, though they must follow the new rules. Illegal vacation rentals may be fined up to $500.

Short-term rental hosts in both Norfolk and Virginia Beach must also report and pay local transient occupancy taxes, which hosts collect from guests. Short-term rentals in both cities are also subject to state and local sales tax.

While Vrbo collects state and local sales taxes and local transient occupancy tax on behalf of its Norfolk and Virginia Beach hosts, Airbnb only collects state sales tax for its listings in those cities. Hosts are responsible for any taxes that are not collected on their behalf.

MyLodgeTax can help short-term rental hosts automate and simplify lodging tax compliance at the city, county, and state level, including tax registration and filing. For more on short-term rental lodging taxes in Virginia, see our state Vacation Rental Tax Guide. If you have tax questions related to vacation rental properties, drop us a line and we’ll get back to you with answers.

Lodging tax rates, rules, and regulations change frequently. Although we hope you'll find this information helpful, this blog is for informational purposes only and does not provide legal or tax advice.
Avalara Author
Jennifer Sokolowsky
Avalara Author Jennifer Sokolowsky
Jennifer Sokolowsky writes about tax, legal, and tech topics. She has an extensive international background in journalism and marketing, including work with The Seattle Times, The Prague Post, Avvo, and Marriott.
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