UPDATED MAY 21, 2020:

Short-Term Rentals/Airbnb

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Short-Term Rentals can be defined in many fashions but most share the common trait of being rental stays of less than 30 days in duration. Today companies such as Airbnb, VRBO, HomeAway, Roomorama, Wimdu, and 9flats are all offering online platforms to connect travelers with short-term housing outside of the traditional hotel concept.

Highlights of the City's short-term rental policy is as follows:

  • Short-term rental requires a "special exception" approval from the Board of Zoning Appeals.  
  • Only one room in the principal dwelling may be rented.
  • Rentals are limited to owner-occupied single-family detached dwellings and the owner must be physically present at the property during any rental period.
  • The furnishing of meals is not permitted.
  • No more than two transient visitors shall occupy a room at the same time, excluding minor children of the transient occupants unless otherwise reduced by the USBC and other applicable laws and regulations.
  • A register of short term rentals must be kept by the owner for a period of two years and such register is subject to inspection upon written request by the Zoning Administrator. The names and addresses of all transient visitors occupying the property and the dates rented must be maintained in the register.
  • The same transient visitor cannot occupy for a period of more than 30 days during any calendar year.
  • No visible evidence of the conduct of a short term rental is allowed on the outside of the property.
  • Event rentals are not permitted.
  • Outdoor burning shall be in compliance with Chapter 5 of the Williamsburg City Code.
  • Rentals are limited to not more than 104 nights per calendar year and no other rentals are allowed on the property.

For your assistance please review the following materials:

City Ordinance

Business license

Short-term rental application

Short-term rental title certificate

Short-term rental checklist

For City staff assistance please call the Planning Department at (757) 220-6130 or email