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As short-term rentals such as Airbnbs and Vrbos take off in cities across the country, Greensboro leaders also took note and enacted changes that go into effect today.

In May 2023, Greensboro city leaders approved new regulations for short-term rentals, which can either be homestays — in which renters stay in a portion of the host’s home — or whole-house rentals.  

After a surge in these types of rentals with no official city definition on what a short-term rental is, the city decided to implement these regulations.

Here are some of the new rules:

  • No exterior signs advertising the rental are allowed. 
  • Rentals are only allowed in residential dwelling units, and two adults are allowed per rented bedroom. 
  • Short-term rentals must be 750 feet apart if they are located in a single-family dwelling, duplex or twin home, and are only allowed in residential dwelling units. 
  • For multifamily buildings, no more than one dwelling unit per building or 25 percent of the total units per building may be used as a short term rental. 
  • For homestays, the host of the rental must use the property as their primary residence and be on-site while renting a portion of the home. 
  • Property owners for whole-house rentals are required to live within Guilford County or a directly adjacent county. 
  • The new rules also state that publicly announced or promoted events involving more than two times the number of guests are not allowed.
  • The temporary tenants are limited to one car per bedroom rented.
  • Owners and operators of short term rentals within city limits must apply for the city’s required permit. The fee is $200, and the permit needs to be prominently placed inside the rental unit and in the rental’s listings. There are no renewal requirements for permits, unless there’s a change in a rental’s owner or operator.
  • If a short-term rental doesn’t comply with the new regulations, they will receive an initial notice of violation. If the violations go unresolved, penalties can escalate up to $500 for each instance of non-compliance.

Last year, short-term rental owners argued that their rentals “enrich spaces and bring more tourism” and that regulations would strangle their businesses. However, others argued that these rentals shoot up the housing market and many residents with short-term rentals in their neighborhoods spoke out, saying that they have made their lives “virtually miserable.”

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