November 06, 2019
Town of Kiawah Island Passes Amendments to Short-Term Rental Ordinance
On November 5, Kiawah Island Town Council approved a revised short-term rental ordinance effective January 1, 2020. The revised ordinance includes a combination of measures intended to better regulate the operation and impact of short-term rental homes on the community. The ordinance also establishes a limit to the total number of rental units that will be licensed in certain single-family residential neighborhoods. Currently, about 1,300 of the Town’s approximately 3,400 properties are licensed for short-term rental use.
Mayor Craig Weaver stated, “The ordinance has a couple of different goals. Short-term rentals have always been an important part of the community, but the Town and our property owners see a need for better regulation and more responsive enforcement of those regulations. The second aim of the new regulation is to better enable the community to preserve the residential character of the Kiawah’s single-family, residential neighborhoods.”
Under the Town’s short-term rental regulations, all rental properties must be licensed by the Town and are held to specific requirements affecting occupancy, parking, advertising, payment of required accommodation taxes, and conformance with building safety code requirements. The new rules also require all rental units to have a local property contact to address renter problems, prohibit the rental of only a portion of a home and requires commercial rental businesses, such as private destination clubs, to conform to short-term rental regulations as a requirement for operating in the Town.
The ordinance amendments allow for additional enforceable penalties for problem renters and property owners and hold rental owners and managers jointly responsible for conforming to regulations. Town Administrator Stephanie Tillerson stated, “The Town will take on a stronger enforcement role and will be adding additional code enforcement officers and expanding hours into the evening.”