Short-term property rental has become increasingly popular. Websites like www.airbnb.com encourage people to earn extra money by sharing their homes with travelers. Airbnb encourages “responsible hosting,” which includes complying with local laws and regulations.
The Fairfax County Zoning Ordinance governs how County residents may use their properties. The Zoning Ordinance prohibits most property owners from serving as Airbnb hosts because nothing in the Zoning Ordinance permits renting dwellings or rooms in dwellings for short periods of time without approval of a special exception by the Board of Supervisors to make a home a bed and breakfast.
The Zoning Ordinance defines “bed and breakfast” as “a single family detached dwelling unit which is owner or manager occupied, in which five (5) or fewer guest rooms without cooking facilities are rented to transient visitors for a period not to exceed thirty (30) days.”
You may apply for this special exception if:
- You live in a single family home.
- You live in one of the following districts: R-P, R-C, R-E, R-1, R-2, PDH or PRC.
Information about the special exception process is available here.
In addition, private agreements (such as homeowners’ association regulations) may also, separately, restrict the use of a home. The County does not enforce private agreements.