Short-Term Property Rentals - Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Short-Term Rental?

Short-Term Rental is the rental of any home or portion of a home for transient occupancy.  The Zoning Administrator has consistently opined that transient occupancy is occupancy for a period of less than 30 days.  There are dozens of electronic platforms -- like Airbnb, Flipkey, Homeaway, and VRBO -- that promote the listing and booking of Short-Term Rentals.

Are Short-Term Rentals currently permitted in Fairfax County?

No. Currently, the Fairfax County Zoning Ordinance prohibits property owners from renting their homes as a Short-Term Rental unless the Board of Supervisors approves a special exception for a bed and breakfast use. A bed and breakfast is "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."

A special exception for a bed and breakfast can only be considered in the R-P through R-2 Residential Districts or the PDH or PRC Planned Development Districts. The current application fee for a special exception for a bed and breakfast is $16,375.

How can I report a suspected Short-Term Rental in my neighborhood?

 To report a possible violation, please contact the Department of Code Compliance (DCC) at 703 324 1300, TTY 711.  DCC staff will then research and investigate the allegation.  DCC's investigative process is detailed here.


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