Short-term lodging (STL), also known as short-term rental (STR), is any occupancy of a dwelling for a period of less than thirty days. Prior to the adoption of the Short-Term Lodging Amendment, the Zoning Ordinance did not permit such uses in any dwelling unit. The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors adopted the Short-Term Lodging Zoning Ordinance Amendment on July 31, 2018.
New Short-Term Lodging Regulations
The new regulations went into effect on Oct. 1, 2018, and short-term lodging operators must apply for a new $200 two-year zoning permit. The regulations don’t bar homeowners or community associations from prohibiting short-term lodgings within their subdivision or development.
Short-term rentals will be allowed in single-family homes, townhouses, condos, mobile homes and apartments with the following use limitations:
- A dwelling or mobile home may be used for STL for no more than 60 nights per calendar year.
- The maximum number of lodgers per night may not exceed 6 adults, except where the Virginia Uniform Statewide Building Code requires fewer occupants.
- The maximum number of rental contracts per night is one. All lodgers occupying a STL must be associated with the same rental contract.
- Events and activities—including luncheons, banquets, parties, weddings, meetings, fund raising, commercial or advertising activities, and any other gathering of persons other than the authorized lodgers, whether for direct or indirect compensation—are prohibited in association with any STL.
- All advertisements for STL, posted on any platform online or in any other format, must include the STL permit number and identify the location of the required parking space and any other available parking or public transportation options.
- Transient Occupancy Tax must be collected for each rental contract. Operators must file a monthly return and remit the transient occupancy tax due to the Department of Tax Administration on or before the last day of the month following the reporting month. A monthly return must be filed even if no taxes are due. Additionally, if gross receipts exceed $10,000 per calendar year, a Business Professional and Occupational License (BPOL) is required.
- STL is prohibited in a detached accessory structure, accessory dwelling unit, temporary family health care structure, affordable dwelling unit or workforce dwelling unit.
A dwelling or mobile home used for STL must:
- Be open, upon request, for inspection by County personnel during reasonable hours.
- Comply with the requirements of the applicable version of the Virginia Uniform Statewide Building or Virginia Manufactured Home Safety Regulations, as determined by the Building Official.
- Have a working multi-purpose fire extinguisher, interconnected smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors (when required for a fireplace or gas service).
- Have a plan posted inside the door of each sleeping room showing the exit pathway from the sleeping room used for STL to the nearest exit from the dwelling or mobile home.
- Have one designated parking space available for lodgers, which the Operator has the authority to reserve for STL purposes.
A STL Operator must:
- Be a permanent resident of the property hosting the STL.
- Obtain written consent from the owner of the property for the STL Use (when applicable).
- Assume responsibility for determining whether any regulations, prohibitions, and covenants applicable to the dwelling or mobile home prohibit STL.
- Designate at least one person who consents to serve as an Authorized Agent for the STL Operator.
- Maintain a guest log including the name, address and telephone number of all overnight lodgers. The guest log must be made available upon request to any County employee or agent tasked with enforcing the Zoning Ordinance or other applicable part of the County Code.
Short-Term Lodging Amendment - Adopted Text (July 2018)
Short-Term Lodging Informational Flyer (August 2018)
For questions regarding the operation of STL's:
Please contact the Zoning Administration Division at 703-324-1314, TTY 711 or email us.
For concerns or complaints:
Please contact the Dept. of Code Compliance at 703-324-1300, TTY 711 or email us.
For tax-related questions:
Please contact the Dept. of Tax Administration at 703-222-8234, TTY 711 or email us.