Properties Eligible for Short-Term Rental Permits

Grandfathered Properties

Any short-term rental (STR) that was registered with the Commissioner of the Revenue's office prior to July 1, 2018, and for which all applicable transient occupancy taxes were paid is considered grandfathered but must meet the conditions of section 241.2 of Virginia Beach City Code.

Any expansion of the dwelling housing the short-term rental that increases the overall square footage by more than 25% or 1,000 square feet, whichever is less, will have its grandfathered status revoked.

In addition, properties that were granted an STR conditional use permit (CUP) from the City Council before Sept. 7, 2021, and are not located within an STR Overlay District, is also considered grandfathered, but must still meet the conditions of their CUP.

Sandbridge Special Service District

All properties located in the Sandbridge Special Service District are eligible for use as an STR; however, the required STR zoning permit must be obtained and all applicable Commissioner of the Revenue requirements must be met.

City Council granted STR Conditional Use Permit 

These properties fall in an STR Overlay District and were granted a conditional use permit by the City Council at a public hearing. CUP holding STR operators, whose properties are located within an STR Overlay District must renew their STR CUPs every five years and obtain yearly STR zoning permits. The Oceanfront Resort STR Overlay District is the only such district currently.  

Getting Started

Determine if you're seeking to operate a home share or short-term rental. 

Home Share

Home sharing is when a room or rooms are offered for rent for less than 30 consecutive days by the homeowner who uses the dwelling as their principal residence and occupies the home during all rental periods. If the home will be used for home sharing, no zoning permit is required. Instead, contact the Commissioner of the Revenue to register the home share, (757) 385-4515.

Short-Term Rental

A short-term rental (STR) is an entire dwelling rented for less than 30 consecutive days for compensation. 

STR Requirements

You may only operate a short-term rental if you have all the following:

Short-Term Rental Zoning Permit

A zoning permit is required for each address used for short-term rental purposes and must be renewed annually. The fee is $200.

Sworn Statement Form

A completed sworn statement form which certifies that you are operating, or intend to operate, a short-term rental; the property's address; and ownership.

Life-Safety Inspection Report

A completed life-safety inspection report submitted annually unless the STR property is managed and inspected by a City of Virginia Beach certified property management company, which must submit the report every three years.

Structural Safety Inspection Report

A completed structural safety inspection report must be submitted with the initial zoning permit request and then resubmitted every three years thereafter. Stairways, decks, porches, and balconies under 30 inches in height are not required to obtain a structural safety inspection report; however, photos must be submitted to verify. 

Parking Plan

  • An up-to-date property survey sealed by a Commonwealth of Virginia Registered Design Professional, such as a surveyor, must be submitted with your STR zoning permit application.
  • A parking plan illustrating and notating compliance with the minimum number of required off-street parking areas. The STR must have one 9-foot-by-18-foot off-street parking area per bedroom (bedroom count is determined by the City Assessor's records). Covered parking can be used to meet one of the required off-street parking spaces but must be approved with your parking plan.
  • Acceptable existing parking area surfaces include concrete, asphalt, abutting concrete parking pavers, or other suitable material approved by the Planning Director. All new parking surfaces must use permeable material (no concrete or asphalt) and must be approved by the Planning Director.
  • All parking plans are subject to approval by the zoning administrator in accordance with the City Zoning Ordinance. You may be required to lease off-site parking to meet the short-term rental parking requirements. 

Insurance Policy

Proof of liability insurance applicable to the rental activity of at least $1 million dollars underwritten by City-acceptable insurers. Most insurers are acceptable, with the exception of several free policies offered through online vacation rental platforms.

Note: The policy document must list the address of the short-term rental. 

Proof of Current Short-Term Rental Registration

  • Provide a copy of the short-term rental receipt of registration issued by the Commissioner of the Revenue. The registration date must be current. 
  • STRs in the Sandbridge Special Service District are not required to submit proof of registration; however, the property owner, or their representative, must still register the STR with the Commissioner of the Revenue's office, (757) 385-4515.

Proof of Transient Occupancy Taxes Paid

Required for all grandfather status claims:

  • Provide proof of taxes paid to the Commissioner of the Revenue that is associated with the subject address short-term rental use. Copies of past payment receipts are available by calling the Commissioner of the Revenue, (757) 385-4515.
  • STRs in the Sandbridge Special Service District are not required to submit proof of transient occupancy taxes; however, the property owner, or their representative, must still pay all applicable lodging taxes to the Commissioner of the Revenue's Office.

Submit Your STR Application 

Complete the Accela Citizen Access online short-term rental zoning permit request online and upload all supporting documents. (Note: After creating login, click the Planning tab to find the STR request.) 

Or download the required documents and submit a completed application packet by mail or in-person. Note: Mail-in option is for homeowners only.

Zoning Administration
Attention STR Team
2875 Sabre St, Suite 500
Virginia Beach, VA 23452

What's Next?

  • Your short-term rental zoning permit request will be reviewed by a zoning staff member.
  • Once the review is complete, a City representative will contact you by email if more information or documentation is necessary to establish zoning compliance.
  • If the short-term rental is found to be in compliance with the City Zoning Ordinance, you will receive an email asking for payment. The application fee is $200. Checks or money orders should be made payable to, “Treasurer, City of Virginia Beach.”
  • Once paid, a zoning permit will be issued and emailed to you. This is a permit and receipt all in one.
  • Your permit will expire one year after the issuance date.