Property owners selling homes after failing to meet Charleston’s short-term rental rules

Property owners selling homes after failing to meet Charleston’s short-term rental rules

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - A total of 42 homes have been put back on the market after not complying with the City of Charleston’s short-term rental rules.

That's according to the city of Charleston's Livability and Tourism Director Dan Riccio.

The city has been cracking down on those without a license since the ordinance went to effect about a year ago.

"They can't obtain a permit to begin with so they basically have to cut their losses and sell for the intention that they wanted to buy the property for which was short-term renting," Riccio said. "When they can't do that anymore, then it's a loss to them unless they sell it or rent full time."

Riccio says those 42 homes were not owner-occupied which is a requirement for having short-term rentals. The owners put them on the market by choice and city officials say most of them have sold.

While the City of Charleston sees the enforcement as a success, some property owners feel the short-term rental laws take away their rights.

There are three enforcement officers that are tracking online vacation rental sites who can tell if people are renting out their homes illegally.

Riccio says officers have removed 1,578 listings from rental sites and there were more than 2,000 postings before enforcement began.

“It reassures the public that we are doing what we nee to do to ensure that people, if they’re not compliant, they have the opportunity to become compliant,” Riccio said.

He also says there have been 146 short-term rental cases that have gone through livability court where someone was found guilty, pleaded guilty or ended up paying a fine for breaking the rules.

“We are out there, we are enforcing. Some people don’t take it serious, but the people that are living in these areas that are affected by short-term rentals are the victims of noise complains or traffic, just simply not knowing the individual that’s in and out of these houses. So people are worried,” Riccio says.

City officials say a total of 78 properties have gone from short-term rentals to full-time rentals because of the stricter laws.

"There was a concern from the citizens and members of the task force that the housing stock was being depleted as a result of short-term rentals," Riccio said.

On average it can cost just over $300 for a short term rental license. Renters must display their city assigned licence number on rental sites.

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