Folly Beach short-term rental property owners discuss strategies to keep licenses

Dozens of Short-term rental property owners met Monday night on Folly Beach to discuss how to maintain both their property’s value their licenses.
Published: Mar. 6, 2023 at 11:38 PM EST|Updated: Mar. 7, 2023 at 4:16 AM EST
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FOLLY BEACH, S.C. (WCSC) - Dozens of short-term rental property owners met Monday night on Folly Beach to discuss how to maintain both their property’s value and short-term rental license.

This comes after the months-long short-term rental discussion came to a close last month, officially capping the number of short-term rentals on Folly Beach at 800.

The owner of Folly Beach property management company “Folly’s Best Rentals,” and host of Monday’s meeting, Greg Hart, said the short-term rental cap will drive down property value and make Short-term rental licenses more valuable.

“My advice for those who have a license is to be sure to take care of it, because it’s worth its weight in gold,” Hart said.

Right now, the short-term rental cap is set at 800, and there are currently around 1,200 on the island. Hart said he believes the city will try to lower the number of short-term rental licenses.

He said he encourages property owners to pay attention to strikes on their property, and the short-term rental license renewal date itself. Other suggestions included contacting Folly Beach Officials, and supporting a state-wide bill that would make imposing short-term rental bans illegal.

One short-term rental owner, Randy Holton, said he’s going to keep a close eye on his own short-term rental license.

Holton said when he and his family bought the house thirty years ago, renting it was always part of their retirement plan.

“Now we are reaching retirement age, so we are very threatened by laws that come along and say, ‘no we can’t do that,’” Holton said.

A majority of people at Monday night’s discussion were short-term rental property owners who are against the short-term rental cap.

Live 5 News reached out to The Folly Beach Resident Association, a group that is openly in favor of the short-term rental cap, for a statement.

We at the Folly Beach Residents Association (FRA) were pleased to see the highest voter turnout of any election on the Island vote to retain our sense of community and quality of life by passing the Referendum to CAP Investment Short Term Rental licenses at 800. The City leadership team is now beginning the implementation process of updating ordinances and capturing this decision into implementable city rules and regulations and the FRA is partnering with the City however they need us to through this process. We’ve already heard of one positive shift so far... the City confirmed to us that there are more Long Term Rental licenses being requested.

The City of Folly Beach said they did not want to comment on Monday’s discussion at this time.