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New regulations for short-term rentals in Richland County

Short-term rentals in Richland County are on the rise. Today we’re breaking down the new changes with a new ordinance, adopted by City Council on Tuesday, April 9, 2024.

Several photos of a rental home with marble showers, chandeliers and a decorative fireplace.

The Elmwood Retreat features marble showers, chandeliers, and a decorative fireplace. | Photos via Airbnb

New rules are reshaping the landscape for short-term rentals in Richland County — think VRBO or Airbnbs. The most recent ordinance — adopted by County Council on Tuesday, April 9 — aims to define key terms related to short-term rentals + outlines penalties for noncompliance.

The gist

The Richland County Short-Term Rental (STR) ordinance draws from both the City of Columbia’s recent ordinance + the longstanding Hilton Head Island ordinance. Short-term rentals in unincorporated Richland County now require a business license and must remit a monthly 3% accommodations tax.

Basically — the new regulation aims to monitor rentals, ensure that taxes are being paid on them, and allows the county to address public safety + nuisance complaints.

Within Richland County, there are six municipal governments:

  • Town of Arcadia Lakes
  • Town of Blythewood
  • City of Columbia
  • Town of Eastover
  • City of Forest Acres
  • Town of Irmo

The government jurisdiction that you abide by is determined by your location. Simply put — if you live outside of any municipality district, you are part of “unincorporated Richland County” and are placed under the jurisdiction of the county.

Hypothetically ...

As outlined in the “Richland County Council Special Called April 9" meeting, if 500 short-term rentals with annual gross revenue of $100,000 each are licensed, projected revenues include ~$70,800 annually from business license taxes and ~$1,500,000 annually from local accommodation taxes.

As reported by The State, for now, “Richland County likely won’t have more than 100 short-term rentals.”

While changes may come to local short-term rentals soon, if you’re looking to have a staycation, check out some amazing Airbnbs and VRBOs or unique places to stay around our city.

If you have questions regarding the new rules, or really anything about your city, reach out to Richland County + find more information about upcoming meetings.