Folly Beach & STR's Oh My!

Short Term Rentals are the talk of the town and it’s a constantly changing landscape for Charleston and the surrounding barrier islands.  We’ve seen some incredibly favorable shifts, we’re looking at you North Charleston and Park Circle, and we’ve had some not so great changes.  So, we’re here to give you the lay of the land with the most recent buzz on the street at good ole Folly Beach.

                First, a bit of background on the short term rental game at Folly.  Honestly up until now we’ve seen a pretty flexible process in place that has certainly supported rentals.  Moreover, there’s been a steady demand for this pretty as pie and laid back beach town that many visit year after year.  However, we all know that population has grown in the Charleston area and in our opinion because of this, and the fact that yet again our beloved Holy City is the #1 Best City in the US (by our good friends at Travel & Leisure) and for the 10th year in a row, some long time residents wish for the good days of yesteryear.  But, back to the conversation at hand.  Listen up because here’s the skinny.

                                1.  STR Cap:  Folly Beach has now restricted the number of Short Term Rental Permits, capped at 800.

                                 2.  License Transfers:  There is also no transferring a current license, so that means that if you currently are buying or selling a STR permitted property the license must be reapplied for after ownership has changed.

                                 3.  Vacation Rental Act:  A Temporary STR license will be put in place if there is a change in ownership to uphold the stipulations of the South Carolina Vacation Rental Act.  This allows the new owner to honor 90 days of rentals that were in place before the sale of the property.  The new owner will also be required to provide proper documentation of the sale of home, property bookings, and closing date to substantiate the need for this permit.

                The above applies to owner occupied and investment rental properties that are renting for a period of less than 29 days.  Oh and the icing on the cake, if you had your hopes up of securing a coveted beach front rental… the cap has already been met and all new applications with the city will be waitlisted until several hundred STR licenses are forfeited.

                So it’s a “sorry folks park’s closed!” kinda scenario, UNLESS you own this home as your primary home, in which case you are permitted to rent the house out up to 72 nights per year. If you wanted to go to Europe for the summer and have that trip paid for – perfect route to do that!

Source: Kelly Stradling, Realtor ©

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