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Bill to preserve local authority over short-term rentals passes Senate

SB 1578 (Norment), a bill to affirm and clarify the role local governments play in making sure short-term rentals are in compliance with local lodging and zoning ordinances, passed the Senate this week and will be before the House General Laws Committee’s Subcommittee #1 next Tuesday.

In 2016, the company Airbnb backed an unsuccessful proposal to limit local authority to regulate vacation rentals offered through its online hosting platform. The legislation would have preempted local zoning authority and limited the role of localities to collect and audit sales and lodging taxes.

By contrast, this year’s legislation authorizes a locality to adopt an ordinance requiring the registration of persons offering property for short-term rental. The bill defines “short-term rental” as the provision of a room or space suitable for sleeping or lodging for less than 30 consecutive days. The bill authorizes localities to impose fees and penalties on persons who violate the registry ordinance or who offer short-term rentals that have multiple violations of state or federal laws or ordinances, including those related to alcoholic beverage control.

VACo supports the bill and urges you to contact your Delegate to vote YES on SB 1578.


  • As with any other business situated in a residential setting, local governments are best suited to determine how to allow for and regulate short-term rentals.
  • The bill expressly grants localities the authority the protect the health and safety of the consumers and citizens who both lease and rent such property.


House General Laws Committee: Gilbert (Chairman), Peace (Vice Chair), Albo, Wright, Anderson, Greason, Knight, LeMunyon, Helsel, Robinson, Yost, Hodges, Bell, Richard P., Minchew, Leftwich, Ward, Bulova, Carr, Torian, McQuinn, Hester, Aird

VACo Members – Share your thoughts on FlagPoll.

VACo Contact: Joe Lerch, AICP

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