Are cities or HOA's restricting Airbnb?

I live in Wilmington, NC and am looking into purchasing my first Airbnb. I recently read an article that scared me. It stated that my local city can restrict Airbnb or other short term rentals in my area.

  • Has anyone had any experience with this?

  • Did you find a solution?

  • How can we prevent this from occurring in the future?

You could try reading some of the older posts on this topic. There are plenty to give you the info you seek.

Every location has its own issues. Yes, cities, counties and states can and do in some cases restrict STRs. Yes HOAs can and do restrict STRs. Not much you can do about it.

FWIW, most people don’t just “buy” their AirBnb. They create it with loving care and work at making it a wonderful, positive experience for their guests. Please don’t just “buy into” AirBnb as an investment because this is not a cash cow. Being a good hospitality host is a heck of a lot of work unless you’re the ‘slum landlord’ type, which no one likes. Just my tuppence.


Any city can restrict Airbnb and other STRs. You can’t prevent it.

In addition some HOAs have a ban on STRs.

Solution: do your market research and if you need a license/permit then apply for it and comply with legislation.

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Hi Nathan this is a forum for hosts to help one another. It’s not the appropriate place to do market specific research or as a bulletin board for your services so I’ve closed your other threads. You’re welcome to read the existing threads about cleaning or legal restrictions.

You’re also welcome to contribute any expertise you might have that would assist Airbnb hosts.


Such general questions. Such basic questions too. They type that makes me think if you have to ask, you are not ready for prime time yet.

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Select a city that already has a short term stay regulation in place, run the numbers to see if works financially, only buy or rent (first checking any lease or condo rules to see if there is a limitation on sub-rentals; there usually is) if it does, then follow the rules.



Most HoA’s do not allow short term rentals, I was going to say all but I am sure there are exceptions.

Whether your local Government allows it is usually a zoning issue, unlikely to be many places were there are no short term rentals allowed.

Invest in property by all means, but don’t think of it as ‘Airbnb’ specific. Just in case.
Could you survive if you had it to rent it out?

That is exactly the reason why cities are starting to restrict AirBnB.
People taking housing off the market and turning it into an STR.

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My city in Washington state just banned all non-owner occupied vacation rentals and now the county is looking at doing the same.

As it should be. Airbnb should be for owners only, unless you have the express written permission of your landlord.


The small rural town I live in is dealing with single family homes. We have very few if any (maybe one?) condo complex.

I have a 60 acre parcel with 2 homes that are 40 feet apart (in a 10 ag/res zoned area). I live in one and the other is an airbnb so that makes me a non-owner occupied vacation rental however I think my circumstances aren’t the same as most people so I’m hoping if the county puts restrictions on STR that I will have some leeway (I don’t live in the city where they just enacted an ordinance). That said the city did grandfather in existing STR until sold so I may get some grace that way too.

The way I read this is you are the owner? If you own both houses on the 60-acre parcel, how could you not be considered the owner?

Owner-OCCUPIED! Not owner-owned. To be honest, this is getting out of hand when vacation destinations are forbidding vacation rentals.

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I am the owner yes but I don’t live in the house. I suppose I could walk the 40 feet to the house every night and sleep there to claim I live in the house but it hasn’t come to that and frankly if it did I’d probably take it off the market and just use it as a guest house for friends and family. Not that there would be anyone to complain as my nearest neighbor is 30+ acres away.

Where I live they only want to allow vacation rentals where the homeowner lives on premises because people complain that non-owner occupied houses devalue neighborhoods and diminish available housing for residents.

Oh… I see what you mean. Here in Hawaii they plan to call that hosted and non hosted. Hosted is where you home share… Live in the house and rent a room…non is where you aren’t there for whatever reason, absentee owner, etc.

In your case, it’s unusual to host two homes on the same large property, so I am trying to figure out how they would even know?

I am with you Bunny. I rent the main portion of my primary home, and live in the mother in law apt. I also own a home 2 blocks away that I STR and - I am there all the time._…they are close enough that all are my neighbors. I am accepted, and supported by my neighbors and neighborhood.
To Top it off, I began renting in 2009…before most folks ever heard of ABB.
So when home hosts complain that whole houses are the problem / issue…I would like to restate that I earned an STR income prior to ABB…and it was ABB that rocked my world and has made my life miserable.
Prior to ABB, I rented and nobody cared, and I was happy. I paid my sales and accomodations tax from day 1…figuring that if this time ever came…that I would have a better chance at getting grandfathered in. Time will tell.
I am NOT the problem owning and renting a free standing home… ABB created the “problem”.
So what will we do if the crunch comes and requires an owner on property? another unit …and live separately from husband 2 blocks away.
It is all so ridiculous. Good owners…like me…are being hurt by the expansion.
Just sayin"


I get that it can be bad in some big city locations esp. in condo situations when people are loud but I live in a rural area (wine country) and the tourists we get are very different.

One of the main complaints of people here who live in neighborhoods with multiple STRs is that they don’t know who lives next door, that they don’t have neighbors to talk to over the fence and that this takes away from their quality of life. I say at least with a STR you know the property will be taken care of and guests aren’t there all the time so you do get peace and quiet whereas you could have a neighbor who has 5 barking dogs, junk cars, those horrible blow up holiday yard decorations that they never take down etc. etc. To this end one woman testified at a city council meeting that she was glad to have a STR next door because prior to that the house a meth den and now it was clean and tidy and quiet.

Again, our typical tourist is here for the weekend and gone and the tourist season is roughly from Spring Release to Fall Release then the cold and snow sets in and no one comes. I actually close from November to March because I don’t want to have to deal with guests trying to navigate my steep driveway should we have 2ft of snow on the ground plus it allows me to offer my home to friends and family during the holidays.

Another thing the city enacted when they decided to regulate STR is to require a parking spot for each guest plus one. This is a real hardship on people since many of the homes were built before cars were common so they’re lucky to even have a driveway. Makes you wonder - Joe Average citizen isn’t required to have a parking spot for each of his guest when he has overnights.

But again I live in the county on 60 acres so my issues are not the issue of the city dwellers. I hope our county commissioners take the city/county differences into account when they enact their regulations later this year.

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