Community Development  |  Homestays


Applying for a Homestays Permit

Changes to Homestays Regulations


What is a Homestay? 

Homestays are the rental of guest rooms for less than 30 days.

Other names for homestays include: Accessory Tourist Lodging, Bed and Breakfasts, AirBnB, short-term rentals (STR), and short-term lodging (STL). 

Homestays are currently licensed through a Bed and Breakfast or Accessory Tourist Lodging permit. 






1. Confirm whether your property is located in a Residential or Planned Residential District or the Rural Areas district using the Zoning Map of the County GIS

2. Confirm that your proposed Homestay use follows the current regulations by contacting Zoning Staff.

3. Prepare a Floor Plan Sketch with labeled (a) guest bedrooms and guest spaces; (b) the bedrooms to be used for resident owner/manager; and (c) required off-street parking spaces. This could be provided on the back of your application form.

4. Contact the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) for your Transient Lodging Review approval.

5. Complete the applicable application for your zoning district.

Residential/Planned Residential District - Accessory Tourist Lodging               

Rural Area - Bed and Breakfast Application 

6. Follow the Fire Marshal and Building Inspector's Homestay Safety Checklist (below).

7. Submit your completed homestay application, two forms of identification showing proof of residence (see right), your approved VDH Transient Lodging Review, and the $158 application fees ($108 Homestay Clearance application fee + $50 Fire Marshal inspection fee).

8. Contact the Building Official to arrange for your fire safety and building code inspection.

9. If deemed necessary, Zoning may contact you to arrange a Zoning inspection.



- The address of the property has to be posted at the driveway so emergency vehicles can find the property. If more than two structures 

- A 2A:10BC fire extinguisher installed in the kitchen area, preferably on a wall and not in a cabinet.

- An emergency evacuation floor plan showing direction to the exterior and also contains the 911 address of the property in each habitable room. This is similar to the diagram you see on the back of your hotel room door showing where to go in an emergency.

- An operable emergency escape and rescue opening in each bedroom. Layman’s terms, window not painted shut that meets the building code.

- No extension cords used in lieu of permeant wiring. Power strips are allowed if sized properly and contain overcurrent protection built into the strip.

- Interconnected smoke alarms installed in each sleeping room, outside each sleeping room in the vicinity of the bedrooms, on each additional story of the dwelling, including basements and habitable attics, as required by the Building Code.


Zoning Staff: Rebecca Ragsdale,, 434-296-5832, ext. 3226 OR Lea Brumfield,, 434-296-5832, ext. 3023

Building Official: Michael Dellinger,, 434-296-5832 ext. 3228

Health Department: Alan Mazurowski, (434) 972-6219

Finance Department: 434-296-5851, Option 3