Short-term rental operators in Fayetteville can begin licensing process


Short-term rental operators can now begin securing business licenses for each of their units.

The City Council last month approved a proposal to legalize the short-term rental of homes through services like Airbnb and VRBO.

The new rules require anyone operating a short-term rental to get a business license and a safety inspection if the unit is not in one of the city’s commercial or mixed-used zoning districts where hotels are allowed.

Short-term rentals are categorized as either Type 1 or Type 2.

Type 1 rentals are homes that the owners live in, but sometimes rent out rooms or the entire house to guests when they’re out of town. Accessory dwelling units also count as Type 1 properties. Type 2 rentals are rented all year, and have no owners living in them.

Owners of both types must pay the city’s 2% hotel, motel and restaurant (HMR) tax, and are required to obtain vacation rental or short-term rental insurance coverage. They must also designate a representative who can be at the unit within three hours in case of an emergency.

Type 2 owners have an additional requirement to obtain a conditional use permit from the Planning Commission if the rental is located in a residential neighborhood.

The new law includes an occupancy limit which states that a short-term rental can only house two people per bedroom plus two more. Special events – like parties, weddings, anniversaries and receptions – are not allowed. Parking is limited to the maximum number of vehicles allowed in the underlying zoning district.

The ordinance went into effect May 21, but the council included a six-month grace period for all operators to come into compliance without a Planning Commission hearing. That deadline is Nov. 21, 2021.

Business licenses may be applied for online at

The following information is required to obtain an short-term rental (STR) business license:

  • Physical street address of the rental property
  • The type and total number of dwelling units located on the lot containing the STR unit.
  • If the owner is not the own agent, the owner-designated agent’s information, including legal name, mailing address, immediate contact phone number and immediate contact e-mail address
  • Documentation of approval of a life safety and egress inspection by the city’s Building Safety Division for the rental unit
  • Proof of vacation rental or STR insurance coverage
  • Proof of application for remittance of the city’s hotel, motel and restaurant (HMR) tax, and verification that all sales, use, and HMR taxes are current
  • An approved conditional use permit for Type 2 units licensed after the 6-month grace period

Beginning June 18, all short-term rental operators will also need to register with the city’s new landlord contact registry.