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Mount-Pleasant-South-Carolina-guide

Mount Pleasant, South Carolina

What are short term rental (Airbnb, VRBO) regulations in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina?

The short-term rental regulations in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, encompass a comprehensive set of rules and requirements that hosts must adhere to when operating Airbnb, VRBO, or similar rental properties. These regulations include the implementation of a two-tier permit system, distinguishing between part-time permits for rentals between 15 to 72 days per year and full-time permits for rentals exceeding 72 days annually.

Hosts are required to obtain a business license from the town, display their permit and license numbers in advertisements and within the rental unit, and have a designated local agent for emergency response. Compliance with safety standards, such as installing smoke detectors and fire extinguishers, designated parking arrangements, and adherence to tax obligations are also key components of the regulations1234.

The town of Mount Pleasant has placed a cap of 400 short-term rental permits to maintain community balance and control. Violations, such as operating as a full-time rental with a part-time permit, can result in rectification fees. The regulations emphasize the importance of proper classification and diligent adherence to the rules to ensure a fair and sustainable short-term rental environment23.

Mount Pleasant's short-term rental regulations have sparked discussions and concerns among permit holders, with some expressing apprehension about proposed changes to the ordinance. Issues such as fee increases, a two-tiered system with varying tax rates and permit fees, and potential penalties for non-compliance have been points of contention among short-term rental operators in the town.

The proposed changes have led to debates about the impact on businesses, the necessity for clarity in the regulations, and the need for ongoing dialogue between permit holders and the town council4.

In summary, the short-term rental regulations in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, are designed to balance the interests of the community with the needs of short-term rental operators. These regulations aim to ensure safety, compliance with tax obligations, and the preservation of the town's residential character while addressing the evolving landscape of short-term rentals in the area.

Starting a Short Term Rental Business in Mount Pleasant

Embarking on a short-term rental venture in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, involves adhering to a detailed set of regulations established by the town. Hosts must first ascertain the eligibility of their property for a short-term rental permit, which is categorized into part-time permits for rentals spanning 15 to 72 days annually and full-time permits for rentals exceeding 72 days.

Each permit type entails specific application procedures, fees, and tax obligations.To acquire a part-time permit, hosts must pay an initial application fee of $250, while full-time permit applicants face a $500 fee.

Additionally, part-time rentals are subject to a 4% tax on rental revenue, whereas full-time rentals incur a 6% tax. These taxes are the responsibility of hosts to collect and remit to the appropriate authorities, including the South Carolina Department of Revenue and Charleston County.

Short Term Rental Licensing Requirement in Mount Pleasant

In addition to the short-term rental permit, hosts in Mount Pleasant are mandated to secure a business license from the town. This license serves as an official acknowledgment of the short-term rental operation and must be prominently displayed alongside the permit number in all advertisements and within the rental unit itself.

The application process for the business license entails submitting requisite documentation and paying the associated fees.

Short Term Rental Licensing Requirement in Mount Pleasant

Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, has implemented a comprehensive licensing requirement for short-term rentals. This requirement is designed to ensure that short-term rental operators comply with the necessary permits and licenses to operate legally within the town.

  • Part-Time Permits

For homeowners who plan to rent their properties between 15 to 72 days per year, a part-time permit is required. This permit is available for a fee of $250.

  • Full-Time Permits

For homeowners renting their properties for more than 72 days annually, a full-time permit is required. This permit is available for a fee of $500.

  • Business License

In addition to the short-term rental permit, hosts in Mount Pleasant are also required to obtain a business license from the town. This business license serves as official recognition of the short-term rental operation and must be prominently displayed alongside the permit number in all advertisements and within the rental unit itself.

  • Application Process

The business license application process involves submitting the necessary documentation and paying the associated fees. This ensures that short-term rental operators are properly registered and authorized to conduct their vacation rental activities in Mount Pleasant.

  • Compliance and Enforcement

Failure to obtain the required permit and business license can result in penalties and potential legal action against the short-term rental operator. The town takes these licensing requirements seriously as part of its efforts to maintain control over the short-term rental industry and preserve the residential character of the community.

  • Importance of Compliance

Compliance with the short-term rental licensing requirement is crucial for both the town and the short-term rental operators. The town benefits from the tax revenue generated by the short-term rental industry, while the operators benefit from the legal recognition and protection provided by the permit and business license.

Required Documents for Mount Pleasant Short Term Rentals

To operate a short-term rental in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, hosts must provide a range of documents to ensure compliance with the town's regulations. These documents include:

Short-term Rental Permit

  • Part-time permit (15-72 days per year) requires a $250 application fee
  • Full-time permit (more than 72 days per year) requires a $500 application fee

Business License

  • Short-term rental operators must obtain a business license from the Town of Mount Pleasant
  • The business license number must be displayed alongside the permit number in all advertisements and within the rental unit

Tax Registration and Payments

  • Short-term rental operators must register with the South Carolina Department of Revenue and Charleston County to pay the required taxes
  • This includes a 10% sales and use tax, as well as a 3% accommodations tax on rental revenue

Designated Local Agent

  • All short-term rentals must have a designated local agent who can physically respond to the property within 60 minutes in case of an emergency

Proof of Rental Activity

  • Operators seeking an exemption from the permit cap must provide proof of rentals, including signed lease documents, proof of payment, and proof of tax payments

Additional Requirements

  • Hosts must also provide proof of liability insurance and property insurance
  • Proof of compliance with local zoning and land-use regulations

The town of Mount Pleasant emphasizes the importance of proper documentation and adherence to the rules to ensure a fair and sustainable short-term rental environment. Failure to comply with these regulations can result in penalties and potential legal action against the short-term rental operator.

Mount Pleasant Short Term Rental Taxes

Apart from the permit-specific taxes, short-term rental operators in Mount Pleasant are subject to various other taxes, including property, sales, use, and accommodations taxes. Hosts are obligated to register with the South Carolina Department of Revenue and Charleston County to collect and remit the 10% sales and use tax, as well as the 3% accommodations tax on rental revenue. Non-compliance with these tax obligations can lead to penalties and legal repercussions.

Mount Pleasant-wide Short Term Rental Rules

To preserve the residential ambiance of the community, Mount Pleasant has implemented several rules and regulations for short-term rental properties. These include mandates for designated parking arrangements, adherence to safety standards (such as smoke detectors and fire extinguishers), and a cap of 400 short-term rental permits to maintain a balanced distribution within the town.

The town's objective is to strike a harmonious balance between accommodating short-term rentals and safeguarding the quality of life for its residents.

Does Mount Pleasant Strictly Enforce STR Rules?

Based on the available information, it appears that the town of Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, takes a very proactive and strict approach to enforcing its short-term rental (STR) regulations.

  • Permit Cap and Monitoring

Mount Pleasant has implemented a cap of 400 short-term rental permits to maintain a balanced distribution within the community. The town actively monitors compliance and is prepared to take legal action against any violations of the permit system.

  • Zoning and Safety Requirements

In addition to the permit system, Mount Pleasant has specific zoning and safety requirements for STR properties. Hosts must ensure their properties meet designated parking arrangements, install smoke detectors, fire extinguishers, and adhere to other safety standards. The town closely inspects STR properties to verify compliance.

  • Tax Enforcement

Short-term rental operators in Mount Pleasant are required to register with the South Carolina Department of Revenue and Charleston County to pay the applicable 10% sales and use tax, as well as the 3% accommodations tax. The town closely monitors tax compliance and will penalize hosts who fail to remit the required taxes.

  • Proactive Approach

Mount Pleasant's mayor, Will Haynie, has expressed a strong commitment to maintaining control over the short-term rental industry within the town. He has stated that the town is prepared to legally challenge any state-level efforts that may limit its ability to regulate STRs, indicating a proactive and determined stance on enforcing the local rules.

  • Feedback from Hosts

Discussions on real estate forums like Bigger Pockets suggest that some Airbnb and VRBO hosts in Mount Pleasant have expressed frustration with the town's strict enforcement of STR regulations, particularly the cap on permits. However, others have acknowledged the need to balance community interests with the short-term rental industry.

In summary, Mount Pleasant appears to be highly committed to enforcing its short-term rental regulations, with a focus on maintaining the town's residential character, ensuring safety, and collecting the appropriate taxes. The town's proactive approach and willingness to defend its regulatory authority suggest that it will continue to strictly enforce STR rules in the future.

How to Start a Short Term Rental Business in Mount Pleasant

  • Determine the eligibility of your property for a part-time or full-time short-term rental permit.
  • Obtain a business license from the Town of Mount Pleasant.
  • Register with the South Carolina Department of Revenue and Charleston County for tax purposes.
  • Ensure your property complies with designated parking and safety requirements.
  • Designate a local agent capable of responding to the property within 60 minutes.
  • Display your permit number and business license number in all advertisements and within the rental unit.
  • Submit the required documentation and application fee to the Town of Mount Pleasant for permit approval.

Who to Contact in Mount Pleasant About Short Term Rental Regulations and Zoning?

For inquiries concerning short-term rental regulations and zoning in Mount Pleasant, individuals can reach out to the Town's Planning Department at str@tompsc.com or by calling 843-884-8517.

What do Airbnb Hosts in Mount Pleasant Think About Local Regulations?

Airbnb hosts in Mount Pleasant have expressed a range of opinions regarding the town's local regulations on short-term rentals:

  • Concerns and Compliance: Some hosts have raised concerns about the new regulations requiring permits, business licenses, and compliance with tax obligations. These regulations aim to establish a sustainable and community-friendly environment for short-term rentals in Mount Pleasant3.
  • Draft Ordinance: Hosts have expressed concerns about a new draft ordinance that refines the regulations for short-term rental permits. The ordinance establishes two types of permit holders (part-time and full-time) and clarifies parking guidelines and the application process. Some hosts have raised issues about the 15-day minimum rental requirement and the potential impact on permit holders who may need to pause rentals for various reasons4.
  • Positive Aspects: Despite concerns, many permit holders appreciate the personalized experience they offer to out-of-towners through short-term rentals. They view themselves as a positive aspect of the town, providing a unique and personalized experience compared to traditional accommodations like hotels4.
  • Enforcement and Penalties: Hosts have also discussed the enforcement of regulations and penalties for non-compliance. Some have suggested that violations for operating illegally should have greater consequences than the current penalties outlined in the draft ordinance. Additionally, there are discussions about the need for higher penalties for those who do not comply with parking guidelines and other regulations4.

Overall, the feedback from Airbnb hosts in Mount Pleasant reflects a mix of concerns, appreciation for the personalized experience they offer, and discussions about the enforcement and potential revisions to the town's short-term rental regulations.

⚡️
Reveal your property’s rental profitability

Buy this property and list it on Airbnb.