Asheville homestay and short-term rental update: Regulation changes and active enforcement

Asheville has it all: urban life, outdoor adventure, art, food and culture … all packaged in a beautiful location with the perfect climate to enjoy them in. It is no wonder that we’re such a popular vacation destination.
But like the rest of the country, Asheville’s residents and businesses have been struggling to figure out how best to manage the short-term lodging opportunities that this popularity has offered our residents. We want to allow residents the opportunity to legally generate income, and at the same time we must keep visitor accommodations safe and protect neighborhood character. Asheville’s short-term rental and homestay regulations have been carefully crafted to meet all of those needs.

Difference between homestays and short-term rentals

The City of Asheville allows two types of paid overnight lodging accommodations within a home or apartment for under 30 days.
A homestay is the rental of a room or rooms in a private home. A permanent resident must be staying in the home during the time of the homestay. Homestays can be permitted in residentially-zoned areas if they meet the regulatory requirements of the zone district.
Overnight rental of an entire dwelling unit is called a short-term rental (STR), and these types of uses are prohibited in all residential districts. STRs can only be permitted in commercially zoned areas and will require a change of use permit.

Recent changes to the homestay regulations

In November, City Council adopted numerous updates to  Asheville’s homestay regulations. These updates addressed public comments heard by Council at its Aug. 25 meeting and clarified the requirements, in an effort to better protect visitor safety and neighborhood character. These updates included clarification of the definitions, a decrease in number of bedrooms that can be rented out in a homestay from three to two, and reduced the percentage of the home that can be used for a homestay from 25% to no restriction. The signed ordinance can be read here: Homestay ordinance adopted Nov. 17, 2015.

Easier application process

The City has hired Shannon Morgan as the homestay and short-term rental enforcement employee, and active enforcement has begun. Mr. Morgan would like to help residents get permits for their conforming homestays or short-term rentals, and is available to answer questions and guide you through the process. You can contact him at or 828- 259-5829.
Once a resident with an illegal homestay or STR has received notice, they will have 30 days to become compliant before being issued a fine.
The City of Asheville is happy to provide clear and fair regulations for vacation rentals. We urge residents that are offering vacation rentals to contact Mr. Morgan today to get your property permitted.