Asheville homestays and short-term rentals — why regulate?

The growing share economy has broadened travel accommodation options. Now, when planning a vacation, people may decide they want:

  • A place with a kitchen so we can save money on dining;
  • A local, neighborhood experience;
  • Accommodations in a more affordable price range;
  • A place that allows us bring our four-legged friends along;
  • All of the above.


So they bypass a hotel and instead rent a house or apartment.


While this practice has been common in beach communities for years, it’s now moved into many cities, including Asheville. There is no lack of tourists looking for these types of accommodations. And homeowners are responding.


Renting out part of a home to travelers for short visits can provide homeowners with much-needed additional income. This income may help the homeowner pay his or her mortgage, property taxes and/or utility bills. The City of Asheville understands this, and we want to allow residents the opportunity to legally generate income.


But as with any business venture where money is exchanged for goods or services, requirements are needed to uphold community standards. It is City government’s role and responsibility to protect the safety and welfare of its residents, neighborhoods and guests.


Neighbors want to know that the overnight rental next door will not become a spring break hotel and keep them up all night. Public safety professionals want to be sure that the property is safe for guests — that the electrical system is up-to-code, smoke detectors are installed, paths to fire exits are clear, etc.


In addition to providing an opportunity for residents to generate income, the City must also keep visitor accommodations safe and protect neighborhood character.


Our regulations are meant to protect you, your neighbors, and your guests — but to be successful, we need your help. If you are interested in providing your residence as a homestay and are not sure your home meets the requirements, please contact Shannon Morgan with the City of Asheville Development Services department at or 828-259-5829. He’s here to help answer your questions and guide you through the process.


Related coverage:

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