LEXINGTON — Lexington County, home to popular tourist spot Lake Murray, is considering joining other South Carolina counties and cities in regulating short-term rentals.
Councilwoman Charli Wessinger, whose district covers the Chapin area on Lake Murray’s north side, said she is hearing increasing concerns about noisy renters and parking in the street blocking the roads for residents and emergency vehicles. Much of the area around the lake is unincorporated, which means it's up to the county to regulate short-term rentals there.
Wessinger has not put forward a formal proposal but she said the council will take up the issue at the beginning of 2022. Cities and counties in South Carolina have banned or limited short-term rentals in residential areas, capped the number of guests per rental and required business licenses and permits.
Columbia leaders moving forward with short-term rental policy study"> Columbia leaders moving forward with short-term rental policy study
Columbia, Charleston, Myrtle Beach and other cities sued Airbnb and other short-term rental companies in April, alleging the companies have failed to pay local accommodations and business license taxes for years.
There were 310 active short-term rental properties in the Lexington County ZIP codes surrounding Lake Murray during the third quarter of this year, according to data from the industry tracker AirDNA.
About a third of those rentals were located in the Chapin area, the self-proclaimed capital of Lake Murray, with average daily rates of $279, which is higher than the average $257 in Charleston. The number of short-term rentals in the area around the lake has almost doubled since the third quarter of 2018, AirDNA data show.
Lexington County Councilman Darrell Hudson, who represents part of the town of Lexington and neighborhoods adjacent to the lake, said he would be concerned with the scope of a countywide ordinance requiring a business license for short-term rentals. Hudson said he’s also received complaints from constituents about short-term renters in residential neighborhoods.
North Charleston considers its first short-term rental regulations"> North Charleston considers its first short-term rental regulations
South Carolina property owners pay a higher 6 percent property tax on second homes or those used for short-term rentals if they don’t live at that location. Primary residences can be rented for up to 72 days without costing owners the higher tax rate.
If Lexington County council members decide to move forward with potential regulations, the county would join several local governments in the state that have taken up the issue of short-term rentals.
Richland County prohibits short-term rentals in unincorporated areas. The city of Columbia is conducting a study of a proposed ordinance that would ban any short-term rentals in residential neighborhoods where the owner does not live on site. That proposal was met with opposition from the local chamber of commerce and Airbnb hosts.
Charleston only allows primary residences to serve as short-term rentals and limits the number of guests to four. Charleston County requires a zoning permit and business license for rentals in unincorporated areas.
Greenville bans short-term rentals in certain residential zones, and Myrtle Beach doesn’t allow them in residential areas at all. Most recently, lawmakers in North Charleston, the state's third-largest city, will vote this fall on a proposal that would only allow four adults to stay up to 29 days per rental.
Charleston and Greenville have both looked to private software companies, such as Granicus, to help code enforcement departments track listings across their cities and identify those breaking the law. Before they cracked down on short-term rentals, both cities found hundreds of illegal listings.
Source : https://www.postandcourier.com/columbia/business/lexington-county-to-consider-curbs-for-short-term-vacation-rentals/article_717722da-3204-11ec-91cd-431684fcd1db.html2380