Reviewed and updated 7/22/2020

Officials in Charleston are growing concerned as the short-term rental listings in the city increase into the hundreds. The lack of available space in downtown Charlestown has led to increased costs and its unsure how rentals will affect that.

The concerns are large enough that the city has created a “short-term rental task force” to help regulate the rentals.

It’s unknown what the task force has in mind for rental owners but it does appear they’re interested in ordinance similar to what the city of San Francisco recently passed.

Update: Short-term rental Operational Requirements including the following details: 

  • The Residential STR shall be operated by the record owner of the subject property who shall also be a Resident of the subject property and who shall be residing overnight on the property while Residential STR guests are present; and
  • The Resident owner shall comply with all business license and revenue collection laws of the City of Charleston, Berkeley County or Charleston County, whichever is applicable, and State of South Carolina; and
  • The Resident owner and the owner’s agent shall list the Residential STR Permit number on all advertisements, listings with booking services, and marketing materials, including without limitation, Airbnb, Vrbo/Homeaway, FlipKey, and any other online websites and listing or booking platforms or services.
  • The record owner of the subject property must keep in full force and effect during all times the STR is operated a general liability policy with a company authorized to do business in the State of South Carolina insuring against personal liability and property damage with limits of no less than $1,000,000 per occurance.

These are important details for hosts like yourself in Charleston to review and operate your vacation rental business in accordance with City and State requirements. You can access the complete ordiance here on the Charleston government website: Short Term Rental Ordinance Process.

Why it’s important to define “liability insurance”

With the explosive growth of short-term rental properties found on websites such as Airbnb and Vrbo, communities are struggling to find common ground regulation. Many communities have already passed ordinances and laws with which all have some type of insurance requirement. However, simply stating “liability insurance” doesn’t accomplish much as there are three types of liability coverage one can purchase in the open market: personal liability, premise liability, and commercial general liability.

Too often personal and premise liability won’t suffice for short-term rentals as they both hold a business activity exclusion (i.e. short-term rental business). On the other hand, commercial general liability is readily available for purchase in the open market for short-term rental owners and provides coverage for business activity. When you hand your keys over to guests in exchange for payment, you’ll want to make sure you have the correct coverage for any accident that might occur relating to your business (dog bite, slip and fall, amenity related injury, etc.).

Proper Insurance leads the nation for short-term vacation rental insurance with over 40,000 policies written in all 50 states. They would be happy to provide you with a comprehensive quote for your vacation rental scenario.

Do you have questions on coverage? Want to verify your insurance today? Call Proper today to discuss – (888) 631-6680!

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