The Cherokee County Board of Commissioners last discussed short-term rental laws at a public meeting on June 1, 2021, where short-term rentals are defined as less than 30 days. The short-term rental draft ordinance currently includes the following requirements.
Pending Short-Term Rental Laws in Cherokee
The Board of Commissioners’ primary concerns seems to be with properties owned and operated by non-residents, and how to create standards to prevent homes from being used as party houses unbeknownst to the owners. With this in mind each short-term rental property is subject to the following requirements:
- A separate short-term rental certificate shall be required for each property used for short-term rental (the cert. Number must be listed on any advertisements).
- No short-term rental shall function as a special event facility, lodge, campground, or similar use.
- Hosts must provide proof of ownership of the short-term rental;
- Hosts must provide proof of insurance; and
- Hosts must provide a written confirmation from the local contact person that he or she agrees to perform the duties specified in this division.
As we see with this drafted ordinance, many communities are passing laws with some type of insurance requirement. The concern is most are inadequate or often misleading.
Short-Term Rental Laws – Insurance Requirements
The primary reason for an insurance requirement is to ensure that short-term rental owners are properly protected from injuries or property damage. However, the current requirement may cause confusion for owners as the type of insurance is not defined.
Commercial general liability is found in business insurance policies and protects the insured against claims of bodily injury or property damage they could be found legally liable. It is the most comprehensive liability insurance one can purchase for short-term rentals.
Additionally, when defining the “proof” of insurance, cities or counties can easily require a “certificate of insurance” which is a standardized form to show proof of insurance to various interested parties, including banks, mortgage lenders, or in this case, cities or counties requiring owners to provide proof of insurance to obtain a short-term rental certificate.
Short-Term Rental Laws – Safety Requirements
Understandably, cities and counties are concerned with safety for their communities and how short-term rental businesses change the livability for local owners and families. This encourages safety requirements for short-term rental owners.
After discussing the insurance requirement above, it is also important to point out that an insurance requirement tends to make communities safer. By requiring owners to secure commercial general liability insurance, the city is creating a barrier to entry that eliminates non-professionals and implements stricter insurance carrier underwriting requirements for these properties.
Underwriting requirements can meet county requirements such as property inspections, smoke alarms in all bedrooms, fire extinguishers, chimney cleanings, type of wiring, railings on all stairways, and a general higher level for standard of care.
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