Short Term Rentals

Getting Started

You may only operate a Short-Term Rental if you have the following:

  1. Off-Street Parking (based on number of rooms in your home)
  2. Registration Permit or Conditional Use Permit (Link Below)
  3. Business License (you may only get a business license after you get your permit)

What is a Vacation Rental?

A Vacation Rental is a property for rent for fewer than 30 consecutive nights when the owners of the property are not staying in the home.

  • The maximum occupancy is two per bedroom, with no more than ten guests.
  • Off-Street parking requirement is based on the number of bedrooms being rented and is different for each Character District in Norfolk.

Vacation Rental Parking Requirements

To determine your Character District, click here.

  • Downtown Character District = 0.5 Spaces per Bedroom
  • Traditional Character District = 0.67 Spaces per Bedroom
  • Suburban Character District = 1 Space per Bedroom
  • Coastal Character District = 1.2 Spaces per Bedroom

What is a Homestay?

A Homestay is a space within a dwelling unit for rent to a guest for fewer than 30 consecutive nights when the owner of the property is present on the premises throughout the entire rental period.

  • The maximum occupancy is two per bedroom, with no more than ten guests.
  • Boarders are not permitted.
  • One off-street parking space is required for each bedroom provided for rent, regardless of Character District.

How much does it cost to register?

Registration is free; however, there are some associated costs.

  • Fire Inspection: $50 to $75
  • Business License: $50 to $75

Business Licenses

City of Norfolk Short Term Rental Registration Process

Please note that these steps must be completed in order: 

  1. Complete online registration application. Within the online application, you must provide the following information: 
    • Proof of liability insurance, covering injury to a guest on the property, of no less than $300,000.
    • Photograph of the off-street parking area on the property. On-street parking is not permitted for Short-Term Rentals.
      • Please allow 5-10 business days to process your application
  2. If your application is denied, you may not operate a Short-Term Rental in the City of Norfolk. If your application is approved, contact the Fire Marshal's Office at 757-664-6604 to schedule a fire inspection at your property. Send your proof of fire inspection to The Fire Marshal will not perform inspections on properties that have not been approved by Planning.
  3. When the Planning staff receives the proof of fire inspection, they will provide you with your Zoning Permit, which is valid for 2 years. 
  4. Schedule your Zoning Inspection once you have received your Permit. If you do not schedule your zoning inspection, your permit will expire prematurely.
  5. Apply for your Business License. If you plan to rent out multiple properties, you must have a business license for each property. Please note that you will not be able to get your Business License until you have received your Zoning Permit. 
  6. You may begin operating when you have received both your Zoning Permit and Business License.

Have Questions? Please email and staff will assist you.