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Short Term Rentals

Common questions and answers regarding Short-Term Rentals/Bed and Breakfasts in the Town of James Island:


In summary:


  1. Does the Town of James Island allow property owners to rent their home out as a short-term rental, which is less than 30 days that can be rented on a nightly, weekend, or weekly basis on Airbnb, VRBO, HomeAway, etc. if the home is not owner-occupied?

No, in order to have a legal Bed & Breakfast or short-term rental for less than 30 days, the home must be full-time owner-occupied and go through the correct application process (see below).

  1. Is there a minimum night requirement for a home that is not full-time owner occupied to be rented out in a single-family residential district?

Yes, a home must be rented out for a minimum of 30 days at a time if it is not full-time owner occupied.

  1. What are the application requirements to become a legal Bed & Breakfast in the Town?

The requirements are as follows:

  • Completed Home Occupation Application
  • Completed Business License Application
  • Proof of full-time residency from provided Tax Bill
  • Compliance with fire safety checklist (provided on application)
  • Provide floor plan of home - rooms should be labeled and must indicate the location of fire extinguishers, smoke and/or carbon monoxide detectors, operable windows and emergency lighting.
  • Parking Plan for guests- no on street parking allowed

The Bed & Breakfasts Application is available here: Bed & Breakfasts Complete Package

If you have any additional questions regarding short-term rentals/ bed & Breakfasts, please contact the Town of James Island Planning/Zoning Department at 843-795-4141 or

The Town of James Island's regulations on Short-Term Rentals/ Bed & Breakfasts in the Low-Density Suburban Residential (RSL) zoned neighborhoods, from the Zoning and Land Development Regulations Ordinance (ZLDR) are below:



HOTEL-MOTEL. A building or portion thereof, or a group of buildings, which provides sleeping accommodations, with or without meal service, for transients on a daily or weekly basis, whether such establishment is designated as a hotel, inn, automobile court, motel, motor inn, motor ledge, tourist cabin, tourist court, or tourist home.

§ 153.110 USE TABLE

Hotels or Motels, and Rooming or Boarding Houses, are not allowed in an RSL (Low-Density Suburban Residential) zoning district according to the Use Table that can be found in Section 153.110.

"Bed and Breakfasts" are allowed in an RSL zoning district with Conditions, with a Home Occupation Permit (must be full-time owner-occupied), Business License, and additional safety requirements. The Conditions are in Section 153.124 and Home Occupations in Section 153.210.

Month-to-month rentals are allowed.