Short Term Rentals

Click the link for a list of registered short-term rental properties in Norfolk 
Registered STRs (PDF)

If you are having problems with a property that is operating as an STR and can't resolve the issue with the property owner, please visit www.mynorfolk.org to submit a formal complaint.


Please read this page thoroughly - updates reflect new City Ordinance.

Getting Started

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

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

What is a Vacation Rental?

  • The provision of a dwelling unit for rent to a guest for fewer than 30 consecutive nights when all owners are staying off the premises at any time during the rental period.

What is a Homestay?

  • The provision of a room or rooms within a dwelling unit for rent to a guest for fewer than 30 consecutive nights when an owner of the property is present on the premises during the entire rental period.

Properties will be partly vetted according to their Character and Zoning Districts.

To determine your Zoning District or Character District, click here to look up your address and review the Zoning tab.

To view your Character District on a map, click here to see the Character District Map.

In some instances, a Conditional Use Permit (CUP) is required to operate a Short-Term Rental. Some instances requiring a CUP are based on bedrooms or the Zoning Districts. 

Some common examples requiring a CUP are (this is not a complete list): 

  • Any property without sufficient parking
  • Any Vacation Rental properties in Zoning Districts: SF-T, SF-10, MF-NS
  • Vacation Rental housed in a building with 4 or more bedrooms total in Zoning Districts: R-C, SF-2, SF-4, SF-6
  • Vacation Rental properties with 3 or more total Dwelling Units in Zoning Districts: R-C, D
  • Homestay properties with 4 or more bedrooms total on the property

Conditional Use Permits have a $1080 fee and take approximately 2-3 months. Please contact the Planning Department at planning@norfolk.gov to schedule a required pre-application meeting with Staff.

Short-Term Rental Parking Requirements

Parking requirements vary depending on where your property is in Norfolk. To determine your Character District, click here.

To be counted as Valid spaces, parking spaces must:

  • Be 8x18 feet each
  • paved per City Ordinance, and
  • ON YOUR PROPERTY

Parking on unimproved or unpaved surfaces or City property is not permitted. Garages only count as 1 spot total, even if more cars can fit inside. There must also be cleared space for use as a rental spot.

There can be extenuating circumstances that change the amount of parking from the table below.

Vacation Rental Parking Requirements 

Character District

1 Bedroom

2 Bedrooms

3 Bedrooms

4 Bedrooms 

5 Bedrooms

Downtown

1

1

2

2 (CUP Required)

3 (CUP Required)

Traditional

1

1

2

3 (CUP Required)

3 (CUP Required)

Suburban

1

2

3

4 (CUP Required)

5 (CUP Required)

Coastal

1

1

1

2 (CUP Required)

3 (CUP Required)









Additional Requirements for Vacation Rentals:

  • All Short-Term Rentals operating with three or more units in the same building are now required to obtain a new Certificate of Occupancy.
  • Operators must post a sign on the interior AND exterior of the property informing guests and neighbors of the name and phone number of an emergency contact individual WHO CAN RESPOND ON-SITE TO THE PROPERTY WITHIN 20 MINUTES, as well as the phone number of the City’s call center (757-664-6510) and website (www.mynorfolk.org) in the event of any complaints or issues.
  • Whenever a driveway area is shared with an adjacent property, written permission from all owners of the adjacent property must be provided in your application.
  • The maximum occupancy of all guests is two (2) for each bedroom being offered for rent.
  • The operator shall provide remote entry for all guests, changing the access code between stays.
  • Remote accessible surveillance cameras shall be maintained facing the parking area and all exterior common areas. Recordings shall be stored for 30 days after a stay and be made available to city staff upon request.
  • Interior decibel meters shall be maintained in the home's main congregation rooms to notify the operator upon detecting excessive noise levels.
  • The operator shall be responsible for ensuring that waste containers are placed in their enclosures within 24 hours after the day the waste is collected for disposal. 

Additional Requirements for Homestays:

  • All Short-Term Rentals operating with three or more units in the same building are now required to obtain a new Certificate of Occupancy.
  • Operators must post a sign on the interior AND exterior of the property informing guests and neighbors of the name and phone number of an emergency contact individual WHO CAN RESPOND ON-SITE TO THE PROPERTY WITHIN 20 MINUTES, as well as the phone number of the City’s call center (757-664-6510) and website (www.mynorfolk.org) in the event of any complaints or issues.
  • Whenever a driveway area is shared with an adjacent property, written permission from all owners of the adjacent property must be provided in your application.
  • The maximum occupancy is two people per bedroom being offered to guests.
  • Boarders are not permitted.
  • Condominiums are permitted to operate as Homestays, but operators must provide written permission from the condo association in the application. 

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
  • Conditional Use Permit (if required): $1080

Business Licenses

City of Norfolk Short Term Rental Registration Process

Permits are valid for two years. 

If registering a duplex or triplex, operators must submit an individual application for each unit. 

Please note that these steps are only for the Zoning Permit, not the Conditional Use Permit. They 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, including medical payments.
    • Photograph of the off-street parking area on the property. Parking on City property is not permitted for Short-Term Rentals.
    • Photo of driver’s license to confirm address of primary residence of operating a Homestay.
    • Written permission of all adjacent property owners if there is a shared driveway.
    • If applying for a Homestay permit in a Condominium, written permission from the Condo Association or other similar organization
    • Please allow 5-10 business days to process your application
    • Host Compliance, the City’s third-party registration company, sends automatic emails to applicants when staff reviews an application. Please be sure to check your spam filter for your approval/denial notification.
  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 STR@norfolk.gov. 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 units or properties, you must have a business license for each unit that is operating. 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 only when you have received both your Zoning Permit and Business License.**

Have Questions? Please email STR@norfolk.gov and staff will assist you.