Short Term Rentals

Click the link for a list of registered short-term rental properties in Norfolk: 

Registered STRs (PDF)

Getting Started

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

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

What is a Vacation Rental?

The definition varies depending on where your property is in Norfolk. To determine your Character District, click here.

In the Downtown, Traditional, or Suburban Character Districts:

  • a property 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.

In the Coastal Character District:

  • The entire property is rented out and is not the owner’s primary residence.

If your property is in the Coastal Character District, a Conditional Use Permit (CUP) is required under the following circumstances:

  • The property is a single-family home containing 4-5 bedrooms
  • The property lacks the required number of parking spaces (see below).
  • The property is a multi-family building with four or more units.

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.

Vacation Rental Parking Requirements

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

Vacation Rental Parking Requirements 

Character District

1 Bedroom

2 Bedrooms

3 Bedrooms

4 Bedrooms 

5 Bedrooms

Downtown

1

1

2

2

3

Traditional

1

1

2

3

3

Suburban

1

2

3

4

5

Coastal

1

1

1

2 (CUP Required)

3 (CUP Required)









In order to be counted, parking spaces must be 8x18 feet, paved, and on your property. Parking on unimproved surfaces or City property is not permitted. 

Additional Requirements:

  • 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 person as well as the phone number of the City’s 24-hour call center (757-664-6510).
  • 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. 


What is a Homestay?

The definition varies depending on where your property is in Norfolk. To determine your Character District, click here.

In the Downtown, Traditional, or Suburban Character Districts:

  • 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.

In the Coastal Character District:

  • The provision of a space within a dwelling unit when the owner of the property uses the dwelling unit as their primary residence. In this scenario, operators may either rent out their entire home or provide private rooms to rent for fewer than 30 consecutive nights.

Homestay Parking Requirements

One off-street parking space is required for each bedroom provided for rent, regardless of Character District. To be counted, spaces must be 8x18 feet, paved, and on your property. Parking on unimproved surfaces or City property is not permitted.

Homestay Parking Requirements

Character District

1 Bedroom

2 Bedrooms

3 Bedrooms

4 Bedrooms

5 Bedrooms

Downtown

1

2

3

4

5

Traditional

1

2

3

4

5

Suburban

1

2

3

4

5

Coastal

1

2

3

4

5









Additional Requirements:

  • 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 person as well as the phone number of the City’s 24-hour call center (757-664-6510).
  • 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: 

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.

  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. Parking on City property is not permitted for Short-Term Rentals.
    • STR in the Coastal Character District requires additional documentation.
      • Photo of driver’s license to confirm address of primary residence
      • 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
  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.