Short Term Rentals
All property owners who rent residential units (i.e. houses, condos, apartments, hotel rooms) for any length of time must obtain an Isle of Palms short term rental business license.
The short-term rental ordinance for City of Isle of Palms can be found at the link here. It specifies, among other things, the calculations for maximum overnight occupancy.
Short-Term Rental Application
Owners of short-term rentals must acknowledge that they have read and understand certain code requirements listed below under the Short-Term Residential
Business License Disclosure as part of the application process.
As part of the application, applicants must also provide the following documentation:
- Fire Safety Acknowledgement Form
- Copy of Schedule E Form 1040 for individuals or Form 8825 for corporations to verify gross receipts
Short term rental license fees are based on the gross income generated by the rental during the previous calendar year.
The fee is $450 for the first $2,000 earned in gross income and $4.60 for each additional thousand in gross income. A fee schedule is linked here.
To avoid late fees please ensure rental fees are paid by April 30th.
Short Term Residential Business License Disclosure
Maximum Overnight Occupancy. The maximum overnight occupancy of a residence is typically two people per bedroom, plus two people up to a maximum occupancy of 12 (excluding children under the age of two (2) years).
Upon the issuance of a rental license, the City will provide a written notice to be posted in the residence that will indicate the maximum overnight occupancy.
Maximum Occupancy at Any Time. At no time shall the total number of persons at a residence exceed twice the overnight occupancy or forty (40) persons, including children, whichever is less.
Maximum Number of Vehicles. The maximum number of vehicles that may be located at a residence between the hours of 11:00 p.m. to 9:00 a.m. shall be limited to the greater of one vehicle per bedroom or one vehicle for every 2.5 people allowed under the maximum overnight occupancy. In no instance shall the number of vehicles allowed be less than two.
Single-Family Homes. Rental units must be offered in their entirety. Owners cannot offer private rooms or shared rooms within single-family homes as this violates the single-family zoning and building code provisions of the City.
Written Notice to be Posted in Residence. A written notice provided by the City which contains information about certain ordinances generally impacting tenants of Short-term rentals shall be posted conspicuously and maintained in the unit by the owner and displayed at all times.
Contact Information. The owner must provide the City with a 24/7 telephone number that can be used to contact an owner or an owner's representative. The owner's representative must be able to be on site within one hour.
General Penalty. Any rental unit owner or person or entity in possession or control of a rental unit, who knowingly allows other persons or entities to violate or to continue to violate any provision of the City Code on the property of such owner, or who knowingly allows habitual violations of this Code to occur on the property is guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be punished by a fine not exceeding $500, exclusive of court costs or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 30 days or both per the discretion of the municipal judge. Each day of any such violation shall constitute a separate offense.
Revocation of License. The City may revoke a license when a licensee has engaged in or allowed an unlawful activity or nuisance relating to the business; or licensee has demonstrated an inability or unwillingness to prevent licensee's tenants from engaging in unlawful activities or creating nuisances related to the business. The City may revoke a license when the licensee has had five (5) or more complaints of unlawful activity within a single calendar year that are determined to be founded by the Police Department.
Additional Information on Short-Term Rentals of Residential Property
- Unless the property qualifies as the primary legal residence of the owner according to the SC Code of Laws, Section 12-43-220, the property will be assessed at 6% of the fair market value for purposes of calculating property taxes.
- South Carolina law states that all items of personal property used to furnish rental units shall be assessed for property tax purposes. The SC Code of Laws also requires that an annual report of valuation of this property be filed between January 1st and April 30th. More information can be obtained at the Charleston County Auditor's Office, 101 Meeting Street in Charleston (843-958-4000) or at the County's website, http://www.charlestoncounty.org.
- Residential Rentals for periods of 30 days or less (for Charleston County and City of Isle of Palms) or 90 days or less (for the State of SC) require collection and remittance of the following taxes:
Tax or Fee
State of SC
State Sales Tax
State of SC
Local Option Sales Tax
State of SC
Charleston County Transportation Tax
State of SC
State Accommodations Tax
State of SC
Charleston County School Tax
County of Charleston Accommodations Tax
City of Isle of Palms Accommodations Tax
City of Isle of Palms Beach Preservation Fee
While an owner can designate their agent to collect and remit these taxes, the property owner is ultimately responsible for the proper payment of these taxes.
Isle of Palms
Short-Term Rental Coordinator
City Hall, 1207 Palm Boulevard
Charleston County Business License/User Fee Dept
Britt Miller, Revenue Collections
Charleston County Government
State of South Carolina
Department of Revenue Charleston District Office
Failure to comply with these provisions could result in monetary penalties and interest charges.