Want to rent your place for Something in the Water? VB allowing short-term rentals for festival


VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — Pharrell’s “Something In the Water” festival could put something in your pocket.

In a video posted on Twitter, Pharrell announced a special partnership with Airbnb for that weekend of April 26.

“It’s not only a way for you guys to make money, but its also like a way for you guys to open up your doors and show the inclusivity and diversity we have back in Virginia,” he said.

Pharrell reached out to Airbnb and the company’s Senior Communications Manager, Liz DeBold-Fusco, told WAVY.com they immediately said yes to the idea. 

“The best thing about Airbnb is that ability to peek inside someone else’s life and get a taste of the local community.”

DeBold Fusco says Airbnb is prepared to help Virginia Beach the same way it helped Atlanta during the last Super Bowl.

The company will be providing on the ground training for first time hosts and adressing issues including safety, how to communicate with guests and how to be a good host.

“Meeting sort of the basic requirments we have for every Airbnb stay … providing toiletries and so on and so forth,” she said.

Airbnb will also have a dedicated customer support team in Virginia Beach ready to respond to hosts and guests during the festival.

DeBold Fusco says they are still working out details on when and where the training will take place.

As for the money? Airbnb is working the numbers and expects to put out estimates on what you can make later this week.

It’s free to sign up on their website. The company takes a 3% cut.

As you may be aware, the laws surrounding short-term rentals in Virginia Beach will change November 1.

10 On Your Side reached out to the city to find out if this is legal. 

We were told you must register with the commissioner of the revenue and pay your taxes if you want to rent your home, though you’re still not legal with zoning until the new law goes into effect.

The city is not encouraging it, but also isn’t enforcing the zoning rules.

Here’s the city’s official statement on the matter: 

On January 15, 2019, City Council approved short term rental and home sharing regulations that will take effect on November 1, 2019.  Short term rentals are not currently a recognized use under the City Zoning Ordinance; however, the adopted ordinance implicitly recognizes that this activity is taking place in some areas of the City and has provided property owners time to comply with the new regulations. 

By separate ordinance, the City Council has required all properties being operated as a short term rental to be registered with the Commissioner of the Revenue and to collect and remit transient occupancy taxes.  These requirements are currently in effect.  

Please consider the following if you intend on using your property as a short term rental during the Something in the Water festival:

  • You must register the property with the Commissioner of Revenue prior to commencing the rental activity and pay the appropriate transient occupancy tax.
  • All properties operating as a home share or short term rental after November 1, 2019, must comply with the Short Term Rental Ordinances enacted on January 15, 2019. 

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