The City of Savannah defines a short-term vacation rental (STVR) as the rental of an entire dwelling unit (an apartment or house) for 30 days or less. The short-term rental of a room within a dwelling unit is regulated separately as a “bed and breakfast homestay.” To operate legally within the city, STVR managers must complete an application process and secure a STVR certificate.
STVRs are permitted within the short-term vacation rental overlay district, which includes the Downtown, Victorian and Streetcar local historic districts. Outside of this overlay, they are only permitted in certain Business and Agriculture zoning classifications (B-C, B-N, B-L and A-1).
Within the Downtown and Victorian districts, new STVRs in residential areas (see figures 7.5-1 and 7.5-2) are subject to a cap of 20% of residential parcels within each ward, which is a historic division of the city roughly corresponding to a square with its surrounding blocks. Owner-occupied parcels are exempt from this cap. Applications filed before September 28, 2017 are “grandfathered” and can be renewed.
The City’s eTRAC system enables the public to search for STVR certificates. The site provides the status of a certificate, expiration date, STVR Certificate #, and related information. Registration is not required to conduct general searches. The city also provides a map of registered STVRs. Note that an STVR certificate does not mean the property is actively operating as a vacation rental.