Hilton Head repeals short term rental ban to follow governor’s order

Local News

HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. (WSAV) – Hilton Head Island Town Council on Friday repealed an emergency ordinance it passed on short term rentals.

Unless someone was already in a rental, the resolution effectively canceled all other rentals for 61 days or until the state of emergency in South Carolina expired. The council said the decision to repeal was made “due to overwhelming public concern.”

But that doesn’t mean rentals are back open for business.

Gov. Henry McMaster last week suspended short term rentals to those visiting from COVID-19 “hot spots,” as determined by the Centers for Disease Control. This includes the states of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.

The governor’s order defines lodging establishments as “hotel, motel, villa, condominium, inn, tourist court, tourist camp, campground, bed and breakfast, residence, or any place in which rooms, lodging, or sleeping accommodations are furnished to transients for a consideration.”

There are exceptions, however, for military, medical, first responders and commercial transportation workers.

This remains in effect through April. Read McMaster’s full order here.


Original story posted April 7:

HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. (WSAV) – Town council members on Tuesday passed an emergency ordinance for stricter short term rental restrictions on Hilton Head Island.

Last week, Gov. Henry McMaster suspended short term rentals, including those at hotels, motels and homes, to visitors from COVID-19 “hot spots” like New York. That’s with exceptions for military, medical, first responders and commercial transportation workers.

But Hilton Head’s order takes it a bit further. The ordinance states:

  • Owners of short term rental accommodations and their property managers, if any, are directed to cease and desist any rental that commences after this date and time and must refrain from such activity for the duration of this emergency ordinance.
  • No person shall check-in or begin their occupancy of any rental commencing after this date and time and must refrain from such activity for the duration of this emergency ordinance.

The restrictions outlined above go into effect on Wednesday for 61 days or until South Carolina’s state of emergency has been rescinded — whichever comes first.

Anyone already in a rental is exempt from the ordinance.

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