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Short Term Rental Information


Fauquier County


Short-Term Rentals are considered “Tourist Homes” in the Fauquier County zoning code.  They are allowed by a special permit in RC, RA, R-1 and C-1 zonings.  According to the zoning code, the following standards must be met. 

  • No more than twelve (12) persons
  • Off-street parking cannot be in any required front yard and needs to be effectively screened
  • Unit must have direct access to a major road or have the Board of Supervisors find that the amount and type of traffic generated will not adversely affect neighbors or safety of road usage
  • In Residential and Rural Zoning districts, the unit must have the appearance of a single-family residence

These standards can be found on page V-12, section 5-302 of the Zoning Code. 

A future property owner may go through this process as a contract owner in case the buyer has a contingent sale based on receiving a special exception from the Board.

For further information on the special exception or special permit process, please contact the Chief of Planning, Adam Shellenberger, at 540-422-8210; adam.shellenberger@fauquiercounty.gov.

To access information on the special permit process, please visit: https://www.fauquiercounty.gov/government/departments-a-g/community-development/planning/current-planning/special-permit.



Rappahannock County


Short-term rentals are considered “tourist homes” in the Rappahannock County zoning code.  They are allowed by special permit.  The County has several requirements that must be met including:

  • Applicant must have owned the property for at least two years at the time of permit application (Effective July 1, 2024)
  • Occupants cannot exceed ten (10) people in not more than five (5) lodging units
  • Off-street parking cannot be in front yard and must be effectively screened
  • Units must have appearance of a single-family residence and meet minimum acreage requirements

Full regulations can be found in Chapter 170 of the Zoning Code.  Special exception application for Tourist Homes can be found at https://www.rappahannockcountyva.gov/government/departments/planning_zoning_administration.php

Further information, please contact Zoning Administrator Michelle Somers at 540-675-5343 or mlsomers@rappahannockcountyva.gov



Madison County


Madison County defines short-term rentals and their allowed use as the following:

Short-term Lodging Unit.

 A structure or structures on parcels large enough (e.g., six or more acres in an A-1 Zoning District) to support an additional standalone structure or structures, the owner of which: (1) offers the Unit(s) for rent to third parties for periods not exceeding 30 days; (2) registers with and regularly remits Transient Occupancy Taxes to the Commissioner of Revenue; and (3) adheres to all private covenants and deed restrictions. One such Short-Term Lodging Unit shall be a "By Right Use" in C-1, A-1, R-1, and R-2 Zoning Districts. More than one Short-Term Lodging Unit shall be a "Special Permit Use" in C-1 and A-1 Zoning Districts but shall not be permitted in R-1 and R-2 Zoning Districts, single family home or a portion thereof, and an additional stand-alone.

Those seeking additional short-term lodging units on a single parcel will need to secure a Special Use Permit through the County.  The permit can be found at https://www.madisonco.virginia.gov/403/Zoning-Application-Forms


For more information, please contact the Madison County Zoning and Planning Department at 540-948-6102.