Short term vacation rentals can be an excellent source of income and, in Orange Beach and Gulf Shores, have fueled a huge amount of condominium investment over the years. That is still the case today and with a strong and growing tourism market, it isn’t likely to change any time soon. There are, however, some recent changes in regulations in Orange Beach that have raised questions about rentals.
In a December meeting, the Orange Beach City Council voted to place a moratorium on certain short-term rentals. Specifically, it prohibits the issuance of any new short-term rental licenses for the next six months while the city prepares a new ordinance regulating those rentals. But there’s no reason for fear. Anyone with a short-term rental business license before the moratorium was enacted was grandfathered in. There are also previsions for renewals and new licenses in areas clearly zoned for short term rentals.
Short term rentals are defined as those offered for less than 180 continuous days, essentially less than six months. The impetus, according to city officials, is to preserve the character of traditional neighborhoods, some of which have been disrupted by short term Airbnb and vrbo.com rentals to vacationers.
What does this mean for home and condo buyers considering a new purchase? We think it’s good news. The only new limits anticipated to come with the forthcoming regulations will be in the Residential and Single-Family Residential/Planned Unit Development zoning districts. So, if you’re looking for a home in Orange Beach, the aim of this ordinance will be to help preserve the character of the neighborhood you choose and limit the uncertainty – and the additional traffic and trash issues – that come with “new neighbors” vacationing next door each week. For those purchasing with the goal of short term rental income, there should be no real impact in areas zoned for that activity.
Vacation rentals are a huge part of the Alabama Gulf Coast economy and have driven much of the infrastructure and amenity develop we all enjoy. This effort in the City of Orange Beach is proof that officials are committed to preserving the balance of quality of life and economic prosperity for both residents and investors.
It’s a great time to buy and we’ve got a team of real estate professionals here to help. Give one of the dedicated agents at The Henry Group a call today. We’ll help you find the Orange Beach property you’re looking for in the location you love.
Written by The Henry Group