Home Ownership & Property Rental

Living in a State Park

Visitors to Jekyll Island know its natural beauty, diverse history, and numerous recreational activities. As visitors return again and again to Jekyll, many make the decision to make this island home, or to become a homeowner. However, many are surprised to learn this little barrier island is a state park, which means there are special rules and guidelines for homeownership and property rental for the more than 600 private residences on the island.

Unlike traditional home ownership, all land on Jekyll Island is owned by the State of Georgia. Instead of purchasing a parcel of property and its buildings (fee-simple ownership), the State of Georgia leases the land to owners for a fee, known as a leasehold ownership. In this scenario, the homeowner (lessee) pays the lessor (Jekyll Island Authority) rent to lease the land. Under this arrangement, you do not own the land, rather you own the structure, including any improvements, and have the right to use it exclusively and may transfer ownership for the remaining years of the lease. Residential leases are long-term, and current leases expire anywhere from 2049-2088.

As a leasehold property owner, the owner is responsible for the following:

  • Property Taxes
  • Maintenance Fees (fire fees, utilities, property maintenance, etc.)
  • Annual Lease Rent (on top of a mortgage, if financed)

Additionally, you have the option to offer your home for rent on a short-term or long-term basis. However, you must first secure a rental license and adhere to all applicable ordinances found in the Jekyll Island Authority Code.

Below are downloadable documents specific to residential land leases and rental licenses.



Reporting Forms:
PDF must be downloaded in order to complete and submit.  

Records Request:

  • Residential Blueprints (PDF)
    • This collection is closed to research and requests at this time, due to the digitization project ongoing in archives and records.


Please contact JIA at 912.635.4ooo should you have any questions on this matter.