Atlanta Law on Airbnbs, Short-Term Rentals

Nearly 4,000 short-term renters can no longer be allowed to operate in Atlanta due to a new law that eliminates who can rent out their home.

Atlanta — More than 4,000 Airbnb rentals and Atlanta short-term rentals could soon disappear, due to a new law that cracks down on who can rent out their home.

This week, the city council extended the compliance deadline from June 1 to September 6 as controversy and complaints about the new rules have fragmented.

By law, people can only own two Airbnb units or two short-term rental units, one of which must be their primary residence.

You must be a resident of Atlanta, pay $150 per year for a permit, and pay an 8% rental tax fee.

The decree also eliminates noise and partisan abuse, and increases penalties to several thousand dollars.

Cathy McClure hosts two short term rentals in the same duplex in Midtown. But because she doesn’t live there full time, she will be violating the new rules.

“We live nearby, [the duplex] “It’s not our primary residence,” she said. “I’m a good example of how extreme some of the city’s interpretations can be.”

There are currently an estimated 7,465 Airbnb and Vrbo properties in Atlanta.

An Airbnb spokesperson told 11Alive that hosts in Atlanta collectively took in nearly $139 million in 2021, with hosting serving as a source of income for more than 9,500 hosts across the metropolitan area.

54% of short-term rental owners in Atlanta are reported to have more than two listings, which puts them in violation of the new rules.

“This is how I earn a living and support my family,” said Rich Munro, president of the Atlanta Metro Short-Term Rental Alliance (AMSTRA). “The truth is there are a lot of jobs at stake. The economy will be affected.”

Supporters of the law say it will help tackle unruly parties and noise violations, and will provide more homes for residents who need a place to live.

In Atlanta, there has been a 37% decline in available long-term rental residential properties since 2019, according to an analysis of US Census Bureau data.

Currently only 4.9% of apartments or rentals are available in the city.

McClure says she and other hosts are grateful to the city council for extending the implementation deadline, amid complaints that the permit application process has been tedious and confusing.

“The risk to the city in this very complex operation is that it will have a large number of so-called illegal units,” she said. “The city is preparing for failure.”

Between now and the September deadline, Monroe says AMSTRA hopes to work with the city council to negotiate the terms of the ordinance.

“The compromise for us would basically allow a lot of our members who are currently running short-term leases to be able to continue to do so by having some kind of inheritance option,” he said.

In a statement, City Planning Commissioner Janid Sedival told 11Alive:

“In response to residents’ requests and concerns, the Town Planning Department has administratively extended the enforcement of the short-term rental ordinance to September 6, 2022. We want to respond to our residents as we have heard concerns from some STR owners about the licensing process. Additionally, with the rapid growth of the short-term rental industry in city, we also want to be responsible and protective of all communities and neighborhoods as detailed in Atlanta City Design. We want to help facilitate a thoughtful and profitable short-term rental industry in the city of Atlanta.”

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