Regulations on vacation rentals coming soon to the Council of Smyrna

SMYRNA, GA – The City of Smyrna may soon approve new vacation rental regulations that would set guidelines for occupancy, parking, maintenance, licensing and taxes for operating a vacation home within city limits.

A task force focused on developing the city’s first short-term rental ordinance is complete the final draft of proposed law, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution – which would establish a host of regulations on short-term rentals in the city.

Mayor Derek Norton created the task force in the spring to resolve issues and concerns after the city received “numerous calls and complaints” about short-term rentals, according to city documents.

Georgia does not have state laws for vacation rentals, but sets state and local bed taxes collected on stays. Cobb County also has no restrictions, but is working to incorporate vacation rentals into its code.

Smyrna also does not have laws regulating rentals in its code, but has 342 short term rentals within city limits, Smyrna’s director of community development Rusty Martin told AJC, mainly near The Battery.

About two months ago, the city launched a city-wide survey to get residents to voice their opinions on the proposed ordinance and voice their concerns.

“This [ordinance] does not ban short-term rentals, but it gives us the ability to regulate and limit them across the city, ”City Councilor Glenn Pickens, chairman of the task force, told a virtual town hall on December 9.

If approved, the ordinance would require residents who rent their home as a vacation home – for example, through websites like Airbnb and VRBO – to apply for a short-term rental permit and business tax certificate from $ 95 from the city, both of which must be renewed annually.

Occupancy levels would be limited to two people per room, plus three additional people. In an attempt to address house party concerns, maximum occupancy would not be allowed to exceed the maximum allowable overnight tenants, which is two people per room, plus three, according to the order.

Each short-term rental owner would also be required to have a designated “agent” – himself or someone else – who would be available to maintain the property and handle any issues arising from the use of the unit. short term rental. The owner can temporarily or permanently change who they choose as their short-term rental agent, but there can only be one agent at a time.

Homeowners should also prove that they have at least $ 500,000 in liability insurance on the home and that they cannot rent their single family home for more than 180 days per calendar year.

You can view the draft ordinance online here.

The task force is expected to present a final draft of the ordinance at a meeting of the Smyrna plenary committee before it is presented to city council for approval in early 2022, AJC reported.


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