What you should know about short-term rental properties in Green Hills and Belle Meade

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short term GH

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Short term rental properties (STRP) have been a contentious topic in Nashville for years, having faced various regulations and restrictions from Metro Council and the Tennessee General Assembly.

According to Metro Code, a short term rental is defined as a residential dwelling unit that contains no more than four sleeping rooms and is used for transient occupancy, or rented to someone for less than a 30-day period. Homeowners who wish to operate as a STRP, mostly found on websites like Airbnb and HomeAway, are required by law to obtain a permit, or risk citations and a mandatory waiting period of one year before applying for a permit and beginning operation as a short term rental.

{{tncms-inline content="<p><strong>2:</strong> Green Hills and Belle Meade account for a small portion, or 2 percent, of Nashville’s overall short term rental pipeline of nearly 4,000 permits issued citywide. Of the roughly 100 permits issued across Nashville in July, none were issued in Green Hills or Belle Meade.</p> <p><strong>113:</strong> According to the city’s open data portal, there are 113 permits in the Green Hills area, of which 63 are issued, 41 have expired and the other nine were either cancelled, pending or on hold. Of the 31 short term rental permits in the Belle Meade area, 21 are issued and 10 have expired.</p> <p><strong>6:</strong> Homeowners operating a short term rental property must collect hotel tax (6 percent), occupancy tax ($2.50 per night) and sales tax (9.5 percent).</p>" id="fa6a5f53-41d7-4b3c-b810-0e0c969fd3d6" style-type="info" title="By the numbers" type="relcontent"}}

 Types of short term rentals

Owner-occupied: A homeowner rents out an extra bedroom to a rental guest or the entire home while away on vacation.

Non-owner occupied: In this scenario, the homeowner is often an investor and uses the property solely for short term rental purposes.

Multi-family: Short term rentals operated out of a condominium, duplex or other multi-family dwelling.

2018 in short term rental legislation

January 2018

In January, nearly three years after passing ordinances laying out definitions and guidelines for STRPs, Metro Council passed a bill that would phase out short-term rentals in residential areas if the owner didn’t live on the property.

Under the law, homeowners who rent out a room, or even their house while on vacation, would be safe, as well as non-owner occupied units in commercial areas. The ordinance drew criticism because it did not grandfather in existing non-owner occupied properties, often owned by investors who purchased the property for the purpose of operating as a STRP.

April 2018

Three months later, following much back and forth between the state’s two legislative chambers, the Tennessee General Assembly passed legislation that allows STRP investors to be grandfathered in, reversing Metro’s restrictions. The bill does allow Nashville to regulate short-term rentals going forward, but hosts already renting properties will be protected.

May 2018

Gov. Bill Haslam signed the Short-Term Rental Unit Act, formally known as House Bill 1020, on May 17. The law went into effect less than a week later on May 23.

How to report

Last year, Metro established a hotline for reporting illegal STRPs, as well as noise, parking, trash and other nuisance complaints related to the properties. Metro contracted San Francisco-based company Host Compliance to review complaints submitted through a 24/7 web and phone hotline. The company, which monitors more than 100 cities, is paid $195,000 annually for five years.

Residents can access the hotline by visiting hostcompliance.com/tips or by calling (435-787-4357). The online form will ask for information including the exact address, links to the property’s online listing and supporting evidence (if available) and other details.

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