July 27, 2017

Pivotal vote looms for future of short-term rentals in Nashville

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Buy Photo A pivotal vote on the future of short-term renting in Nashville is set for Tuesday when the Metro Council will consider phasing out from residential neighborhoods short-term rental homes that are not occupied by their owners.

It comes after the Metro Planning Commission voted 8-0 late Thursday to recommend approval of council legislation that would halt issuing new permits for non-owner-occupied short-term rentals in residential areas.

Current permit-holders could renew their permits, which are good for one year, until June 28, 2019, meaning permits would be phased out completely by the summer of 2020.

The fiercely debated measure, which has been fought by Airbnb, HomeAway, VRBO and other companies that enable travelers to rent homes online, takes aim at the practice of investors maintaining residential homes where they don’t live for the sole purpose of profiting from renting to guests. Neighborhood activists have complained the practice turns homes into party hotels while displacing longtime residents in already-gentrifying neighborhoods.

"We’ve allowed the non-owner-occupieds to go into residential neighborhoods," said Councilman Larry Hagar, lead sponsor of the proposal. "That’s where the problems started to occur."

Investor-owned short-term renting could continue in commercial areas and at multi-family condos or apartment complexes under the legislation. The […]

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