‘Fireworks’ expected over potential Atlanta City Council vote on short-term rentals

A proposal to license and register short-term home rentals will go before the Atlanta City Council this afternoon, March 15,  for a possible vote that could spark “fireworks,” according to one council member.

Short-term rentals through Airbnb and other platforms have generated plenty of controversy as the source of many nuisance complaints for parties and noise. Atlanta is a latecomer to the legalize-and-license game, with various proposals stalling back in 2019, when the administration sought to let homeowners capitalize on the city hosting the Super Bowl.

The proposed ordinance, whose lead sponsor is Councilmember Andre Dickens, would allow the licensing of short-term rentals by an “agent” who could be the owner or long-term tenant of a home, or another person or organization designated by them. The agent could license the property that is their “primary address” and up to two others. The license would be renewed annually and would come with a $150 fee.

The Atlanta Police Department would record any code violations at short-term rental properties. If an agent had three violations for any one property, the city would bar short-term licensing for that property for 12 months.

The ordinance defines “short-term” as a rental for up to 30 consecutive days. The short-term rentals would be subject to the state’s 8% hotel/motel tax.

Buckhead-area Councilmembers J.P. Matzigkeit and Howard Shook, both of whom have waged battles against local operators of short-term rentals at mansions used for parties, say they are opposed to the current draft of the ordinance.

Matzigkeit said in an interview he believes the proposal will spark “fireworks” in the council’s discussion and is not ready to be passed without changes.

Read more at Reporter Newspapers.