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Atlanta City Council adopts ordinance regulating short term-rentals

The new ordinance will require a $150 dollar annual fee to rent out a house.

ATLANTA — The City of Atlanta is taking steps to crack down on so-called party houses. On Monday, the council approved a new short-term rental ordinance. Owners will now face penalties for any violations committed at their homes. 

Some short-term rental owners are happy to see some regulations come into a side business they've grown to love.

For nearly five years, Kathie Mclure and her husband have welcomed guests to stay at their Atlanta Airbnb. It’s been a way to meet new people and build up their retirement fund. They’ve had very few guest problems along the way, but know they exist.

"I do believe there are bad apple hosts out there, and there are bad apple guests as well," Mclure said.

Atlanta has seen a number of short-term rental shootings and unauthorized parties.

On Monday, Atlanta City Council members voted to weed out those bad apples. 

This comes after Airbnb banned party houses in Atlanta and capped rental occupancy at 16 people. 

"We’re going to regulate that and tax it so it provides a benefit to the city, and also there’s some regulations that make neighbors more comfortable," explained council member Andre Dickens, who co-authored the ordinance. 

The new ordinance will require a $150 dollar annual fee to rent out a house. Owners will be charged $300 dollars for every violation committed by renters and an 8% tax rental fee will be applied to every rental.

Mclure said she is relieved the city has come up with a reasonable ordinance.

"I think some people need to learn perhaps the hard way, and I’m not opposed to reasonable regulation that makes it possible for the city to rein in some of that bad behavior," she added.

The ordinance is expected to go into affect in September. 

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