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Atlanta City Council temporarily pauses code enforcement for short-term rental owners

City leaders approved to temporarily suspend parts of its ordinance.

ATLANTA — Short-term rental owners in Atlanta have some extra time to get their licenses in order. 

The city council approved new short-term rental legislation during their meeting Monday. Owners will not face penalties or administrative actions against their short-term rentals until June 1, 2022. This legislation applies to AirBnBs, VRBO owners and the like.

The change comes after a 13-2 vote in the council and was originally proposed by councilmembers Amir Farokhi and Alex Wan.

Before the vote, the City of Atlanta Department of City Planning further delayed the enforcement of the short-term rental ordinance until April 1, 2022 and the new ordinance discussed Monday was to give the short-term rental community more time to come into compliance with the city's rules. 

The City of Atlanta Short-Term Rental Ordinance was approved on March 15, 2021 as a measure to help crackdown on party houses. The code puts the owners on the hook for any violations committed at their homes. The ordinance was co-authored by then council member Andre Dickens in an attempt to regulate the rentals.

Often used as a side business, owners of short-term rentals now fork over funds to essentially get a license to rent their property. The city ordinance requires a $150 annual fee to rent out a house and an 8% tax is applied to every rental. If renters break any city rules, owners will be charged $300 per violation. The newly voted-upon extension will help short-term rental owners buy a little more time to get licensed and avoid added city fees as they continue to operate their rentals.

However, not everyone is pleased with the extension. 

Neighbors who disagree with the suspension said short-term rentals bring noise complaints and disruptions. Supporters said they're grateful for the extra time, calling the city's application for owners confusing. Neighbors in support of the extension added the adjustment will allow them to legally and properly register their properties and avoid trouble or fees in the future.

City leaders said it will establish a resolution "to provide adequate community outreach and educational materials to promote awareness of the City of Atlanta's short-term rental policy, the application process, and the current law governing short-term rental properties in the City of Atlanta."

The resolution will be considered in committee next week, according to the council.

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