New Atlanta law requires short-term rental hosts to get permits, collect hotel-motel tax
- Mar 23, 2021 | Jennifer Sokolowsky
Short-term rental hosts in Atlanta, Georgia, will be required to obtain permits under a new law approved by the City Council. Property owners will also be held responsible for guests’ behavior, fined when guests disrupt neighborhoods, and obligated to collect city hotel-motel tax.
Under the new ordinance, which goes into effect September 1, 2021, hosts must get permits from the Department of Planning and Community Development and pay a $150 nonrefundable application fee. Owners and long-term tenants are eligible to get two permits total — one for a property that’s their primary address and one for another property.
The law also requires hosts to use their “best efforts to assure that use of the premises by short-term rental occupants will not disrupt the neighborhood, and will not interfere with the rights of neighboring property owners to the quiet enjoyment of their properties."
Owners will be financially responsible for any code violations at their properties and fined $500 for each violation. Properties that rack up three violations will be prohibited from operating as a short-term rental for one year.
The new law doesn’t address whether short-term rentals will be allowed in areas zoned for single-family homes, but the city is expected to address vacation rental zoning issues before the new permit system goes online.
The law also mandates the creation of email and phone hotlines for complaints involving short-term rentals. When a property applies for a short-term rental permit, neighbors will be notified.
Short-term rental hosts are also responsible for collecting Atlanta’s hotel-motel tax under the new regulations. They must also collect state sales tax from their guests.
State law requires short-term rental marketplaces such as Vrbo and Airbnb to collect state sales tax automatically on behalf of Georgia hosts and pay it directly to the state. Vrbo and Airbnb also collect local sales tax in Atlanta.
However, Vrbo and Airbnb don’t collect Atlanta’s hotel-motel tax on behalf of their hosts. Atlanta hosts are responsible for registering with the city, collecting the hotel-motel tax from guests, and paying the tax monthly.
MyLodgeTax can automate and simplify short-term rental tax compliance, including registration and filing with state and local tax authorities. For more on short-term rental taxes in Georgia, see our state Vacation Rental Tax Guide. If you have tax questions related to vacation rental properties, drop us a line and we’ll get back to you with answers.