Avalara MyLodgeTax > Blog > State and Local News > Cobb County, Georgia, passes new short-term rental regulations

Cobb County, Georgia, passes new short-term rental regulations

  • Nov 8, 2022 | Jennifer Sokolowsky

Tybee Island short term rentals

The Cobb County Board of Commissioners has adopted a new law that will require short-term rental operators to register with the county and follow other rules. The new ordinance will go into effect January 1, 2023.

Under the measure, short-term rental hosts are required to obtain a separate short-term rental certificate from the county business license office for each rental unit. They must designate a local agent who can be available to quickly resolve any issues.

The new regulations limit occupancy to one person for every 390 square feet and require properties to have one parking space per bedroom, plus one more. Operators must follow county residential property codes for zoning, building, fire prevention, and sanitation and health.

Tybee Island bans new vacation rentals in residential districts

New short-term rentals are banned in Tybee Island, Georgia, residential districts under new rules passed by the City Council. The regulations, effective upon adoption, amend the city’s original short-term rental law, which was passed in 2016. The city placed a moratorium on new short-term rentals in September 2021, which was extended several times and was set to expire October 25.

Under the amendments, existing short-term rentals may continue operating in residential districts, but the city will no longer issue new short-term rental permits in those areas. Residential rentals that lose their license will not be issued another. Short-term rental properties that do not operate as a rental for at least 90 days within a 12-month period face revocation of their license, effective May 2023.

In addition, short-term rental hosts must provide proof of insurance within 30 days of receiving a permit. The new rules also allow the city to cap the number of short-term rentals within certain districts, although these caps have not yet been set.

Vacation rental properties that violate city ordinances including noise laws and tax compliance may be cited by the city, and if the owner fails to address the violation, the city can begin a revocation process.

A group of property managers and short-term rental owners, the Tybee Alliance, have filed a lawsuit challenging the new law.

Around 45% of homes on the island have a short-term rental permit, according to the city.

All Georgia vacation rentals are subject to state sales tax and hotel-motel fees, while Cobb County rentals are also subject to local sales tax and Tybee Island levies a hotel-motel tax on short-term rentals.

State law requires short-term rental marketplaces such as Airbnb and Vrbo to collect state sales tax automatically on behalf of Georgia hosts and pay it directly to state tax authorities. Airbnb and Vrbo also collect local sales tax in Cobb County and local hotel-motel tax on Tybee Island. If taxes aren’t being collected for operators, they’re responsible for collecting and remitting them to tax authorities.

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.

Lodging tax rates, rules, and regulations change frequently. Although we hope you'll find this information helpful, this blog is for informational purposes only and does not provide legal or tax advice.
Avalara Author
Jennifer Sokolowsky
Avalara Author Jennifer Sokolowsky
Jennifer Sokolowsky writes about tax, legal, and tech topics. She has an extensive international background in journalism and marketing, including work with The Seattle Times, The Prague Post, Avvo, and Marriott.

Learn more about GA lodging tax rules