Becoming a Short-Term Rental Host in Nashville: What You Need to Know

Deciding to become a Short-term Rental Host is an exciting opportunity, but it’s crucial to understand the local laws that apply to short-term rentals in Nashville. While we at NASTRA can’t provide legal advice, we can offer you some helpful resources to get started. If you have questions after reviewing this information, consider visiting the Codes Department’s Short Term Rental Property Permit Information site, contacting the city directly at strpquestions@nashville.gov or consulting a local lawyer or tax professional.

Short-Term Rental Property Regulations

In Nashville and Davidson County, anyone wishing to rent a property short-term must obtain a permit from the Metro Codes Department before listing.

Permit Requirements

Short-Term Rental Property (STRP) permits are governed by Sec. 6.28.030 of the Metro Nashville code. There are two types of permits: owner-occupied and non-owner occupied. It’s important to read and understand these regulations to ensure compliance.

  • Owner-occupied Short-Term Rental: An owner-occupied residential dwelling unit with no more than four sleeping rooms, used and/or advertised for transient occupancy by guests.
  • Non-owner occupied Short-Term Rental: A non-owner-occupied residential dwelling unit with no more than four sleeping rooms, used and/or advertised for transient occupancy by guests.

You can submit your permit application online by following the instructions on the Codes Department website. The website also offers checklists to guide you through the application process. Once permitted, short-term rentals must adhere to specific rules, which you can find here.

Zoning Laws

The Metro Nashville code’s district land use table outlines the allowable uses of property within each designated zoning district. To understand the allowances in your zoning district, consult Sec. 17.08.030 of the code.

  • Owner-occupied short-term rentals: Permitted as an accessory use in all zoning districts that allow residential use (excluding NS districts), provided a permit has been issued.
  • Non-owner occupied short-term rentals: New permits are only permitted in certain non-residentially zoned areas, as listed in the District Land Use Table PDF Version.

Taxes

Short-term rental operators must remit business, sales, and hotel occupancy taxes to the city and state. The Office of the Treasurer provides detailed instructions on how to properly register and remain compliant. On-line platforms collect applicable state sales and local hotel occupancy taxes on behalf of Hosts in Tennessee. If you direct book, you must collect and remit these taxes yourself.

Permit Renewal

Short-Term Rental Property permits are valid for 365 days and must be renewed annually before the current permit expiration date. Owners are responsible for filing a timely renewal application. For assistance, email strprenewals@nashville.gov.

By following these guidelines and utilizing the resources provided, you can navigate the process of becoming an Airbnb Host in Nashville with confidence.


Barb is the president of NASTRA and has spent her professional career in hospitality and real estate. After acquiring her first short-term rental in 2018, Barb moved her focus to legal advocacy after she sued the city of Nashville over a permit issue. Over the last three years, she has mentored more than 2,800 new STR hosts and is the Community Leader for Airbnb in Nashville, as well as an Airbnb “Ask a Superhost” Ambassador. Barb has appeared on numerous radio broadcasts, television shows, and podcasts to talk about her love of hosting. She also manages and co-hosts a number of short term rentals across Tennessee and Arkansas. Barb and her husband Pat own a hotel brokerage, development and consulting company. Look for her upcoming podcast series, “Women of Airbnb.”

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