BL2019-79: Owner-Occupied STRP Restrictions

UPDATED 11/22/20: Substitute bill passed into law on November 17, 2020.


UPDATED 11/11/20: Substitute bill passed second reading (public hearing) on November 5, 2020. Third reading is scheduled for November 17, 2020.

UPDATED 9/2/20: Second reading (public hearing) was deferred until the first meeting in November, scheduled for November 5, 2020 (a Thursday rather than Tuesday due to Election Day).

UPDATED 8/31/20: A substitute version of the bill was released today. It removes the requirement for owners to reside onsite at all times during rental and the restriction of owners being absent for longer than 15 hours. The bill is up for public hearing (second reading) at Metro Council on September 1, 2020.

UPDATED 5/14/20: Bill BL2019-79 is up for public hearing (second reading) at Metro Council. This continues to be deferred and the bill’s sponsor says it’s likely to remain deferred until the fall.

UPDATED 2/13/20: The substitute bill passed at Planning commission (as written in the Planning Commission Staff Report). 

The bill will return to Metro Council for a public hearing (second reading) on March 5, 2020. (Rescheduled from March 3 due to Election Day.) 

MAKE NOTE: Due to Pending Ordinance Doctrine, the stipulations in this bill are immediately enacted by Codes for issuance of new STR permits.

UPDATED 2/8/20: From the Planning Commission Staff Report:

“Following the 1/16 Planning Commission hearing, staff has further refined the proposed substitute to exempt legally permitted detached accessory dwelling units and legally permitted accessory apartments. Staff recommends approval of a substitute.” 

The proposed substitute bill wording is available in the Staff Report.

This bill will be discussed at the Planning Commission public hearing on February 13, 2020.

UPDATED 1/17/20: Planning Commission deferred one meeting, currently scheduled for February 13, 2020. This will again be a public hearing. NOTE: Second reading public hearing at Metro Council is scheduled for March 3, 2020.

UPDATED 1/13/20: Date for public hearing at Planning Commission is this Thursday, January 16, 2020 (per the meeting agenda released this morning). Staff recommendations, more details, and action items can be found HERE »

UPDATED 11/25: Date for hearing at Planning Commission is still unknown. Public hearing at Metro Council has been deferred until March 3, 2020.


Original Post:

In addition to the two new bills that were introduced last month, two additional bills were introduced this week that propose significant changes for short term rentals in Nashville. This is an overview of the second of these additional bills.

BILL FOR OWNER-OCCUPIED RESTRICTIONS:

BL2019-79, sponsored by Freddie O’Connell, would dramatically change owner-occupied restrictions.

  • Other than for a two-family residential unit under common ownership (ie HPR, Duplex, DADUs with a two-family unit on the same lot), advertisements for an owner-occupied STRP shall not advertise availability of all of the bedrooms within the unit for STRP use. In short, this means owner-occupied STRPs can no longer be “whole home” rentals.
  • The owner shall reside onsite at all times the property is being used as an STRP. The owner shall not be permitted to be temporarily absent from the dwelling unit for longer than 15 consecutive hours within any 24 hour period while the property is being used as an owner-occupied STRP rental.

CONCERNS REGARDING THIS BILL:

  • Planning Commission staff state that the purpose of this is to simplify enforcement. “Host Compliance, the monitoring system used by Metro, has the ability to return data on if a unit is being advertised as a whole home rental. By prohibiting whole home rentals, it simplifies the enforcement.”
  • However, even lawful owner-occupied HPRs, Duplexes, and DADUs would get flagged by Host Compliance and the owners would be notified that they are not in compliance. Once again the property owner would need to pay legal fees to defend their lawful permit.
  • Many people rent out basements, upper-level apartments, mother-in-law suites, or portions of their home that offer a separate entrance to the guests’ space and these are considered “whole home” rentals on all listing platforms. If this bill passes, they would no longer be lawfully able to advertise as such.
  • Additionally, anyone who travels for their jobs (musicians, educators, medical professionals, military, and others) would be unable to rent their entire homes out while they are traveling for work. This would impact many people’s ability to afford keeping their home here in Nashville.
  • The bill also states that the owner cannot be away from the property for more than 15 consecutive hours while the home is rented. This would limit anyone whose job takes them away from their home for longer than 15 hours. This of course includes anyone who travels for work but also would impact nurses and others who work long/overnight shifts. (The Planning Commission staff recommendation is to remove that requirement, which would be a positive change.)

BILL PROCESS AND TIMELINE:

This bill is currently on introduction/first reading next Tuesday at Council. The typical process is that this introduction/first reading is a procedural meeting where the bill is recommended for referral to Planning Commission. It is then expected to go through the process of being heard and passed at Planning Commission followed by a public hearing/additional readings at Metro Council to become law. There is a Planning Commission meeting on December 12 and another on January 16. There is a possibility this bill could be heard in December, however at the time of this post no dates have been publicized yet. Planning Commission hearings will be public hearings.

Keep in mind that due to Pending Ordinance doctrine, once the bill passes Planning, the Codes Department is likely to immediately enact these stipulations for issuance of new STRP permits.

After passage at Planning Commission, the bill will go to Metro Council where there will be another Public Hearing before going on through the process. When we know these dates, we will update the details here.


WILL EXISTING STRP PERMIT HOLDERS BE IMPACTED?

Based on the Tennessee Short Term Rental Unit Act, existing STRP permit holders should be grandfathered in under the laws that existed at the time their original permit was issued. However, there have been instances (like earlier this year when the city revoked over 100 Owner-Occupied STRP permits) where this has not been the case in Nashville, so it is unclear as to whether or not the Codes Department will attempt to enforce the new owner-occupied restrictions on existing permit holders.


WHAT SHOULD WE DO?

It’s crucial that you make your voice heard.


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