Owner Occupied Bill: Take Action

UPDATED 2/13/20: The substitute bill passed at Planning Commission on 2/13/20 (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.


Original Post:

The owner occupied STR bill has been progressing through the legislative process. (Need a refresher of how a bill becomes a law? We’ve got you covered.) The bill is returning to a public hearing at Planning Commission this Thursday, February 13, 2020. Even if you emailed Planning about this before or attended the previous hearing, it’s important for you to do so again so your opposition is heard.

Understanding the Bill

BL2019-79: RESTRICTS OWNER-OCCUPIED WHOLE HOME RENTALS
SPONSORED BY FREDDIE O’CONNELL
  • Other than for a two-family residential unit under common ownership (ie HPR, Duplex, DADUs), 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 listed as “whole home” rentals.
  • The bill also states that the owner cannot be away from the property for more than 15 consecutive hours while the home is rented.
  • Planning Commission staff issued a report with their analysis and recommendations.
    • They state the purpose of the bill is to simplify enforcement.
    • They recommend removing the homeowner absence prohibition, which is a positive change.
    • They also recommend an exemption for “legally permitted detached accessory dwelling units and legally permitted accessory apartments” to still be rented as “whole home” spaces.
  • View more details on BL2019-79 here »

Concerns Regarding the Bill

  • Renting out your entire owner-occupied rental would be prohibited. Anyone who travels for their jobs (musicians, educators, medical professionals, military) and anyone who rents their home when traveling would be unable to rent their entire homes out. This would impact many people’s ability to afford keeping their home here in Nashville.
  • The recommended wording seems to imply that private-entrance guest suites etc., which may not fall under the legal definition of “accessory apartment”, may still be restricted.
  • The stated intent of simplifying enforcement is troubling. Enforcement should be able to be prioritized without having to pass yet another law in order to do so. The city of Nashville spent almost $1 million on Host Compliance, a tool for municipalities to use to enforce their short-term rental regulations. The data Host Compliance provides regarding unpermitted and nuisance STRs can and should be investigated in order to shut down those who are knowingly gaming the system at the expense of law-abiding citizens.
  • How exactly will this simplify enforcement when it comes to those grandfathered in under the Tennessee Short Term Rental Unit Act? Codes would need to consider the laws that were in place at the time each individual permit was granted prior to initiating enforcement action, which seems unlikely. Sweeping enforcement actions would put undue burden (in terms of time, money, and legal defense) on those who should not be impacted due to their grandfathered status.

What You Can Do

  • Email the Planning Commission by end of day Wednesday (2/12) and ask them to vote no on this bill. The button link below will generate an email addressed to the Planning Commission.
  • Use the concerns listed above as a starting point for your message. Personalize it as you see fit. Be respectful and kind while letting the Commission know the negative impact this bill would have on you. Include your home address at the end of your message.

EMAIL PLANNING COMMISSION

  • Show up to the public hearing on Thursday, February 13th. Find members of the NASTRA board to get a sticker to show your support of fair homesharing laws.

Thursday, February 13, 2020
4:00 PM
at
Metro Nashville Public Schools Administration Building
2601 Bransford Avenue
Nashville, TN, TN 37204

If you can’t be there by 4PM, that’s okay! Please just come as soon as you’re able.

START BY EMAILING PLANNING COMMISSION

DON’T FORGET TO INCLUDE YOUR HOME ADDRESS IN YOUR MESSAGE.

Stay up to date on all STRP happenings and support the short term rental community in Nashville by joining NASTRA today.

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As a reminder, NASTRA is unable to provide information on specific properties/circumstances, therefore we are unable to reply to individual messages in that vein. In these instances, we suggest you contact an attorney. You can find contact information on our Friends of NASTRA page.

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