Short Term Rental Bills: BL2019-6 and BL2019-7

Metro Council has two bills related to short term rentals on their agenda for tonight, November 5, 2019.

BILL BL2019-6

Currently, if a person is found to be operating without a permit or, more likely, you miss your renewal date, or your permit is “revoked” due to one-sided interpretation, owners can appeal to the BZA (Board of Zoning Appeals). Throughout the appeals process, the STRP owner must stop operating (ie remove any listings/ads and cancel reservations). At the hearing, the BZA has the discretion to immediately reinstate the permit for the STRP owner or deny a permit for up to one year.

In the proposed bill, the same process would apply — however the BZA would no longer have discretion to reinstate the permit for anything less than one year. This means that anyone operating without a permit—regardless of reason—would automatically be ineligible for a permit for one full year.

Keep in mind that while those who were never issued a permit would now likely face harsher punishment and help cut down on non-permitted owners, it would also apply to those who may have accidentally missed their permit renewal and/or the city mistakenly did not process their renewal.

Bill BL2019-6 is sponsored by Angie Henderson and can be read in its entirety here:

BILL BL2019-6

UPDATED 11/5: Passed on second reading on 11/5/19.

UPDATED 11/15: The bill is up for third and final reading at Metro Council on Tuesday, November 19th. While the meeting is closed for public comment, there is still time to let your voice be heard. Take time today to reach out to Council and ask them to vote no or defer the bill.

UPDATED 11/25: Bill deferred to December 3, 2019. Keep reaching out to Metro Council about this issue before the vote!

UPDATED 12/3: Substitute (amended) bill passed with 26 votes. The substitute bill requires a waiting period of 1 year for anyone found to be operating without having obtained a permit and a waiting period of 6 months for those operating without having renewed a previously issued permit. Read the bill in its entirety here »

  • Email and/or call your individual council member.
  • Talking Points:
    • Email subject line: Vote NO on Bill BL2019-6
    • As a Nashville resident, voter, and responsible STRP host, I am writing to you today to ask that you oppose Bill BL2019-6.
    • While I support measures to weed out bad actors and unpermitted short-term rentals, this bill also has the unintended consequence of harming responsible, law-abiding hosts. While it is our responsibility as hosts to ensure we are renewing our permits on time, the city also used to mail reminders which many hosts learned to rely on. As the city no longer does so consistently, at times an upstanding host may inadvertently fail to renew on time. Additionally, the city has misplaced many renewals, which hosts also did not realize in time. These hosts continue paying their short-term rental taxes and are clearly not trying to skirt the law or buck the system. A one-year required ban from operating will have a significant impact on these law-abiding hosts who may have made an unintentional mistake. In instances such as these the Board of Zoning Appeals should have full discretion to impart a waiting period for permit reinstation that they deem appropriate given the circumstances specific to each case.
    • Please vote NO on Bill BL2019-6 or, at the very least, defer until a later date to allow for more scrutiny and discussion.
    • Always sign with your full name and include your home address.

BILL BL2019-7

Up until October, 2018, in scenarios where there are two-family dwellings on one lot (most commonly duplexes and HPRs), only one owner-occupied permit could be issued amongst the two dwellings. That meant that if you owned one side of an HPR or duplex and your neighbor already had a STRP permit of any kind, you were not eligible.

You could also receive an owner-occupied permit if both units of the two-family dwelling were owned by the same person, and one of the two units is the primary residence of the owner. That meant that the owner could apply for one (1) permit applicable to one (1) of the units.

In October, 2018, the city changed their interpretation to read that you could only get an owner-occupied permit in a two-family dwelling if both units of the two-family dwelling were owned by the same person, and one of the two units is the primary residence of the owner. That meant that the owner could apply for one (1) permit applicable to one (1) of the units.

Since many two-family dwellings do have two different owners, the new bill would now allow:

  • If the two-family dwelling units are owned by different persons, and each unit is the primary residence of the corresponding owner, then each owner may be issued a separate owner-occupied permit. No more than two (2) permits may be issued per lot for these two-family dwelling units, and only one (1) permit may be issued per dwelling unit.
  • You would still be able to apply for an owner-occupied permit if you owned both units of the two-family dwelling and you occupy one as your primary residence and pull the owner-occupied permit on the second dwelling.

NOTE: In Freddie O’Connell’s newsletter today, he wrote, “I’ll be deferring my bill allowing owner-occupied STRPs in duplexes for a few months to allow me time to meet with the Coalition for Nashville Neighborhoods and to get an important update on data from Host Compliance from Codes.” However, as of right now, it still appears on the agenda for tonight’s meeting.

Bill BL2019-7 is sponsored by Freddie O’Connell and can be read in its entirety here:

BILL BL2019-7

UPDATED 11/22/20: Third reading was deferred until July 7, 2021.

UPDATED 11/11/20: 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 November 5, 2020 (a Thursday rather than Tuesday due to Election Day).

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