Atlanta seeks to limit short-term party house rentals

An amendment to Atlanta’s zoning code broadens permission of short-term rentals amid complaints of online renters trashing homes at noisy parties. 

On Monday, the Atlanta City Council approved language that re-defined "short-term rental" in a zoning rule that was initially crafted in 1982. The amendment modernizes the rule, permitting short-term rentals in all residential zones.

The amendment is part of legislation passed in March that aimed to crack down on parties in Atlanta mansions that renters find online. On Saturday, Buckhead residents complained about noise at an infamous party house that continued early the next morning.

The recent update is seen as a positive development for companies like Airbnb, a popular platform for owners looking to find short-term renters. Airbnb says it’s in close contact with city leaders as Atlanta prepares to implement the rules.

"With this 14-1 vote to approve the STR zoning ordinance, the Atlanta City Council has provided additional clarity to communities across Atlanta," Tom Martinelli, Airbnb Southeast Public Policy Director, said. "The vote empowers entrepreneurs across the city as they use the ownership economy to create income, jobs, and build generational wealth. Airbnb looks forward to working with Mayor-Elect Andre Dickens and his administration throughout 2022 to support the city’s implementation of new STR rules, facilitate responsible hosting, and support tourism recovery."


New rules for property owners in Atlanta will go into effect in March 2022.

The March ordinance requires owners to apply for a permit from the Department of Planning and Community Development, including a non-refundable $150 application fee.

Owners must "to use his or her best efforts to assure that use of the premises by short-term rental occupants will not disrupt the neighborhood, and will not interfere with the rights of neighboring property owners to the quiet enjoyment of their properties."

Owners are financially responsible for any violations committed at their homes - with a penalty of $300 per violation. After three violations at the same property, the city of Atlanta will ban short-term rental licensing to that property for a year.