Short-term rental owners plead councilman to reconsider proposed city-wide ban

Several Atlanta residents are frustrated about a plan to stop them from renting out their homes.

Atlanta City Councilman Howard Shook wants to prevent so-called “party houses” from listing on such services as Airbnb that are currently causing a ruckus for some in Buckhead. Property owners told FOX 5's Alex Whittler they're concerned the bill could impact people with no intention of hosting a party in their home.

"We’re seeing a huge pick up in business travelers," Michael Harvey said.

Harvey owns properties in Atlanta and rents them out for various uses such as short-term stays, baby showers, even television show shoots.

"There are folks who don’t have a huge budget and they’re making a conscious decision that they trust individuals more than they trust hotels not to mention they can beat the price as well," he explained.

Harvey said he has a full time job, but the extra money from the rentals are necessary to withstand the pandemic.

"Talk to your neighbors. There’s a good chance there’s someone who has an Airbnb in their basement or tiny house you just don’t know it because a lot of these reservations are pretty boring and go completely unnoticed," he said.

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Councilman Shook said he can’t help but notice the loud parties near his home at a rental house in Buckhead and just proposed legislation to get rid of short-term rentals in the city.

Harvey said problematic rentals, like the Buckhead mansion, shouldn’t ruin opportunities for entrepreneurs.

"Airbnb takes action very quickly, and the same thing with the other platforms," Harvey said. "There are bad apples, that are really making things appear a lot worse than they really are."

Last year, Airbnb launched a 24/7 support hotline that allows neighbors to report unruly behavior.

Last month, FOX 5 reported on the more than 50 properties Airbnb suspended or removed from the app for repeat rowdy offenses.

An Airbnb spokesperson sent FOX 5 a statement. It reads:

“The vast majority of Atlanta hosts are sharing their homes responsibly and a blanket ban would hurt thousands of local families who depend on the income they earn hosting to help pay the bills. We are committed to working with the City of Atlanta to reasonably address quality of life issues, while preserving property rights for residents.”

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