New Regs in Atlanta - restrictions

I got this in my airbnb message box this morning. Apparently Atlanta is fixing to replace a new licensing law ($150/yr) with further restrictions that would put a lot of my neighboring hosts out of business, because they want to make for only 1 airbnb in 2000 feet. And how are they going to determine who gets to remain in business???

here’s the text. airbnb wants us to write our councilpeople letters, but curiously only includes four of our 12 members in their preaddressed email

Protect Hosting in Atlanta

The recent proposal from the Mayor’s administration would overturn all of the progress that was made to create a fair framework for Hosts to operate in Atlanta. This new proposal:

Removes the Primary Residence +1 restriction, and replaces it with:

A prohibition of STRs within less than 2,000 feet of each other for single family and two family homes; and
Caps on STR permits in multi-family buildings, including a 33% cap in buildings that have 3-12 units and a 15% cap in buildings that have 13 or more units

What you share is up to you, but it may be helpful to think about these issues as you draft your message:

How long have you been hosting?
How would these changes impact you?
How do you use the income generated from your STR?
How does hosting benefit you and your community?
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Thank you so much for sharing this. I am very interested in STR regulation everywhere in the USA and in a few European countries, too.

Atlanta is a major American city so this is national news if it gets any traction.

If I were you I would call the politician’s office who proposed this legislation and find out which AirBnB gets to remain operational within the 2,000 foot radius-----how they plan to make that decision.

You also want an actual copy of the proposed legislation. BTW $150/year is cheap, I pay $350/year in a much smaller town.

Most likely existing STRs will be “grandfathered in”, meaning so long as you maintain your permit you can remain in business despite the new law. That’s what my city did after capping AirBnBs to 1,000 units/licenses, and other cities have done. But Atlanta has a housing crisis like many cities, so anything is possible.

The other thing I would do is make sure the local media is covering this issue.

One way you can do that is to write a letter to the editor at the Atlanta Journal Constitution. Also contact your local TV station.

One thing that isn’t mentioned in those “helpful things to think about” and which I think is most important to bring up with local officials and letters to the editor, if it pertains to your rental, is to point out that Airbnb is a generic term that covers quite diverse situations which can’t all be lumped in the same barrel, that you have been hosting for XX number of years with zero complaints from neighbors, that you are a caring member of the community who is just as concerned about housing for locals being taken off the market by remote Airbnb investors, and rentals which disturb the neighbors as anyone, and so on. The more you can be sympathetic to what are often quite valid concerns and reasons for banning or limiting Airbnb and explain how the term “str” can mean so many different things, the better chance I think you have of being listened to.

I would also mention who is renting your STR.
I have current bookings for people that were devastated by the multiple floods of last year as well as being used for respite for people with disabilities. As well as employees here for work.
I also have bookings from the local court for the judges etc.
It isn’t just holiday accommodation!