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Atlanta pauses code enforcement for short-term rental owners, again

City leaders say they are extending enforcement action.

ATLANTA — Atlanta won't be cracking down on short-term rental owners any time soon.

The city passed an ordinance requiring owners of short-term rentals such as AirBnBs and VRBOs to pull a license with the city or face penalties. The Department of City Planning announced it is extending enforcement action for short-term rental owners to Sept. 6. Atlanta's City Council originally paused penalties until June 1.

This marks the second time city leaders are holding off enforcing the City of Atlanta Short-Term Rental Ordinance, which was approved last year on March 15, 2021, and went into effect this March. It puts owners on the hook for any violations committed at their homes. The initiative was co-authored by then council member Andre Dickens in an attempt to regulate the rentals that have grown in popularity, especially during the coronavirus pandemic.

“We want to be responsive to Atlantans and communities,” Interim City Planning Commissioner Janide Sidifall said in a news release. “We heard our residents asking to extend the enforcement deadline, and we listened. That is always the goal of the City: to make sure that voices are heard and acknowledged.”

Critics of the previous extension said short-term rentals bring noise complaints and disrupt otherwise quiet neighborhoods. Previously, short-term rental owners said the city's application was confusing.

Under the ordinance, owners of properties used for short-term rental must now apply for a license to operate within Atlanta city limits. This requires a $150 annual fee to rent out a home and an 8% tax is applied to every rental. If renters break any city rules, owners will be charged $300 a violation. 

There is no deadline to apply for a license. 

Owners now have until after Labor Day, which marks the end of the summer travel season, to make sure they are up to the city's code when it comes to short-term rentals as the city plans to enforce penalties-- unless it issues another enforcement extension.

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