NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Short-term rentals are popular in the booming city of Nashville, but soon, more than 100 of the property owners with short-term rental licenses will no longer be allowed to rent out their property.
Metro Codes has to issue permits to let people rent out their home, and according to Metro officials, those permits are expected to be recalled to adhere to a part of the law that says no permit can be issued to a duplex or “tall skinnies” sharing a property unless both homes are owned by the same person, and that person lives in one of the units on the property.
The problem for homeowners is, many people with those permits have been renting their homes and paying taxes for their rentals for months, including the owner of a property near Music Row who has already brought forward a lawsuit against Metro Codes before receiving the recall of her permit.
"Before she bought the property, she asked Metro Codes: could she get a short-term rental permit on that property? It was a condition of her purchasing the property,” Jamie Hollin, attorney for the plaintiff, said.
The property owner got the approval and has been renting through Airbnb, where she's considered a "Super Host" and has never had a complaint.
She has bookings through April, but if she gets a letter recalling her permit, she'll have to stop renting immediately.
That's why she got attorney Jamie Hollin to file a lawsuit on her behalf.
One of the many arguments against the recall of rental permit: the Tennessee state legislature passed a bill preventing this exact situation.
"If you got a permit, there's only 3 ways you can lose it,” Hollin explained.
Those reasons are as follows: If your home becomes a nuisance property, if you stop renting it for 30 months or more or sell the property, or if you violate an ordinance 3 times in a single year.
"In other words, that state statute was written to prohibit what Metro is trying to do now,” Hollin said.
It's unclear how many people will be impacted, but they'll each have to file a lawsuit if they want to keep renting their properties.
Metro Codes officials said they plan to send out notifications to impacted owners in the coming weeks.