To Sort Out 'Regulatory Circus,' Nashville Short-Term Rental Owners Enlist A Lobbyist | Nashville Public Radio

To Sort Out 'Regulatory Circus,' Nashville Short-Term Rental Owners Enlist A Lobbyist

Sep 6, 2016

There’s so much attention on Nashville’s short-term rentals, like Airbnbs, that the people who run them have now formed an association and enlisted a lobbyist. They’re gearing up for a batch of six Metro Council bills — some in favor, some against.

The Nashville Area Short Term Rental Association, or NASTRA, wants to teach Airbnb hosts how to follow the law while also pushing back against some city regulations.

At first, this was a loose effort, but they’ve brought on former Metro Councilman Jamie Hollin after a flurry of council proposals.

“It’s a regulatory circus is what I’d call it, and it’s jumping from one frying pan to the next,” Hollin said. “How are we going to move anywhere forward if you’re playing whack-a-mole every two weeks when the council meets?”

Hollin has been going line by line through the council’s ideas. Broadly, he says NASTRA supports regulation of Airbnbs and a crackdown on properties that are dodging city permits and taxes.

“They want to get rid of the illegal operators causing most of the problems. They want to get rid of the party houses. They want those off the market,” he said. “But in order to do that, it requires a willing partner from the government for enforcement.”

Hollin says the current rules aren’t tough enough on violators.

The one measure NASTRA most sharply opposes — an occupancy rule that threatens short-term rentals altogether — will be deferred according to its sponsor.