New Rules for AirBnB & VRBO Owners in Rabun County, Georgia
In December 2022, Rabun County passed a new Short-Term Rental Ordinance containing new regulations and guidelines that will directly impact homeowners with short-term rentals, including those renting their property on sites like AirBnB and VRBO. The goal was to create fair and enforceable guidelines when it comes to vacation rentals in Rabun County.
The Rabun County Board of Commissioners approved a new set of rules for vacation rentals that will require property owners to register with the county or face substantial penalties. Some property owners that already held licenses to operate will be grandfathered in. However, any owner that does not currently have a license to operate a short-term rental and who falls outside of the Vacation Cottage zoning district is left no choice but to re-zone their property, if they want to operate a short-term rental.
Overview of New Short-Term Rental Rules
- Owners must complete a Public Accommodation Registration/Sales Tax Form
- If in an HOA, owner must sign an Affidavit stating the operation of a short term rental does not violate the HOA covenants.
- Owner must pay a county “excise tax” of 8%.
- Owner must designate a representative that is a Rabun county resident.
- Post signage indicating occupancy limit, max parking, and contact info of representative.
- Max occupancy limited to 12 people, regardless of number of bedrooms.
- Must be zoned Vacation Cottage or be “grandfathered” per Ordinance.
Attorney Quentin Carr attended the majority of meetings held by the county commissioners and has assisted numerous owners through the re-zoning process.
Where do I start?
If this all seems confusing, a good place to start is by calling The Carr Law Group and scheduling an appointment. We can assist by determining your current zoning and confirming that you are not in violation of any restrictions on your property. We can also discuss the need to re-zone and help you through that process and helping you obtain a license.
How can we help?
If you manage an AirBnB, VRBO or other short-term property, let us help you in:
- Setting up an LLC;
- Establishing a license and become compliant with county regulations;
- Providing insight on sales tax for the county and state;
- Forming management contracts and agreements.
What if I don’t live in Rabun County?
Several counties in northeast Georgia have adopted guidelines and ordinances related to short-term rentals. However, the legal protections, such as obtaining an LLC and the formation of a management agreement, are applicable across Georgia.
Injured in an AirBnB? Received a fine? At risk for eviction?
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