4 Desert Cities With Strict New Short-Term Vacation Rental Rules

rancho mirage estate pool chaise desert skies golf course

These 4 Coachella Valley Desert Cities Have Some Of The Strictest New Short-Term Vacation Rental Restrictions In The Country

As fall/winter Southern California desert vacation season nears, and vacation rental demand soars, it’s time for a hard look at what’s happening with vacation rental regulations in the Coachella Valley. The city of Palm Springs, with its strong occupancy rate, and investor-friendly permit regulations, continues to be a vacation-rental hotspot. But scarce property inventory and intense competition has led many to operate short-term rentals in smaller neighboring desert cities. And along with vacation-rental growth in these communities has come increased neighbor opposition, and a spate of new city council votes, ordinances and permit restrictions. Here are the new restrictions for four Coachella Valley desert cities that have voted on ordinances in the first half of 2021. 

New La Quinta Vacation Rental Restrictions

Even with the COVID-10 pandemic in full force across the country, La Quinta saw a 267% increase in neighbor noise complaints between May and July of 2020. That steep rise led to a December 2020 city council vote to tighten La Quinta’s existing vacation rental ordinance

Changes to permit rules included requiring a local STR property contact to be available 24/7, and able to respond within 30 minutes of being called by STR code enforcement or the sheriff’s department. The city council also doubled noise-ordinance and other permit violation penalties. The new fines are set at $1,000 for a first violation, $2,000 for a second and $3,000 for a third. 

As of May, 2021, per La Quinta Ordinance 591, the city added these important new changes to short-term-rental permitting:

Looking for a La Quinta vacation rental investment? These 10 La Quinta “non-issuance exempt zones” are not affected by the new stay on short-term-rental permits.

La Quinta desert villa vacation rental fire pit

New Rancho Mirage Vacation Rental Rules

Similar to La Quinta, Coachella Valley golf paradise Rancho Mirage is moving toward a ban on short-term rentals in non-gated communities. The move comes in response to a massive increase in noise complaints, along with complaints about parking. A January 2021 city council vote skewed 5-0 in favor of a stay on new and renewed permits outside of gated HOA communities. Here’s what the new Rancho Mirage short-term-rental ban means for current and prospective vacation-rental owners and property managers:

Along with the ban on new STR permits in non-restricted HOAs, Rancho Mirage is toughening up its existing STR rules. Among restrictions in this haven for poolside gatherings and al fresco festivities: No amplified sound may be used outdoors, or be audible from outside the property, at any time. 

New Regulations for Cathedral City and Palm Desert

Located between Palm Springs and Rancho Mirage, popular retirement enclave Cathedral City has seen a boom in vacation rental demand over the past several years. The desert city has also experienced a major increase in neighbor complaints related to STRs in their neighborhoods. Over a 14-month period between October 2019 and November 2020, Cathedral City police reported more than 1,800 complaints and calls for service related to short-term vacation rentals, most of them about noise. 

The city has responded with a sharp curtailing of short-term rentals. The new Cathedral City short-term-rental measure, approved in March:

In Palm Desert, famed as the Coachella Valley’s upscale-retail hub, the city council took up the short-term-rental issue in December 2020. In a 3-1 vote, Palm Desert approved a new ordinance that:

Even with new restrictions and regulations, owning and operating a short-term vacation rental in the Coachella Valley can be a lucrative enterprise with proper management and marketing. Find out more about protecting vacation-rental property and profits, and avoiding noise-related fines and damage, here.

Natasha Garber covers short-term-rental industry trends, news, regulations and compliance for NoiseAware. Her posts on STR property management technology, privacy-safe noise monitoring, and licensing laws can be found weekly on the NoiseAware blog.

6 Things To Know About The New Nevada Short-Term-Rental Bill

nevada short term rental bill las vegas strip

In 2018, county commissioners essentially imposed a ban on short-term rentals in Nevada’s unincorporated Clark County, which covers the state’s largest short-term-rental operating area. At the same time, the Las Vegas Planning Commission placed severe restrictions on Las Vegas vacation rentals, limiting short-term rentals to owner-occupied properties. Nearby Henderson, Nev., opted to allow short-term rentals, but with many restrictions, and an annual $820 registration fee. Nevada’s Washoe County, which includes Lake Tahoe’s popular Incline Village area, adopted an entirely new short-term-rental policy earlier this year, setting permit fees, limiting occupancy. and allowing owners to operate multiple STRs in some cases.

Ever since the strictest of these rules were imposed, STR owners and potential STR operators have clamored for more freedom, and wondered if and when the bans and tight restrictions would ever end. They may finally have reason to be hopeful. Assemblywoman Rochelle Nguyen (D-Las Vegas) recently introduced Assembly Bill 363, which would create permitting rules and requirements, and enforce tax collection, for short-term rentals brokered by companies such as Airbnb, Vrbo and other listing platforms. But eager Nevada real-estate investors and property owners can’t jump on the speeding STR train just yet. Here’s what’s happening with AB 363 and what’s on the horizon for Nevada short-term rental licensing and regulations.

  1. Assembly bill 363 is not the first Nevada bill to address short-term rental issues.
  2. The new Nevada short-term rental bill is accompanied by a “conceptual amendment” that includes “distance-between” restrictions, multi-family-dwelling caps and other limits.
  3. The bill includes regulations designed to prevent “party houses” and excessive noise.
  4. The new measure could have major tax benefits for Nevada state and local governments.
  5. The new Nevada short-term rental bill has some surprising supporters, and equally surprising opponents.
  6. The bill has not yet been voted on, but could be soon.
vacation rental nevada neutral tones peaceful

1. Nevada’s short-term-rental issues—Assembly Bill 363 isn’t the first to address problems.

Back in 2017 the Nevada state legislature approved AB 321, which authorized counties and cities to adopt ordinances allowing property owners to use online hosting platforms such as Airbnb. The bill also required submission of quarterly reports by these platforms. But AB 321 did nothing to tackle the state’s hodgepodge of county and city short-term-rental regulations. That vacuum in statewide regulation allowed for extremely strict rules to be set in some areas (unincorporated Clark County’s total ban) while other areas were virtually unregulated. Assemblywoman Nguyen has noted that this disparity has given rise to a massive number of non-compliant Clark County vacation rentals openly listed on Airbnb and VRBO. More problematic to Nguyen and her co-sponsors is the inability of state and local governments to reap tax revenue from these “illegal” rentals.

2. The new Nevada short-term rental bill is accompanied by a “conceptual amendment” that includes “distance-between” restrictions, multi-family-dwelling caps and other limits.

In its main scope, Nevada’s AB 363 does the following:

But the real meat and potatoes of the bill—and the points of greatest contention between supporters and opponents—lie in the amendment that was introduced along with AB 363. The detailed add-on includes these stipulations:

short term vacation rental party pizza wine mess

3. The bill includes short-term-rental regulations designed to prevent “party houses” and excessive noise.

Section 20 of AB 363 calls for establishing specific requirements for noise, trash and security. It also defines and prohibits parties. But, again, the real details lie in the conceptual amendment, which:

Excessive noise and rowdy gatherings are consistently the biggest complaints voiced by STR neighbors in popular Nevada vacation destinations including Las Vegas, Henderson and Lake Tahoe. The new bill addresses these issues and provides penalties for violating noise and occupancy rules. But even with these regulations, Nevada short-term vacation rental owners likely will want to take a cue from STR owners in other in-demand vacation destinations and protect against fines and false complaints with privacy-safe noise monitoring devices and other smart-home technologies.

4. The new measure could have major tax benefits for Nevada’s state and local governments.

By including short-term rentals in the definition of “transient lodging,” AB 363 would subject residential vacation rentals to the same taxes that Nevada hotels and resorts charge their guests. Taxes would need to be collected and remitted to state and local governments. Ostensibly, these taxes would amount to millions of dollars in currently untapped revenue. Airbnb, for example, estimated that it could have collected and remitted up to $14.5 million on behalf of hosts in 2019. Advocates point out that this windfall in tax revenue could be used, for example, to meet recent recommendations by the Commission on School Funding to bump per-pupil spending in Nevada up to the national average.

5. The new Nevada short-term-rental bill has some surprising supporters, and equally surprising opponents.

Bill supporters include the Culinary Workers Union. This powerful group cites the need for stricter regulations to deter STR investors from purchasing large numbers of housing units—and ostensibly making these unavailable to low-wage-earning service workers seeking affordable housing. The union also hopes that tighter regulations will prevent loud, rowdy guests, and even violent confrontations, from disrupting the lives of workers who live near these properties.

The Nevada State Education Association hopes that taxes collected from licensed short-term vacation rentals will help close the gap between Nevada education funding and other states in the country.

The Nevada Resort Association, which has opposed short term rentals in the past, actually supports AB 363, because the bill mandates and enforces taxing vacation rentals similarly to hotels. 

Opponents of the bill cite a variety of different concerns. These include Airbnb’s worry about provisions including a “buffer zone” around gaming establishments, and a required 500-foot distance between STRs (except for units located in the same multi-family building).

Meanwhile, single-property owners and smaller STR operators worry that having to pay the same big taxes as big hotels will put them out of business.

Still other opponents think that the new bill doesn’t go far enough to limit the overall number of short-term vacation rentals in popular vacation destinations in the state, including Lake Tahoe.

noiseaware noise detection press release series A funding april 2021

6. The bill has not yet been voted on, but could be soon.

As of this post publication, AB 363, which was first introduced to the Nevada state legislature in April, has not yet been put to a vote. The bill has been exempt from legislative deadlines and further consideration in the legislature is yet to be announced. But Assemblywoman Nguyen appears confident that action will be taken on the issue of short-term vacation rentals during this legislative session. Make sure to check back with NoiseAware for developments on the Nevada short-term rental bill, and other news in the world of vacation rental regulations, and improving relations with STR neighbors and communities.

What Does Denver’s New Short-Term-Rental Regulation Mean For Airbnb?

Following in the footsteps of New York, San Francisco and Santa Monica, Denver is the latest city to impose fines on short-term-rental platforms like Airbnb for listing unlicensed properties. Airbnb, meanwhile, appears to be doing its part to minimize non-compliant short-term rentals in the Mile High City. It is also taking steps to prevent noise complaints and “party house” situations as the summer holidays heat up. So what does this mean for short-term vacation rental owners and property managers? And how will it impact the upcoming Fourth-of-July weekend?

  1. The city of Denver’s new measure is designed to compel short-term-listing platforms to be responsible for verifying property licenses.
  2. The new legislation seems to be doing what it was intended to do: purging unlicensed listings, encouraging proper licensing and generally improving the Denver short-term-rental market.
  3. Airbnb and other listing platforms are taking steps to prevent Fourth-of-July parties at short-term vacation rentals in Denver.

1. The city of Denver’s new measure is designed to compel short-term-listing platforms to be responsible for verifying property licenses.

In late November 2020, the Denver city council voted to fine online short-term-rental platforms up to $1,000 per transaction “if they help unauthorized people rent out their homes to vacationers and other short-term occupants.” The council says it took this action to prompt rental platforms such as Airbnb to cooperate with its licensing regulations by prohibiting unlicensed rentals from marketing through the platform. The new legislation, which came in part as a result of complaints about excessive guest noise and rowdy gatherings associated with short-term rentals, was scheduled to go into effect in 2021. 

Then, in February 2021, following several months of negotiation, city officials rejected a proposal by Airbnb on how to remove unlicensed or otherwise illegal listings from the site. For its part, Airbnb says the move to cease negotiations and move forward with the new legislation, and its associated $1,000 fine, came as a surprise.

2. The new legislation seems to be doing what it was intended to do: purging unlicensed listings, encouraging proper licensing and generally improving the Denver short-term-rental market.

Denver first started requiring licenses for short-term-rental operation in 2016. Since then, the city has worked to ensure that all short-term rentals and vacation rentals are in compliance, and operating under license guidelines. Colorado’s most populous city currently has just under 1,960 licensed short-term rentals. But, city officials have said, if rental marketplace platforms don’t require proof of a current license, it’s inevitable that some owners will rent out their properties on those platforms without the proper license. Without a license, a property is not subject to licensing requirements governing safety measures, trash abatement, noise mitigation, or sufficient parking spaces, or the fines levied by the city for violating those requirements. And since Airbnb controls over 90% of Denver’s short-term-rental market, getting the platform, and others like it, to cooperate with the licensing requirement is paramount to ensuring owner compliance. 

Enacting legislation that compels listing sites to show proof of license for listed rentals (and levying fines on listing sites rather than individual owners) appears to cover the most compliance-enforcement ground in one place at one time.

The good news: Since the new legislation went into effect there have been no violations cited, which means both listing platforms and owners seem to be on board with improving short-term rentals for guests, neighbors and communities.

3. Airbnb and other listing platforms are taking steps to prevent Fourth-of-July parties at short-term vacation rentals in Denver.

In response to community concerns, legislative measures, and a general recognition that “large gatherings remain a potential public health issue,” Airbnb is enforcing its “party ban” in Denver, as travelers make their Fourth-of-July-weekend plans.  

Guests without a history of positive reviews will not be allowed to book one-night stays in Denver over the holiday weekend. Airbnb notes that these types of bookings most often correlate with parties and noise complaints. The rental platform is also imposing additional “defenses” on two- and three-night stays, including verifying that the booking guest is 25 or older, and placing restrictions on whole-house rentals within a certain radius. 
Get more information on Airbnb’s “Summer of Responsible Travel,” and find out how you can prevent noise issues and neighbor noise complaints at your Denver short-term vacation rental on Independence Day weekend…and every weekend!

4 Ways To Increase Your Income From A Short-Term Vacation Rental | NoiseAware

In his April 2021 CNBC interview, Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky predicted, “To meet the demand over the coming years, we’re going to need millions more hosts.” That’s millions more owners and managers, offering houses, apartments, condos and private rooms to leisure and business travelers seeking the flexibility, convenience and privacy of a short-term rental or vacation rental. So how does a new STR investor or experienced host take advantage of this expanding demand, while making their property stand out in an increasingly crowded field…and generate greater and more consistent profit? By following these four guidelines, for starters.

  1. Market like you mean it.
  2. Be a good neighbor.
  3. Avoid licensing fines and penalties.
  4. Budget accurately for short-term rental expenses.

1. Market Like You Meant It

The best way to increase your vacation rental income is to ensure consistent occupancy. And the best way to do that is by making marketing your top priority. It’s not enough to just list your rental property on well-known short-term vacation rental portals like Airbnb and VRBO. To really maximize booking frequency and get top dollar for your property, you have to expand your exposure, and show off your rental’s best assets beautifully. 

Photos are the single most important factor potential guests consider when viewing your listing. No matter how delightful your property description or  glowing your guest reviews, if your photos don’t show your rental in the best possible light, guests are unlikely to book. Stage your rental space meticulously by opening curtains, hiding trash cans, neatly stacking or hanging towels, making all beds, fluffing sofa cushions, and adding a few “extras” like flower-filled vases or a few cookbooks in the kitchen. 

Then have a professional photographer photograph your rental, or shoot high-definition images with a high-quality digital camera yourself (not your mobile phone), inside and out. Room photos should show different angles, while exterior photos should showcase featured spaces like the firepit, lounge area, deck or pool.

Pro Tip: Consider investing in a “virtual walkthrough”—aka a 3D tour—which helps guests picture themselves inside your property, and can boost your occupancy rates significantly.

2. Be A Good Neighbor

Maintaining your rental property and preventing guest noise, occupancy limit violations and unruly behavior isn’t just a matter of neighborly consideration. These steps are directly connected to your vacation rental income. Why? Because frustrated neighbors may interact negatively with your guests, impacting their experience and, ultimately, their reviews of your property on listing sites. This may happen when guests are in violation of rental rules. However, it also may happen when they’re not technically breaking rules, but are still creating real or perceived problems for neighbors. 

In some cases, neighbors may complain to you during or after the disturbance. Or they may take a more direct route and contact the police. If your guests are behaving in violation of your rental rules or of local ordinances, the responsibility is ultimately yours. To keep the peace with your neighbors, and avoid having to deal with local authorities, or city or county permitting bodies, regarding noise complaints, take a proactive stance on protecting your property.

Installing a privacy-safe noise-detection device is one of the best ways to prevent guest volume from getting out of hand. A small, nonintrusive, wall-mounted noise-monitoring unit that measures decibel levels, but does not record noise or identify specific sounds, will help protect your property, while protecting guest privacy. By gently notifying guests when volume exceeds allowable levels, a noise-detection system takes the pressure off both you and your guests, and helps ensure that neighbors don’t intervene in, complain about or report noise incidents.

Pro Tip: Don’t forget outdoor noise protection. Especially in warm-weather vacation areas, guests are likely to gather and celebrate outside. An outdoor-mounted noise device helps deter excessive volume where it’s most likely to reach—and annoy—neighbors.

 3. Avoid Licensing Fines & Penalties

In cities, counties and municipalities that require special short-term vacation rental permitting, certain requirements must be met in order to obtain a permit or license. These typically include verifying on-site safety and sanitation measures, having ample parking availability, limiting occupancy, posting signage and having a designated “agent” or contact who can be reached by guests during their stay.

Increasingly, vacation-rental regulations and STR regulations are also addressing guest noise. As post-pandemic travel expands, and local councils revisit short-term-rental ordinances and review local residents’ concerns, some cities and counties are making on-property noise detection a requirement for obtaining a rental license. 

All requirements for obtaining a permit should be clearly outlined in your local short-term-rental ordinance. Some will require inspection verification, others require self-reporting. Almost all requirements have associated fines and penalties for first, second and subsequent violations. Permit-violation fines typically range from $250 to $1,000, and repeated violations may result in the revocation of the rental permit. 

Whether you’re paying penalties or facing the loss of your rental permit altogether, violating STR regulations is a serious legal and financial matter. A great way to protect your vacation rental income and avoid surrendering profits to your city or county is to always maintain compliance with short-term rental rules.

Pro Tip: Hire a property management company. A qualified management company that has expertise in short-term rentals will be familiar with all local codes and regulations, and will help with permit applications, compliance, maintenance and enforcement.

4. Budget Accurately For Your Short-Term-Rental Expenses

While short-term rentals and vacation rentals can be excellent sources of revenue, the income they generate isn’t completely “passive.” Unlike long-term leases and rentals, where once an agreement is signed the tenant is more or less on their own (except in urgent or emergency cases), short-term rentals require regular maintenance, restocking, marketing and booking-transaction management. 

It’s important to have a documented budget for your rental that includes all daily, weekly, monthly and annual expenses. These may include:

With an accurate budget and regularly-maintained expense report, you’ll be able to price and market your property accordingly (taking advantage of seasonal travel and local events that might draw guests, reducing rates and offering specials to encourage off-season travel, raising rates and having stricter cancellation policies during peak seasons) to make sure you cover all costs and maximize your short-term vacation rental income, now, and for the long term.

New Lake Tahoe Vacation Rental Ordinances – How To Comply | NoiseAware

New Lake Tahoe vacation rental restrictions have been issued in two counties—Washoe County and Placer County. The new regulations relate to parking, fire inspections and noise. A third county, El Dorado County (home to popular winter ski and summer water-activities destination South Lake Tahoe), is implementing new restrictions on vacation-home rental permitting. Here’s what the new regulations mean for Lake Tahoe short-term-rental property owners, guests and neighbors, and what you need to do to avoid penalties and fines.

Destination Lake Tahoe

With its stunning setting on the shores of 191 square miles of pristine fresh water, Lake Tahoe is one of the country’s top destinations for adventure travel, outdoor activities and weekend getaways. Nestled in the Sierra Nevada mountains, this in-demand vacation destination straddles the border between California and Nevada, enticing visitors with its ski resorts, snowboard parks, and world-class hiking and mountain-biking trails. 

Over the past several years, the area has seen significant growth in short-term rentals. Washoe County alone, which includes the popular Incline Village and Crystal Bay areas, has more than 1,200 short-term rentals available to visitors for stays of less than 30 days. In Placer County, home of Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows and Northstar California Resort ski areas, VRBO lists about 3,000 short-term rentals, ranging from cozy wood cabins to luxury chalets to contemporary condos.

While the growth in STRs has been a boon to Lake Tahoe visitors seeking more flexible accommodations than a traditional hotel or resort stay, residents have increasingly voiced complaints about parking, boisterous groups and noise. These concerns, combined with a need for more consistent tax collection, and fire safety in this heavily wooded region, have led to the new, stricter short-term-rental license and monitoring measures.

Washoe County Short-Term Vacation Rental Regulations

The small Sierra Nevada community of Incline Village in the northern part of Lake Tahoe has about 8,700 residents. But it is home to 90% of short-term rentals in Nevada’s Washoe County, which have been only moderately regulated until now.

Following two years of public outreach and planning, Washoe County representatives first presented new ordinances governing parking, “life safety” (aka fire safety) and noise, in February of this year. The new regulations were adopted in March 2021, and will be phased in over the spring and summer, allowing for any necessary changes or updates in advance of the winter 2021 ski season. The application period starts May 1, 2021; short-term-rental guidelines, tutorials and permit applications can be accessed here.

New Short Term Rental Regulations in Washoe County & North Lake Tahoe

The major components of the new Washoe County regulations that apply to North Lake Tahoe vacation rental properties include:

Fines for rental ordinance violations are steep, with a first-violation penalty of $400, a second-violation penalty of $700, and a third-violation penalty of $1,000 and potential revocation of the STR permit.

Placer County Short-Term Vacation Rental Regulations

Some of California’s best skiing and snowboarding can be found in the part of North Lake Tahoe located in Placer County. With 12 downhill resorts to choose from, along with miles of backcountry terrain, the region attracts snow-sports aficionados from all over the world. 

There are approximately 3,800 STRs in the county, 3,600 of which are located above 5,000 feet elevation. These alpine accommodations are some of the area’s most desirable among visiting skiers and snowboarders. In recent years, area residents have expressed increasing concern about parties, parking and garbage associated with North Lake Tahoe vacation rental properties. At the same time, the county relies on revenue generated by these non-hotel travel accommodations. Now, like adjacent Washoe County in Nevada, California’s Placer County has tightened the reins on STRs, initiating stricter permitting, occupancy limits, trash mitigation and noise control. Placer County STR owners can apply for new short-term-rental permits and permit renewals here. Here are the main ordinance takeaways:

While Placer County permit fees are less than in neighboring Washoe County, compliance-violation penalties are higher. A first citation penalty will run STR owners up to $500 per day, while subsequent rental ordinance violations are set at up to $1,000 per day.

El Dorado County Short-Term Vacation Rental Regulations

Sunny South Lake Tahoe is located in El Dorado County, and boasts most of the lake’s most expansive and accessible beaches, making it a prime summer vacation destination. With just over 725 permitted Lake Tahoe vacation homes currently in the region, the county is taking a fairly restrictive stance on growth. The El Dorado County Board of Supervisors recently voted to limit the number of vacation-home rental (VHR) permits to 900 in the county’s unincorporated areas, citing resident concerns. The board also noted that in the event that more than 900 permit applications are submitted, a waiting list will be created. Additional new VHR ordinance measures include:

The penalty for a first violation offense is set at $500. If the owner is cited a second time within 18 months, that fine goes up to $750. A third violation in the 18-month window climbs to $1,000. 

Own a short-term rental in the Lake Tahoe area? Make sure you’re compliant with all new rules and regulations, to avoid neighbor complaints and costly fines. You can also help protect your rental investment by vetting guests before accepting bookings, to avoid bad actors and out-of-control events. The best way to head off neighbor complaints before they happen? Equip your property with an unobtrusive, 100% privacy-safe noise detection device that measures decibel levels and notifies guests when their volume exceeds what’s allowed.

4 Reasons To Own A Short-Term Rental In Atlanta | NoiseAware

  1. Relatively cheap home prices and high per-night rental fees make Atlanta a prime choice for new real estate investors.
  2. Atlanta is a top destination city for both leisure travelers and business travelers.
  3. Atlanta’s world-class healthcare facilities draw medical travelers and their families from around the world.
  4. Besides the basic licensing fee and collection of taxes, there are few restrictions governing short-term rentals in Atlanta.

Atlanta is the newest city to join the short-term rental renaissance of 2021. Which is great news for Atlanta homeowners who want to ramp up revenue from existing rental properties, or make some side cash by renting rooms in properties they occupy. It’s also positive news for investors looking to purchase profit-generating properties for rental to tourists and business travelers. Plus, new licensing requirements, and closer attention by local authorities to noise complaints related to short-term rental properties, should come as welcome news for the many Atlanta residents whose concerns about “mega mansion parties” led the city to reconsider its STR regulations.

The Atlanta city council’s March vote allows homeowners to rent rooms or entire houses to guests for up to 30 days.To do so, owners have to apply for an annual license, pay a $150 license fee, and collect city hotel-motel taxes from guests. The 13-1 vote to allow short-term home and room rentals was roundly praised by STR giant Airbnb, which said it is “committed to being a long-term partner to the city of Atlanta,” and to working with the city to promote tourism. If this sounds like money-making music to your ears, here are four awesome additional reasons to own an Atlanta short-term rental home, unit or room.

1. Relatively cheap home prices and high per-night rental fees make Atlanta a prime choice for new real estate investors.

Atlanta is consistently cited as one of the most affordable major U.S. cities to buy residential and investment real estate. While the median price of a single-family home in metro Atlanta hit a high of $340,000 in March 2021 according to real-estate brokerage company Redfin, that price is still much lower than other similar urban centers in the country, including: 

Meanwhile, real estate analytics firm Mashvisor puts the median price for a multi-family home in Atlanta at $534,923. 

Looking at the rental side of things, Airbnb lists entire homes for rent in Atlanta’s trendy Cabbagetown, Buckhead and Peachtree neighborhoods during the city’s high seasons (spring and fall) for an average of $150 to $350 per night, for occupancies of four to six guests. 

For private rooms in homes, which usually can accommodate one to two guests, nightly prices range from about $60 to nearly $200. These prices are expected to be significantly higher for dates corresponding with major Atlanta festivals, concerts and hot-ticket professional sports events.

2. Atlanta is a top destination city for both leisure travelers and business travelers.

With more than 13,000 tech companies based in metro Atlanta, and new firms launching every week, the city is one of the fastest-growing technology hubs in the country. The 2020 “Deloitte America Fast 500” list of the country’s fastest-growing public and private tech companies includes 24 metro Atlanta companies, compared to just nine Atlanta companies on the list 10 years ago. The city of Atlanta is also a dominant force in the biomedical and finance sectors. And in recent years, the city’s flourishing film and television production industry has brought in thousands of workers who require short-term accommodations year-round.

Located in the heart of downtown Atlanta, the 1.5-million-square-foot Georgia World Congress Center is the world’s largest LEED-certified convention center, and an in-demand, centrally located space for important U.S. and global conferences and conventions. As COVID-related travel restrictions lift and businesses start holding in-person meetings and conferences once again (GWCC already has such events as the American Society of Hematology Annual Meeting & Exposition, the North American Commercial Vehicle Show and the American Chemical Society Annual Conference on the books for 2021), business travel to Atlanta is slated to grow significantly over the next five years.

Of course, The Big Peach, as Atlanta is affectionately known, is also a major tourist destination. While the city’s tourism industry took a hit during the coronavirus pandemic, along with every major tourist destination across the globe, leisure travel is poised to bounce back big time. According to the Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau, the city’s hotel occupancy rates increased nearly 40% between 2010 and 2017. Looking toward the next seven years, the city expects to see its average 50 million annual visitors grow year after year after year. That’s no surprise, considering that Atlanta is home to:

Add to that the city’s fine climate, serene lakes, superb shopping and bustling nightlife scene, and you’ve got a destination tailor-made for visits from young professionals, families and retired leisure travelers alike.

Citing flexibility, features, location and price as top factors in opting for short-term rentals and vacation rentals over traditional hotels and motels, both business and leisure travelers are contributing to the sharp rise in STR bookings nationwide. These factors, combined with a continued government stimulus program and a sustained high consumer-savings rate make for a great short-term rental outlook. And Atlanta, with its new short-term rental ordinance, is ideally positioned to capitalize on this boom.

3. Atlanta’s world-class healthcare facilities draw medical travelers and their families from around the world.

Atlanta is home to some of the nation’s most technologically advanced medical facilities, including:

Research firm Healthgrades has given a five-star clinical rating to many of Atlanta’s hospitals, for areas of medicine from obstetrics to coronary care to neurosurgery. Atlanta’s Emory University is renowned for its teaching hospital, which is nationally ranked in 12 medical specialties, and provides services in spine surgery, orthopedic and gynecologic oncology, organ transplants, and stem cell transplants, among other areas. 

With its breadth and quality of medical specialists and healthcare centers, Atlanta naturally attracts patients seeking the best possible outcomes. Depending on the specific treatment and recovery, patients traveling to Atlanta often must stay in the area for an extended period of time, either in the hospital or a rehabilitation facility. And, frequently, their spouses, partners or children will travel with them. 

Short-term rentals offer these travelers a home-away-from-home environment that differs significantly from hotel stays. Guests can rest easier in a more expansive space, with the ability to cook meals, do laundry and work remotely, in comfort and privacy—both of which are valued at a premium when supporting a loved one through medical care. 

Guests don’t have to worry about dressing up, interacting with strangers, dealing with expensive and restrictive parking, or being interrupted by housekeeping when trying to get much-needed rest. Short-term rental hosts can further cater to patients’ families by including helpful amenities in their properties, including gourmet coffee (for early mornings and late nights), bottled water (for drives to and from healthcare facilities), laundry detergent and fabric softener (to make washing clothes more convenient), and thoughtful comforts such as extra-plush towels or a nice bottle of wine.

Properties in Atlanta’s Druid Hills, Morningside-Lenox Park and Virginia Highland neighborhoods all offer close proximity and short drive times to Emory University Hospital. These areas are also popular with tourists, providing a well-balanced market for short-term rental investors. Located between Buckhead and Midtown, Atlanta’s Shepherd Center, specializing in spinal cord and brain injury treatment, is one of U.S. News & World Report’s top 10 rehabilitation hospitals in the country. Families of patients receiving treatment at this Atlanta medical facility have many options in nearby short-term rentals, which also happen to be located in neighborhoods that are also top choices of leisure and business travelers. 

Additional top-notch healthcare clinics and centers are located throughout Atlanta, including Piedmont Atlanta Hospital (located adjacent to Shepherd Center), Northside Hospital (with numerous different specialty facilities dotting the metro-Atlanta region), and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, with three hospital locations in the city.

4. Besides the basic licensing fee and collection of taxes, there are few restrictions governing short-term rentals in Atlanta.

While the new Atlanta ordinance requires owners to pay a fee for operating as a short-term rental, and requires that taxes be collected and remitted, it imposes few other restrictions on rental owners. The requirements it does impose include:

But that’s pretty much it. Which means that the responsibility for vetting guests, maintaining the property, ensuring neighbors’ rights to a safe, quiet, pleasant neighborhood or building, and avoiding non-compliance fines, lies squarely with the owner and his or her designated agent. Here are three things you can do to fulfill that responsibility, and protect your Atlanta short-term rental investment:

  1. Use a vetting service that scours the internet for relevant past rental data on potential guests, and alerts you to any red flags, so you can make informed booking decisions.
  2. Install a privacy-safe noise-detection device designed to monitor decibel levels and gently notify guests if they’re being too loud, before things get out of hand.  
  3. List your rental through one or more well-known short-term rental marketplace sites, which assist with targeting key guest audiences, marketing your rental, and securely collecting fees and taxes on your behalf.

You can find the full text of Atlanta’s new short-term rental ordinance here. Interested in finding out how easy it is to track rowdy behavior and excessive noise at your short-term rental in Atlanta from afar? Get all the information you need, right here!

Hollywood Fla. Requires Noise Detection Devices For Short-Term Rentals

As of April 1, 2021, certification of a noise detection device is required for Hollywood, Fla., vacation rentals. Along with regions like Henderson County, Nev., which includes tourist magnet Las Vegas, the popular Miami-area vacation destination has made it mandatory to show proof of an approved noise monitor in all rental properties seeking short term rental approval. So what does that mean for you as a Hollywood short-term rental property owner or manager?

  1. You need to sign a document certifying that your property is equipped with a noise detector.
  2. You need to do your due diligence to ensure that the noise detection monitor is correctly installed and functioning properly.
  3. You need to let potential guests know upfront that your property has a noise detection device, before they book.
  4. You can rest easy, knowing that you’ll be able to address vacation rental noise issues within a matter of minutes, should they occur.
  5. But if the noise continues, it is your responsibility to deal with it before it becomes a problem for neighbors.
  6. It’s a good idea to have not just an indoor but also an outdoor noise detection monitor.
  7. You can be confident that you’ll have proof to defend against false noise complaints if you need to. 
  8. You can enjoy peace of mind, knowing that your guests and your property’s neighbors are comfortable and happy.

1. You need to sign a document certifying that your property is equipped with a noise detector.

Whether you’re applying for a short-term rental license for the first time, or renewing your existing license for your Hollywood rental, you will need to sign and submit a document certifying that you’re aware of the noise detection requirement, and that your property adheres to it. The document, which notes that, “The City Manager may refuse to issue or renew a license or may revoke a vacation rental license issued under this chapter, if the property owner has willfully withheld or falsified any information required for a vacation rental license,” must be notarized.

2. You need to do your due diligence to ensure that the noise detection monitor is correctly installed and functioning properly.

This should probably go without saying, but your noise monitor needs to be installed the right way and able to detect noise. Fortunately, noise detection devices are extremely easy to install. Like many other smart home devices, installation begins with downloading and opening an app on your phone. Once you click on the “setup sensor” tab, you simply find an unobstructed wall outlet within 75 feet of your wifi router, and follow the setup prompts to firmly secure your sensor and ensure that it is registering noise. Once your noise control device is installed and working properly, you can monitor it from your phone, no matter where you are.

3. You need to let potential guests know upfront that your property has a noise detection device, before they book.

While noise detection devices do not record or play specific sounds—rather they monitor decibel levels—they are monitoring devices. And, as such, rental listing companies such as Airbnb and Vrbo require that guests be notified of their presence in rental properties. Notification of noise monitoring devices should be included in the “House Rules” section of your property’s rental listing. There is currently no legal requirement that property managers or owners notify guests of noise level monitors—so, if for example, you only rent out your short-term rental property by word of mouth, you don’t technically need to alert guests to the noise control device. But it is always a good idea to be forthcoming about the device in your property, if, for no other reason, than to encourage guests to manage their volume preemptively, rather than having to take measures when it gets out of hand.

4. You can rest easy, knowing that you’ll be able to address vacation rental noise issues within a matter of minutes, should they occur.

One of the great benefits of having a noise detector in your Hollywood vacation rental is being able to take action on noise issues before they go too far, so that your property’s neighbors have a peaceful environment. As soon as your noise monitor detects an issue, your guests receive a simple automated message alerting them to the situation. Nine times out of 10, guests decrease their volume to an acceptable level, without any further action needed, making for a peaceful neighborhood, happy guests and a happy property owner (you!).

5. But if the noise continues, it is your responsibility to deal with it before it becomes a problem for neighbors.

In those rare cases where guests continue being loud or rowdy, despite receiving notifications about their excessive volume, you may need to take action. If the noise level at a property exceeds your customized programmed levels, you will receive an alert and a link to the property’s Noise Risk Score graph. The graph takes noise and turns it into data so you can evaluate the property’s risk in real time. You can then decide to message or call your guests. 80% of the time, guests quiet down within 15 minutes of being contacted.

6. It’s a good idea to have not just an indoor but also an outdoor noise detection monitor.

With its warm weather and tropical vibe, Hollywood is the perfect spot for al fresco socializing and festivities. But when outdoor revelry gets out of hand, it can be a major nuisance to neighbors and other rental guests. To prevent outdoor noise from becoming a problem, consider installing an outdoor noise monitor, along with an indoor device. Installation of outdoor sensors is similar to indoor sensors, but should be done after the indoor sensor is installed, and mounted within 100 feet of the indoor sensor. It’s also a good idea to avoid placing your outdoor noise sensor near noise-makers in your short-term rentals, such as AC units, hot tubs and generators.

7. You can be confident that you’ll have proof to defend against false noise complaints if you need to. 

While most well-maintained, well-monitored short-term rentals coexist harmoniously with their long-term neighbors, conflicts do occasionally arise. If either you or the online vacation rental marketplace where you list your property receives a noise complaint that you feel may be either unjustified or completely untrue, a noise monitor will provide you with the documentation to defend against the complaint. If the detected decibel levels during the time of the purported disturbance are within normal limits, you’ve got clear evidence that no violation occurred. If, on the other hand, your noise device shows that guests were shouting, playing loud music or otherwise being excessively noisy, you have a way to verify your neighbor’s complaint.

8. You can enjoy peace of mind, knowing that your guests and your property’s neighbors are comfortable and happy.

The most important advantage of excessive-noise monitoring for Airbnb hosts, VRBO hosts and vacation-rental owners and managers, is preventing issues before they happen. By letting guests know they are expected to keep noise within acceptable limits—and giving them a little reminder when they don’t—you can avoid serious problems including property damage, angry neighbors and visits by the police to your Hollywood, Fla. rental. And you can relax and take advantage of an excellent source of passive income, without expensive fines and penalties eating into your profits.