Henry County commissioners adopted a short-term rental ordinance during the October 4 board meeting. County ordinances did not previously regulate short-term rentals.
The short-term rental ordinance takes effect immediately. It requires owners of a short-term rental to apply for and receive an occupational tax business license from the county.
Short-term Rental Ordinance
The county’s new ordinance defines a short-term rental as residential homes leased for periods less than thirty days. It creates a license and tax requirement for such properties located within unincorporated Henry County. As a reminder, county ordinances do not apply within city limits. The city of Stockbridge has a similar ordinance in place since 2019.
In addition to requiring short-term rentals to obtain a business license, it also prohibits the leasing of a short-term rental for purposes of hosting a party. Numerous residents addressed the board in September about their experiences and frustrations with parties occurring within their McDonough subdivision.
The county will now require the owner of a short-term rental to provide a local contact who will be available 24/7. The local contact will be on-call to address any concerns that arise from a short-term rental. It also limits the number of cars that can park at the location. Specifically, parking limits are one car per bedroom or the number of cars that any garage, carport or the driveway can support.
The cost to obtain an occupational tax license is $60 plus a percentage of estimated gross receipts. The tax commissioner’s office issues the tax licenses.
The rental ordinance passed by a 4-2 vote. Commissioners Wilson and Holmes voted in opposition. During discussion, Commissioner Wilson voiced concerns the ordinance did not address the primary issue of banning party houses. Commissioner Holmes’ questions focused on the ordinance banning parties at only short-term rentals. The ordinance does not prohibit parties at owner-occupied or long-term rental properties.
Featured image shows a single-family subdivision. Stock photo.
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