Sandy Springs has set a license fee and neighbor notification requirement for short-term rentals.
The license fee is $50, and people renting out homes under such services as Airbnb will have to notify adjacent property owners and homeowners associations. The ordinance tweaks were approved by the City Council April 3.
The fee and notification are part of the city’s new short-term rental regulatory system, which goes into effect May 1. The regulations are intended to make sure that short-term rental spaces meet city code standards and that their operators pay the required hotel/motel taxes. The system will include a business license fee to be determined. If approved, the short-term rental operator would receive a one-year permit.
Owners of short-term rentals will be required to provide detailed records of rental activity to the city and give emergency contact information to everyone living within 500 feet. Registration and compliance will be contracted to a company called Host Compliance at a cost previously estimated by city officials at $21,000 a year.
At the April 3 council meeting, Assistant City Manager Jim Tolbert said that the $50 fee is “nominal” and “about as low as we go.”
The notification requirement was questioned in a previous council discussion by Councilmember Andy Bauman. He noted that other types of businesses are not required to give notification to their neighbors. However, Bauman did not attend the April 3 meeting where the ordinance change passed. Tolbert noted that the notification does not give neighbors any approval or disapproval authority; it is meant to avoid surprises if they see strangers visiting the rental property.