Unveiling Nashville Airbnb Laws: Everything You Need to Know in 2023

Get up to speed with the latest Airbnb and short term rental laws and regulations in Nashville, Tennessee with our comprehensive guide.

Written by:
Luisa Rollenhagen
October 18, 2023

As a thriving tourist destination, Nashville is a hotspot for short-term rental property owners. But with the ever-changing landscape of regulations governing Airbnb listings, it's essential for hosts to stay informed and compliant.

In 2023, navigating Airbnb laws, specifically the Nashville Airbnb laws, has become more important than ever to ensure a smooth and profitable hosting experience for Tennessee hosts.

This comprehensive guide will walk you through everything you need to know about Nashville’s short-term rental regulations, including permit types, application processes, safety requirements, tax responsibilities, and more. It's time to equip yourself with the knowledge to operate a successful and compliant Airbnb property in the vibrant city of Nashville, while adhering to the Nashville Airbnb laws.

Key Takeaways

  • Understand Nashville’s Short-Term Rental Regulations to ensure a compliant hosting experience.
  • Familiarize yourself with the twot ypes of short term rental permits, owner occupied and non-owner occupied.
  • Comply with all applicable local rules and regulations related to short term rentals in order to avoid penalties.

Understanding Nashville's Short-Term Rental Regulations

For property owners in Nashville, it's vital to navigate the complex world of short-term rental regulations. To legally list a property on short-term rental websites such as Airbnb, hosts must first obtain a permit from the Metro Codes Department. Whether you manage the property yourself or work with a property management company, compliance with local regulations is non-negotiable.

Failure to adhere to these regulations can result in severe consequences. Hosts operating without the requisite documentation may face waiting periods of up to a year or longer before being qualified to submit an application for a permit.

A successful and stress-free hosting experience hinges on compliance with Nashville’s short-term rental laws.

Types of Short-Term Rental Permits in Nashville

In Nashville, there are two types of short-term rental permits for property owners. These include owner-occupied and non-owner occupied permits. Each type has its own unique rules and regulations, making it important to grasp the differences and requirements before embarking on your short-term rental business.

Owner-Occupied Permits

An owner-occupied permit is designed for hosts who reside in their residential dwelling and rent out a portion of their home for short-term stays. The property owner must reside in the house or in another unit on the same lot, and the property can have a maximum of four bedrooms for transient occupancy.

To obtain an owner-occupied permit, hosts must provide two documents confirming their primary residence. The property has a limit to the number of guests it can host. This is calculated by doubling the number of sleeping rooms and adding four more guests..

The permit application process involves the following steps:

  1. Creating a floor plan
  2. Obtaining proof of liability insurance
  3. Providing proof of notification to adjacent property owners
  4. Submitting the application online through the Nashville Metro Codes Department website.

Non-Owner Occupied Permits

On the other hand, non-owner occupied permits cater to hosts who do not reside on the property and rent out occasionally the entire property, home or unit for short-term stays. These properties must be used solely for rental purposes, with the owner not residing on the property during the rental period.

Obtaining a non-owner occupied permit requires several steps, including:

  1. Creating a floor plan
  2. Acquiring proof of liability insurance
  3. Furnishing proof of notification to adjacent property owners
  4. Completing the non-owner occupied affidavit form

It’s important to note that new non-owner occupied short-term rental permits are only authorized in specific non-residentially zoned areas in Nashville.

Applying for a Nashville Short-Term Rental Permit

When applying for a Nashville short-term rental permit, hosts must complete the application process within 90 days, provide the necessary documentation, and pay the required fees. The permit is valid for one year, and if not renewed before its expiration date, hosts are given a 30-day grace period to renew, provided there were no documented complaints in the previous year and they can demonstrate a reasonable explanation for missing the deadline.

Hosts can streamline the permit acquisition process and dodge potential penalties by staying organized and sticking to the application timeline. Regardless of whether you’re applying for an owner-occupied or non-owner occupied permit, understanding the requirements and assembling all necessary documents before application submission is paramount.

Safety Requirements for Nashville Airbnb Hosts

For any Airbnb host, guest safety should be a top priority. In Nashville, hosts must comply with the following safety requirements:

  • Building and fire safety codes
  • Installation of smoke alarms
  • Adherence to maximum occupancy rules
  • Availability 24/7 or appointment of a responsible party.

Smoke alarms must be installed on each level of the property, outside each sleeping area, and inside each bedroom, ensuring that the alarms are audible to all residents.

Additionally, the maximum number of occupants allowed on a short-term rental property at any one time shall not exceed twice the number of sleeping rooms. Adhering to these safety requirements enables hosts to offer their guests a secure and comfortable environment.

Tax Responsibilities for Short-Term Rental Hosts in Nashville

Understanding and fulfilling your tax responsibilities is a key component of being a short-term rental host in Nashville. Hosts are required to collect and remit taxes, including sales tax, hotel/motel tax, and business tax.

To ensure compliance, obtaining a city business tax registration and a county business tax registration is necessary. The state sales tax rate is 7%, while the local sales tax rate is capped at 2.75%.

Hosts are required to pay the hotel occupancy tax. This tax is collected directly from short-term rental marketplaces and then remitted to the Department of Revenue. If a rental is made outside of these marketplaces, the occupancy tax must be collected and remitted by the individual.

To assist with tax collection and reporting, hosts can use tools such as iGMS to obtain payouts, generate invoices, and produce necessary reports on their business performance, including their business tax return.

Navigating Zoning Laws and Property Restrictions

Operating a compliant short-term rental property in Nashville requires a thorough understanding of zoning laws and property restrictions. The city’s zoning ordinance determines how a property can be used for short-term rental purposes, and hosts must adhere to these regulations, requiring permits for specific residential districts and accessory uses.

To avoid potential penalties, thoroughly research the zoning laws and property restrictions in your area before listing your property on Airbnb. Compliance with these regulations will ensure a smooth hosting experience and protect your property investment.

Compliance with Other Local Rules and Regulations

In addition to Nashville’s short-term rental laws and zoning regulations, hosts must also comply with other local rules and regulations related to short term rental properties, including short term vacation rentals. This includes homeowners association rules, condo board or co-op rules, and lease agreements. These regulations may impose restrictions on the length of rentals, minimum stay requirements, and other stipulations related to short-term rentals.

Thoroughly reviewing any applicable local rules and regulations to ensure compliance is a vital step before listing your property. Failure to adhere to these rules could result in penalties and jeopardize your short-term rental business.

Penalties for Non-Compliance with Nashville Airbnb Laws

Non-compliance with Nashville Airbnb laws can lead to severe consequences. Hosts who fail to adhere to these regulations may face fines, permit revocation, and waiting periods before becoming eligible to apply for a new permit. Penalties for non-compliance include fines of $50 per violation per day.

If an STRP permit is revoked, no new permit shall be issued to the applicant for the same property for a period of one year from the date of revocation. To avoid these penalties, hosts must stay informed and comply with all relevant Nashville Airbnb laws and regulations.

Resources for Staying Informed on Nashville Airbnb Laws

For hosts operating in Nashville, keeping up-to-date with the ever-changing landscape of short-term rental regulations is a must. Various resources are available, both online and through local organizations, to help navigate the complex world of Airbnb laws.

Official government websites, such as Nashville.gov - Department of Codes Administration: Short-Term Rentals and Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County Code of Ordinances, provide updates on Nashville Airbnb laws.

Additionally, the Nashville Area Short Term Rental Association (NASTRA) is a local organization that offers information on Airbnb laws in Nashville. Utilize these resources to ensure compliance and operate a successful short-term rental business in Nashville.


In conclusion, understanding and complying with Nashville’s Airbnb laws is crucial for hosts looking to operate a successful and stress-free short-term rental business.

By staying informed on permit requirements, safety regulations, tax responsibilities, zoning laws, and other local rules, hosts can provide a secure and enjoyable experience for their guests, while protecting their property investment. Embrace the vibrant city of Nashville and its thriving short-term rental market by navigating the complexities of its regulations and setting yourself up for success.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Airbnb legal in Nashville TN?

To legally use Airbnb in Nashville and Davidson County, TN, you must obtain a permit from the Metro Codes Department before renting out your property. This permit is valid for one year.

What are the rules for Airbnb in Tennessee?

In Tennessee, anyone wishing to rent a property on Short Term Rental Property websites such as Airbnb, VRBO, or Booking.com must receive a permit from the Metro Codes Department prior to listing. Failure to do so may result in legal consequences.

Can you Airbnb condos in Nashville?

Yes, you can Airbnb condos in Nashville as long as they have four bedrooms or fewer and you obtain the necessary permit.

Is Nashville a good Airbnb investment?

Nashville is a great Airbnb investment opportunity, ranking 18th in the best cities to invest in and having the 2nd highest amount of Superhosts in the US. Hosts can make a substantial profit by renting out their investment to members for accommodations.

What is the difference between owner-occupied and non-owner occupied permits in Nashville?

Owner-occupied permits allow hosts to rent out part of their own property for short-term stays, whereas non-owner occupied permits are used by hosts who rent out an entire home or unit that they do not live in.