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Applying for a Short Term Rental Property Permit

There are multiple steps in the process for receiving a Short Term Rental Property (STRP) permit. Being prepared before you meet with a zoning examiner to start the application process can greatly reduce delays or repeat trips to the Development Services Center. DO NOT list a property or unit online until you have received a permit, or you will be ineligible to apply for a permit for one year.

You can download this short term rental property checklist to help guide you through the process.

example of a floor plan sketch

Create a Floor Plan

Applicants shall provide a floor plan (official or hand drawn) that includes all of the rooms available for rent with location of windows, doors, and smoke detectors identified. Smoke detectors (UL217 certified) are required in all sleeping areas, in every room in the path of the means of egress from the sleeping area to the exit, and in each story within the sleeping unit, including basements. Reminder: there is a maximum of four sleeping rooms per STRP permit. Properties with more than four bedrooms cannot be permitted as an STRP.

Proof of Liability Insurance

Proof of insurance evidencing homeowner's fire, hazard, and liability insurance. Liability coverage shall have limits of not less than one million dollars per occurrence. In some cases, the listing company, such as Airbnb, may offer the appropriate insurance to meet these requirements.

Proof of Notification to Adjacent Property Owners

All applicants are required to notify adjacent property owners prior to applying for a permit. The notification template is available here. Proof of written notification will be required to obtain a permit.

For each such adjacent property, proof of written notification shall be:

  • a signature of an owner;
  • a signed receipt of U.S. registered or certified mail addressed to an owner; or
  • notice from the U.S. Postal Service that registered or certified mail to an owner was refused or not timely accepted.

Click here for details and instructions on how to identify and notify adjacent property owners.

Proof of Residence

For owner-occupied permits, the property owner must show two forms of proof of residence. Such document must include the address of the residence seeking a permit and may include a TN driver’s license, other state of TN ID card, Davidson County voter registration card, pay stub, work ID or badge, IRS W2 form, or bank statement.

Proof of Tax Payments

Applicant must provide proof of payment of all taxes due, including property taxes and, for permit renewals, all applicable room, occupancy, and sales taxes required by state law or the Metropolitan Code. Property tax information is available online at the Metropolitan Trustee’s office.

Responsible Party

In order to rent out a STRP, there must be a locally accessible responsible party who can be onsite in the event of an emergency or complaint. The responsible party must reside within a 25 mile radius of the subject property. Please provide the name, phone number, address and email of the person that will be the responsible party for the short term rental operation.

Homeowners Association Statement

Applicant must provide a statement that they have confirmed that operating the proposed STRP would not violate any Home Owners Association agreement or bylaws, Condominium Agreement, Covenants, Codes and Restrictions or any other agreement governing and limiting the use of the proposed STRP property.

Notarized Affidavit

Applicant shall provide a notarized affidavit confirming that all of the information provided during the application process is true and accurate.

If the owner of a property wishes to use a property manager or rental company to apply for the permit on their behalf, they must fill out and sign this notarized affidavit authorizing the third party.

Meet with Zoning Examiner

Once you’ve collected the aforementioned documents and information, you are ready to meet with a zoning examiner to start the application process. In order to do that, you must come to the Development Services Center (Metro Office Building, 800 2nd Ave S.). We recommend that applicants arrive by 7:30a.m. to be placed in the queue to be seen by a zoning examiner. Applicants can also sign into the queue online starting at 8:00 a.m., but be advised slots fill quickly for the day due to heavy volumes.

Fire Marshal Inspection

Once a permit application has been entered, a fire inspection should be scheduled for the property. The Fire Marshal’s office is located on the 3rd floor of the Metro Office Building. Fire Marshal Inspection instructions are available here.

Permit Fee

Once the inspection has been completed and approved, the applicant must pay a $50 permit fee prior to receiving the permit. Cash, check, or credit cards are accepted (a 2.3% processing fee will be applied to all credit card payments).

Post Permit on Listing

Once received, STRP operators are required to post a picture of their current permit to all listings online.

Remit All Required Taxes

The STRP operator is required to remit all sales and hotel taxes to the appropriate agency. Visit the Office of the Treasurer to learn more.

Renew Permit

Permits are only valid for 365 days. They must be renewed annually to remain in compliance with the law.