(File photo)

Roswell ponders how to regulate, make money from Airbnb services

Roswell City Council members are discussing the need for more regulations and oversight of short-term home rentals through sites like Airbnb or VRBO.

Currently, the city has no rules about the rental services, which means Roswell makes no money off of an Airbnb stay like the city would from a traditional hotels stay.

Cities like Woodstock and Sandy Springs already have short-term rental policies in place. Roswell had been waiting because there was a prospective bill this session in the General Assembly that would have set state-wide rules for short-term rentals, but the legislation failed. On Tuesday night, the Brookhaven City Council tweaked its zoning code to allow more residences to offer short-term rentals.


READ | South Fulton puts limits on short-term rentals ahead of Super Bowl

READ | CITY BY CITY: How to list your home on Airbnb in metro Atlanta


For years, Roswell code enforcement officials have been going to Airbnb host homes to wag a finger at the owners, but the city has no policy with which to punish people.

“It’s the Wild West,” said Councilman Matt Tyser at a community development and transportation committee meeting Wednesday. Councilmembers at the meeting directed the committee to begin working on a policy that the the City Council could vote on later.

Industry analysts found that as of March the city had 220 active Airbnb hosts charging a median nightly rate of $125, according to Roswell finance director Ryan Luckett.


READPolice won’t respond? Sandy Springs law shows tension with alarm groups


He said the lack of regulations means the city loses between $40,000 to $50,000 in hotel-motel tax revenue every year.

But there are concerns beyond the money.

“It’s out of character with the neighborhoods,” said Alice Wakefield, director of community development.

Councilman Matt Judy said he was worried about safety. “I have a 6-year-old kid, and if an Airbnb or a VRBO pops up next to me and a sexual predator or somebody comes in, I’d like to know there’s an Airbnb next to me.”


Like North Fulton County News Now on Facebook Follow on Twitter


In other news...

PeachFest 2019 will take place Sunday, July 21. The event is moving locations. This year it will be in Peachtree Center's renovated plaza downtown. More than 65 food artisans, pastry chefs, barkeeps and sponsors will fill your belly with inventive takes on classic peach dishes. PeachFest welcomes new, existing and emerging artists to take the stage. Funds raised are used for programming at Piggy Bank, which grants farmers in any part of the world access to a powerful database of business plans.

Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.

Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.

X