A bill to protect private property rights and catalyze Tennessee's tourism economy was signed into law today by Governor Bill Haslam.
Authored by Rep. Cameron Sexton (R-Crossville) and Sen. John Stevens (R-Huntington), the Short-Term Rental Unit Act outlines statewide short-term rental standards and protects property rights of Tennessee homeowners. At the same time, the bill preserves important local government regulatory controls and empowers municipalities to develop their own rules on short-term rentals.
"I commend my colleagues for mobilizing so strongly behind this pro-business and pro-technology law," said Rep. Sexton. "It will make our state that much more welcoming and economically robust."
"With this compromise legislation becoming law, we have found the right balance between reasonable local regulation and constitutionally protected private property rights," said Sen. Stevens. "This law will provide clarity and stability for Tennessee homeowners."
Specifically, the legislation provides economic certainty for Tennessee homeowners who are legally utilizing their homes as short-term rentals in cities that do not currently have ordinances on the books that speak to short-term rentals. The Short-Term Rental Act eliminates regulatory ambiguity for these Tennesseans and ensures that thy are protected under state law.
Tennessee is the sixth U.S. state -- following Florida, Idaho, Arizona, Utah, and Indiana -- to pass state legislation to protect short-term rentals. Several other states -- including Michigan and Georgia -- are currently considering following Tennessee's lead with similar legislation to protect property rights.
Statement from Justin Owen, President & CEO, Beacon Impact
"This compromise bill strikes a balance, providing economic liberty and property rights for owners who have been renting their homes responsibly, while still giving municipalities the ability to regulate short-term rental properties as they see fit. Tennesseans should have a reasonable expectation that they can use their own property in law-abiding ways, and we're very pleased the majority of legislators agreed to protect those property rights."
Statement from Matt Kiessling, Vice President of Short-term Rental Policy, The Travel Technology Association
"We commend Governor Haslam and the General Assembly for embracing this reasonable, efficient policy framework that will protect and preserve the rights of all members of their communities. This law is a well-balanced compromise that will bring stability and consistency to the regulation of short-term rentals throughout Tennessee. Thanks to the leadership of Senator Stevens and Representative Sexton, this thoughtfully crafted legislation will empower local municipalities to regulate short-term rentals according to their unique needs and circumstances, while at the same time preserving the rights of homeowners to continue to open their homes to travelers visiting the Volunteer State."