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Tybee Island City Council Tells Property Owners They Can’t Rent Their Homes

The Tybee Island City Council has halted vacation rentals at private residences for at least the next 90 days.

City officials voted last week to institute a moratorium to prohibit homeowners from renting their property out on a short-term basis. The issue was brought before council after full-time residents complained to their elected officials. Citing crowded neighborhoods and too much garbage, residents said the owners live out of state and don’t take care of the property the way full-time residents would prefer.

Real estate agents in the area pushed back on the moratorium and prompted city officials to take a different course just ahead of the vote. Brokers and agents said that a moratorium could jeopardize home sales that are under contract, according to the Associated Press. “Real estate broker Jenny Rutherford said her firm has 34 Tybee Island properties under contract, and she’s concerned a rental moratorium could derail some from closing. A lot of these buyers are planning to use their property as a vacation rental,” the outlet reported

Subsequently, the council voted to exempt any vacation home sold to a new owner during the 90-day moratorium and allow those homeowners to apply for a Short Term Vacation Rental permit. Existing homeowners, however, are barred from applying. 

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You can read the full resolution here.

Under current city ordinances, property owners must complete an application to be considered for a short term rental application by the city government. Short term rentals are defined as those that are for less than 30 days at a time. Each property must have its own application with a $100 application fee. 

Short-term vacation rentals are required to remit a 7% local hotel/motel tax to the City’s Revenue Department every month and another 7% to the Georgia Department of Revenue. Tybee Island also implemented a “Good Neighbor Program”, and STVR owners and managers pledge to inform their guests about local laws, must use their “best efforts to assure that use of the premises by rental guests will not disrupt the neighborhood” and will not interfere with the rights of neighboring property owners to the quiet enjoyment of their properties. You can read all of the rules here.

Tybee Island, which is Georgia’s largest public beach, is home to approximately 3,000 people.

Jessica Szilagyi
Written By

Jessica Szilagyi is Publisher of The Georgia Virtue. She focuses primarily on state and local politics as well as issues in law enforcement. She has a background in Political Science with a focus in local government and has a Master of Public Administration from the University of Georgia. Jessica is a "Like It Or Not" contributor for Fox5 in Atlanta, a commentator on the 'Let Me Tell You Why You're Wrong Podcast,' and she has two blogs of her own: The Perspicacious Conservative and "Hair Blowers to Lawn Mowers." Sign up for her weekly newsletter: http://eepurl.com/gzYAZT

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