Understanding Short-Term Rental Laws in Tennessee

The allure of short-term rentals, facilitated by platforms like Airbnb, has grown significantly in recent years. In Tennessee, many property owners, including mobile homeowners, are looking to capitalize on this trend. However, before diving into the world of short-term rentals, it’s crucial to understand the laws and regulations that govern this industry in the Volunteer State. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore Tennessee’s short-term rental laws, providing insights, requirements, and key considerations for hosts.

Short-Term Rental Laws in Tennessee
Short-Term Rental Laws in Tennessee

Defining Short-Term Rentals

What Are Short-Term Rentals?

Short-term rentals typically refer to the practice of renting out residential properties, including mobile homes, for short stays, often less than 30 days. These rentals are commonly arranged through online platforms like Airbnb, Vrbo, and Booking.com.

Airbnb in Tennessee

Airbnb, one of the leading platforms for short-term rentals, has gained popularity among property owners in Tennessee. However, hosts should be aware of state and local regulations that govern their Airbnb activities.

Tennessee Short-Term Rental Laws and Regulations

Local Jurisdiction

Tennessee’s short-term rental laws can vary by locality. Local governments, including cities and counties, have the authority to establish their own regulations related to short-term rentals. Hosts must check with their local zoning and planning departments to understand the specific rules in their area.

Licensing and Permits

Some municipalities in Tennessee require hosts to obtain licenses or permits to operate short-term rentals legally. These licenses may come with fees and specific application processes. Hosts should ensure compliance with local licensing requirements.


Tennessee imposes various taxes on short-term rentals, including sales taxes and occupancy taxes. Hosts are often responsible for collecting and remitting these taxes to the appropriate authorities. Understanding the tax obligations is essential to avoid legal issues.

Safety and Health Regulations

Local governments may establish safety and health regulations for short-term rentals to ensure the well-being of guests. These regulations can include requirements for smoke detectors, fire extinguishers, and other safety features.

Short-Term Rental Laws and Regulations
Short-Term Rental Laws and Regulations


Hosts should review their insurance policies to ensure coverage for short-term rentals. Traditional homeowner’s insurance may not cover commercial activities like short-term rentals, so hosts may need to secure additional coverage.

Key Considerations for Hosts

Research Local Regulations

Before listing a property for short-term rentals, hosts should research and understand the local regulations in their area. This includes zoning laws, licensing requirements, and tax obligations.

Obtain Necessary Permits

If required, hosts should obtain the necessary licenses or permits to operate legally. Failure to do so may result in fines or penalties.

Collect and Remit Taxes

Hosts should be diligent in collecting and remitting applicable taxes, including sales and occupancy taxes, to avoid potential legal issues.

Maintain Safety Standards

Ensuring the safety and well-being of guests is paramount. Hosts should adhere to safety regulations, provide necessary safety equipment, and address any safety concerns promptly.

Communicate with Neighbors

Maintaining open communication with neighbors can help prevent conflicts and ensure a positive hosting experience for both hosts and guests.

Understanding the short-term rental laws and regulations in Tennessee is essential for property owners looking to embark on a journey into the world of hosting. Regulations can vary by locality, so thorough research and compliance are key to a successful and legally sound hosting experience. By staying informed and following the rules, hosts can provide memorable stays for their guests while adhering to the law.

Helpful Links:

Tennessee State Government – Short-Term Rentals

Tennessee Department of Revenue – Short-Term Rentals

Tennessee General Assembly – Short-Term Rental Legislation

Airbnb Host Compliance

Tennessee Short-Term Rental Association (TSTRA)

Tennessee Bar Association

Tennessee Department of Revenue – Business Tax

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