In a town like Nashville, there’s no end to the rumors that circulate. And when it comes to Airbnb and short-term rentals (STRs) in Nashville, it seems the rumor mill has been churning at an alarming rate.
Trust me, I’ve heard some doozies. So if you’ve been told things that have left you scratching your head, I’ve got you covered. Today, I’ll walk you through the four most common myths floating around and give you the real facts so you can help stop the madness.
Myth: Nashville may ban all Airbnb properties.
Owner-occupied STRs have never been in jeopardy. Yes, Metro Codes has proposed a ban on non-owner occupied STRs, but on October 3rd, they deferred the vote until January. A sub-committee has been formed to research and review the STR situation, and make a recommendation on the best way forward in January. As a phase out of non-owner occupied STRs is still possible, it’s incredibly important that you reach out to city council to voice your support of homesharing and personal property rights.
Myth: The majority of STR owners are out-of-state investors.
This is simply not true. In fact, a whopping 88.8% of owners live in Tennessee. The majority of Airbnbs are run by people who not only live in the community but also care deeply about what happens in the community. They offer authentic local experiences to visitors and point them towards local businesses and independent restaurants, which supports and stimulates our city’s economy. By and large, Airbnb owners are not unconcerned outsiders but active, engaged, responsible members of the community.
Myth: STRs are causing a housing shortage in Nashville.
Nashville is a booming city—it’s experiencing all the typical growing pains that accompany this type of exponential growth. A shortage of affordable housing is definitely a concern, and it’s one that Mayor Barry has made a priority to address. However, it’s almost fashionable to blame STRs when folks can’t find exactly what they’re looking for on the housing market. The fact is, though, non-owner occupied STRs comprise just .4% of all housing units in Nashville. That’s certainly not enough to be causing the housing shortage.
Myth: STRs cause significant problems in neighborhoods.
This is one I hear frequently. Why? In part, because Nashville has become a wildly popular spot for bachelor and bachelorette parties. I’ve heard claims that these groups of visitors cause frequent complaints and police visits. While there are definitely problem guests (and, dare I say, problem hosts), the scale of these issues has been sensationalized beyond belief. In truth, STR homes comprise only .2% of all complaints to police and Codes.
Undoubtedly, the STR industry is great for cities, and Nashville is no exception. As I shared in a recent post, in Nashville alone, $477 million has been generated in economic impact through STRs in a single year. This industry also helps drive traffic to local businesses: 50% of Airbnb guests spend directly in the neighborhood in which they’re staying. STRs have created more than 5,000 jobs and have generated $152 million in wages and benefits. These are all great things.
No matter how much truth we try to spread, rumors fly, so if you hear anything else wild, just shoot us a message. We just might address your question in a future blog post or ezine.