Steps to Obtain a Short Term Rental Permit in Nashville


BY Grover Collins

Founder & Managing Member

A lot of clients ask about what paperwork or permits they need to rent out their home on Airbnb, VRBO, HomeAway or any other site. Knowing that you have to get a permit, what are the steps?

Step 1: Get all the required info

Obtaining a short term rental permit can be a long, tedious process; however, it is the only way to legally list your properties on sites like VRBO, AirBNB, and HomeAway.

Let’s break these down:

  1. Proof of Ownership / Residence (2 forms) – The easiest way to prove this is with the deed. But you also need to provide a valid driver’s license with the address listed.
  2. Proof of Liability Insurance – Furthermore, Metro requires that you have proof of insurance of one million dollars per occurrence. While Metro may accept the Airbnb insurance, it is smart to obtain your own policy
  3. Notification Proof – Additionally, you must notify your neighbors that you are applying for the permit. The letter need not be fancy; just a short statement that you are applying. You must send this notification to all adjacent property owners.
  4. Create a Floor Plan – This can be a simple drawing of the layout of your home. The most important thing is to identify the bedrooms and the fire-alarms.  Circle the fire alarms on the floor plan. A quick easy creator can be found at They give you a 7-day trial for free (so draw fast).
  5. Responsible Party – This can be you, your property manager, or your attorney. If there is a violation or emergency, Metro Nashville will contact this person first. However, the person must be within a 25-mile radius of the property address.
  6. HOA Check – If you have a home owners’ association, you must get its approval to operate your house as a short-term rental. Note that if you skip this step, the home owners’ association might have a cause of action against you! 
  7. The Affidavit – The affidavit has changed a few times, but a copy of the one as of Aug 27, 2018 is attached here.
  8. Proof of Tax payments – Lastly, you must bring a copy of your paid property taxes for the applicable year.

Step 2: Field Trip to Metro codes

Next, you must take all this information to Metro Codes and wait your turn.

Warning: this process has been known to take a big chunk of time. A tip from professionals: Go early and be first in line. (Or hire someone to go for you.)

Step 3: Fire inspection

Finally, you will next receive paperwork to schedule a fire inspection with the Fire Marshal. The Fire Marshal will inspect to see if there are the required number of fire alarms and other protections.

Step 4: Pay the fees

Once the Fire Marshal gives the all clear, you are ready to obtain your permit. Don’t forget to pay the $50.00 permit fee! Moreover, remember that this fee is slated to increase to $350.00 in 2019.

For more information on applying for an STRP or operating a short-term rental, contact our experienced Nashville administrative lawyers.

Contact a nashville real estate attorney to obtain a short term rental permit

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