Athens, Georgia Short Term Rental Regulations

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Reviewed by Derick Hargrave

Last updated August 23, 2023

Athens Short-Term Rental Regulations

Information is maintained by the community to provide helpful insights and links to local regulations, HostScouts does not provide legal or investment advice.

City Code of Ordinances

Athens-Clarke County regulates short-term rentals. Athens-Clarke County defines short-term rentals (STRs) or short-term vacation rentals as  “hotels” as defined by ACCGov Code of Ordinances Section 2-3-1”. Hotel: A hotel, motel, inn, lodge, tourist camp, tourist cabin, or any other place in which rooms, lodgings, or accommodations are regularly furnished for value.” For more information, see the Short Term Rentals page

Business License Requirements

Short-term rental operators must have Athens-Clarke County Business Occupation Tax Certificates. This tax application form may be accessed on the Finance homepage under Apply for or Renew Business Tax Certificate

Building and Housing Standards

Athens-Clarke County has rules and regulations that specify minimum building, design, maintenance standards, habitability, health, and safety requirements. Some rules and regulations that apply to residential and non-residential properties may apply to your listing. Consult Athens-Clarke County for more information. 

Tourist and Local Taxes

Operators of STRs in Athens-Clarke County are required to collect and pay the 7% local hotel-motel excise tax. Payment of this tax may be handled by a third-party lodging facilitator (online lodging platform such as Airbnb or Vrbo) or by the operator if the guest pays the operator directly.  An online and manual form for reporting and paying monthly hotel-motel taxes can be found at Pay Local Excise Taxes on the Finance webpage. 

Other Rules

It is also essential to understand and abide by other contracts or rules that bind you, such as leases, condo boards, co-op rules, HOA rules, or rules established by tenant organizations. Please read your lease agreement and check with your landlord if applicable. Visit the Athens-Clarke County website for more information. 
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  • Short Term City Rating
  • Competition

  • Real Estate Cost

  • STR Regulations

  • Seasonality

  • Rental Rates


Athens, Georgia Quick Stats

Short-term rentals have gained a lot of traction in the last few years. The trends and statistics of this sector are constantly changing, and having access to accurate data is essential for making sound investment decisions.

STR License Required
Tourist Season
Athens-Ben Epps Airport (AHN)
Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL)
Review our Athens Georgia short-term rental analytics guide, including rates, property types and other metrics

Want to learn more about Athens?

Hostscouts has you covered. Our guides for this city cover topics that can help you research cities across the US quickly and easily.

Check out our Athens rental analytics guide if you're interested in data on the Athens rental market.

City Activities

Review the popular activities that hosts include in their property positing in Athens.

City Attractions

The most popular local and regional landmarks hosts usually include in their Airbnb or Vrbo property listings.

Athens Rental Rates & Fees

Explore nightly rates that hosts list their properties and the average fees for pets and additional guests.

Property Types & Sizes

What are the most popular property sizes for rent? Research whether a 1, 2, or 3 bedroom best fits Athens guests.

Interested in other Georgia cities?

Check out the Georgia Airbnb rules directory 

What makes Athens a great place to invest?

  1. The University of Georgia - Located in the heart of Athens, the University of Georgia is a historic institution that boasts a vibrant campus community. Visitors can take a tour of the campus, explore the Georgia Museum of Art, or catch a Bulldogs game at Sanford Stadium.
  2. Georgia Theatre - This iconic music venue has been a staple of Athens' music scene since the 1970s. After a devastating fire in 2009, the venue was renovated and reopened, and now hosts top musical acts from around the world.
  3. State Botanical Garden of Georgia - This 313-acre garden is home to over 11 miles of hiking trails, a conservatory, and a variety of gardens and collections. Visitors can take a guided tour, participate in educational programs, or simply relax and enjoy the beauty of the garden.
  4. Athens Farmers Market - Held every Saturday from April to December, this open-air market features locally grown produce, handmade crafts, and live music. Visitors can sample fresh produce, chat with local farmers, and soak up the vibrant community atmosphere.
  5. The Georgia Museum of Art - Located on the University of Georgia campus, this museum features over 10,000 works of art, including paintings, sculptures, and decorative arts. Visitors can take a guided tour or explore the museum's collections on their own.
  6. Sandy Creek Park - This 782-acre park offers a wide range of outdoor activities, including hiking, swimming, boating, and fishing. Visitors can rent canoes, kayaks, and paddle boats, or simply relax on the beach and enjoy the beauty of the lake.
  7. Oconee National Forest - Located just a short drive from Athens, the Oconee National Forest offers over 100,000 acres of pristine wilderness to explore. Visitors can hike through the forest's trails, fish in the clear mountain streams, or simply relax and enjoy the beauty of the natural surroundings.

Athens Nearby Cities

Local Real Estate

How expensive is the real estate in Athens?

The cost of real estate can vary widely depending on the location, size, and features of the property, as well as market conditions. The median home value in Athens has increased 12% over the past year, and the average price per square foot is $169, which is lower than the national average.

Median Sale Price


12% YoY

Median per Square Foot


3% YoY

Average Monthly Rent


8% YoY

Property Descriptions

The most common terms hosts include in their listings for Athens, Georgia

Word Cloud for Athens, Georgia Short Term Rentals

Common terms for Athens short term rental listings.

When potential guests are scrolling through listings on Airbnb, they’re looking for certain essential information to help them decide if your property is the right fit for their needs. As a host, ensuring that your listing includes all the relevant information that guests will be looking for is vital.

Some of the must-have elements of a property description include:

  • Location: Guests will want to know where your property is located in relation to popular attractions, public transportation, and other points of interest.
  • Amenities: What amenities does your property offer? Be sure to list all features guests can access, such as a pool, hot tub, parking, etc.
  • Informative: The average listing in Athens has a description approximately 1,198 words long. Make sure yours is long enough to describe your property but doesn't require your potential guest to read a novel.

After reviewing more than 1,025 listings in Athens, we've consolidated the most common terms on the word cloud. The larger text represents a term that is used more often. The top ten mentioned terms are Athen, Downtown, Perfect, Sanford Stadium, Downtown Athens, Spacious, UGA, Mile, Comfortable, and Quiet.

What are the most popular tourist activities in Athens?

Whether renting a house, an apartment, or a room, you should include popular tourist activities in your posting. The most common choices mentioned on property listings in Athens involve going to the City Centre, Antiquing, the Zoo, Museums, and the Health Spa. When you write your listing, have a section with recommended activities near the property to give your guests an idea of what is available.

City Centre




Health Spa

Adventure Activities




Wildlife Viewing


Outlet Shopping

Local Attractions

What attractions do hosts highlight to guests?

There are quite a few popular attractions in Athens, including University of Georgia, Classic Center, Sanford Stadium, The Georgia Theatre, and Tanger Outlets. Below we've included the most popular local and regional landmarks hosts usually include in their Airbnb or Vrbo property listings. Many hosts like to show off lesser-known regional landmarks visitors might not have heard of.

Well Known Attraction

University of Georgia

Included on nearly all listings

Regional Landmark

Classic Center

Included on nearly all listings

Regional Landmark

Sanford Stadium

Included on nearly all listings

Regional Landmark

The Georgia Theatre

Included on nearly all listings

Local Landmark

40 Watt Club

Included on nearly all listings

Regional Landmark

State Botanical Garden of Georgia

Included on nearly all listings

Regional Landmark

Tanger Outlets

Included on 1% of listings

What’s the weather like in Athens, Georgia?

The weather is about the same as the national average, with an average high temperature of around 73°, while the average low is about 53°. The rainfall is much heavier, averaging about 43 inches per year, compared to the national average of about 27 inches. Snowfall is relatively rare, averaging less than 3 inches per year. The humidity levels in Athens are generally muggier than the national average, and the city has a mix of clouds and sunshine for most of the year.


December through February

37° Low 56° High

Muggy Days
0.2 days


March through May

52° Low 74° High

Muggy Days
8.0 days


June through August

70° Low 89° High

Muggy Days
69.5 days


September through November

54° Low 73° High

Muggy Days
17.4 days