Columbus, Georgia Short Term Rental Regulations

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Reviewed by Derick Hargrave

Last updated August 23, 2023

Columbus 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

Columbus City regulates short-term rentals. Short-term rentals are defined as "short-term rental unit means an accommodation for transient guests where, in exchange for compensation, a residential dwelling unit, either the primary structure or any approved accessory dwelling, is provided for lodging for a period of time not to exceed 30 consecutive days. Such use may or may not include an on-site manager. For the purposes of this definition, a residential dwelling shall include all single-family and multifamily housing types and shall exclude group living or other lodging uses, as described in Chapter 3 and defined in Chapter 13, respectively, of the Unified Development Ordinance of the Columbus Consolidated Government. A short-term rental unit may not include a motor vehicle as defined in Title 40 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated.” For more information, see Columbus City Article 9 Short-Term Rental Ordinance

Business License Requirements

The City of Columbus will require short-term rental businesses to obtain a Short-Term Rental Permit and Certificate of Occupancy. Both the short-term rental unit owner and a short-term rental agent will consent to a criminal background check which will be reviewed by the department before the application is accepted for processing.  Each residence or unit must have a separate permit. So for every house/unit you intend to use for Short Term Rental, you must have registration associated with it. So for one house/unit, you will pay the $40 Certificate of Occupancy fee plus a $20 background check. If you submit multiple houses at one time, you will only be charged for one background check. More information for Article 9 Section 4.9.4. - Application for a short-term rental permit can be found here and on the City of Columbus Short Term Vacation Rentals page.

Building and Housing Standards

The City of Columbus 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. Please consult the City of Columbus Building Code and contact the Building Inspections & Code Enforcement Department for more information. 

Tourist and Local Taxes

Short-term rental unit owners are subject to state sales tax and city taxes, including but not limited to the hotel/motel tax, and are liable for payment thereof as established by state law and the city code. The city may seek to enforce payment of all applicable taxes to the extent provided by law, including injunctive relief.

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 City of Columbus for more information.
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  • Short Term City Rating
  • Competition

  • Real Estate Cost

  • STR Regulations

  • Seasonality

  • Rental Rates


Columbus, 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
April to July
Columbus Metropolitan Airport (CSG)
Southwest Georgia Regional Airport (ABY)
Review our Columbus Georgia short-term rental analytics guide, including rates, property types and other metrics

Want to learn more about Columbus?

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 Columbus rental analytics guide if you're interested in data on the Columbus rental market.

City Activities

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

City Attractions

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

Columbus 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 Columbus guests.

Interested in other Georgia cities?

Check out the Georgia Airbnb rules directory 

What makes Columbus a great place to invest?

Columbus, Georgia, is a small city of just under 200,000 people located in the northwest part of the state. It's surrounded by smaller towns and suburbs, and it sits near a major highway that runs from Jacksonville up to Atlanta. The city is a tourist destination for those who enjoy water activities on Lake Allatoona or hiking and camping in any of the beautiful forests that surround it.

What to Do in Columbus, Georgia
If you're looking for something to do in Columbus, Georgia, you won't be disappointed. There are plenty of activities and attractions to keep you busy during your visit. Here are some of the best things to do in Columbus:
  • Visit the National Infantry Museum: The National Infantry Museum is a must-see for anyone interested in American history. The museum tells the story of the Infantry branch of the U.S. military, from its inception to the present day.
  • Explore the Coca-Cola Space Science Center: The Coca-Cola Space Science Center is a great place to learn about space exploration and astronomy. The center has exhibits on NASA missions, the solar system, and more.
  • Take a walk or bike ride along the Chattahoochee RiverWalk: The Chattahoochee RiverWalk is a beautiful pedestrian path that runs along the Chattahoochee River. It's a great place to get some exercise or simply enjoy the scenery.
  • Visit Fort Benning: Fort Benning is a U.S. Army post located just outside of Columbus. Visitors can take tours of the fort, learn about its history, and see some of the training that takes place there. 
  • If you're looking for an adrenaline rush, take a trip to Whitewater Express, where you can go whitewater rafting or zip-lining.
  • End your day with a stroll through the Historic Downtown District, where you can browse shops, stop for a bite to eat, and admire the architecture.
Columbus, Georgia, is home to various amenities, and there are plenty of things to do in the city, including shopping, dining, and entertainment. There are also several parks and recreation areas. The city also has a variety of services and businesses that residents can take advantage of. Columbus is home to a few venues for live entertainment. The most notable is the Columbus Civic Center and the River Center for the Performing Arts. Both venues offer a variety of shows throughout the year. Many shopping centers can be found in Columbus, including The Mall at Barnes Crossing, Georgia Square Mall, and The Shoppes at Bradley Park. There are also several specialty shops located downtown and in surrounding areas such as Midtown and Buckhead.

Columbus Nearby Cities

Local Real Estate

How expensive is the real estate in Columbus?

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 Columbus has increased 9% over the past year, and the average price per square foot is $144, which is lower than the national average.

Median Sale Price


9% YoY

Median per Square Foot


11% YoY

Average Monthly Rent


0% YoY

Property Descriptions

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

Word Cloud for Columbus, Georgia Short Term Rentals

Common terms for Columbus 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 Columbus has a description approximately 1,126 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 687 listings in Columbus, 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 Columbus, Yard, Fort Benning, Family, Spacious, Ft Benning, Perfect, Place, Backyard, and Relax.

What are the most popular tourist activities in Columbus?

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 Columbus involve going to the City Centre, Rafting, Museums, Water Sports, 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



Water Sports

Health Spa

Adventure Activities







Local Attractions

What attractions do hosts highlight to guests?

There are quite a few popular attractions in Columbus, including Callaway Gardens, Columbus State University, National Infantry Museum and Soldier Center, Columbus Georgia Convention & Trade Center, and Columbus Civic Center. 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.

Regional Landmark

Columbus State University

Included on nearly all listings

Regional Landmark

Columbus Georgia Convention & Trade Center

Included on nearly all listings

Regional Landmark

Columbus Civic Center

Included on nearly all listings

Regional Landmark

South Commons Sports Complex

Included on nearly all listings

Regional Landmark

Peachtree Mall

Included on nearly all listings

Regional Landmark

Hughston Clinic

Included on nearly all listings

Regional Landmark

Jack Hughston Memorial Hospital

Included on nearly all listings

Local Landmark

Coca-Cola Space Science Center

Included on nearly all listings

Local Landmark

RiverCenter for the Performing Arts

Included on nearly all listings

Regional Landmark

National Infantry Museum and Soldier Center

Included on most listings

Regional Landmark

Fort Benning Visitor Control Center - Harmony Church Access Control Point

Included on 88% of listings

Regional Landmark

Callaway Gardens

Included on 1% of listings

What’s the weather like in Columbus, Georgia?

The weather is generally warmer than the national average, with an average high temperature of around 76°, while the average low is about 56°. The rainfall is much heavier, averaging about 43 inches per year, compared to the national average of about 27 inches. Snowfall is scarce, with an average year having no snowfall. The humidity levels in Columbus 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

40° Low 60° High

Muggy Days
0.9 days


March through May

55° Low 77° High

Muggy Days
12.3 days


June through August

72° Low 90° High

Muggy Days
76.5 days


September through November

57° Low 77° High

Muggy Days
23.2 days