State of Georgia Short-Term Rental Regulations

Short-term rental regulations vary depending on the location and may include zoning laws, occupancy and safety standards, taxation, licensing, and insurance requirements review our guides for more information specific to your city.


Reviewed by Karolyn Hutson

Last updated September 04, 2023

Overview of Georgia 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.

From the Blue Ridge Mountains to the golden isles of Georgia's coast, the Peach State draws visitors from around the world. Renting your property as a short-term vacation rental can provide excellent income between full-time tenants. However, Georgia's mosaic of local ordinances governing short-term rentals requires diligent research. This guide covers key regulations, licensing, taxes, safety standards, and tips for launching a successful, compliant Georgia short-term rental business.  

Defining Short Term Rentals in Georgia

Let's break down exactly what constitutes a short-term rental in the state:

Rental Period Length

While Georgia lacks a statewide rental period definition, many popular destinations limit rentals to 30 days or less:

  • Atlanta: Maximum stay of 29 consecutive days
  • Savannah: Less than 30 continuous days
  • Athens: Less than 30 days
  • Augusta: Less than 30 consecutive days

Some cities impose tighter restrictions, so check local codes.

Types of Rentals

Short-term rentals in Georgia include:

  • Houses, apartments, condos, cabins
  • Townhomes or duplex units
  • Private or shared rooms
  • Corporate Housing
  • RVs, houseboats, and other recreational vehicles

Regulations often vary for owner-occupied versus non-owner-occupied units.

Geographic Oversight

Several major Georgia cities have enacted their own short-term rental ordinances, while unincorporated areas fall under county-level oversight. Research both local and state requirements thoroughly.

Starting a Short-Term Rental Business in Georgia

Follow these steps to launch your Georgia short-term rental business successfully:

Registration and Licensing

No state permits or licenses are mandated, but registration with the Department of Revenue (DOR) is required for tax purposes. Complete online DOR registration in 15 minutes to obtain a Tax ID number. 

Many local jurisdictions require short-term rental business licenses or permits with varying criteria and fees. Verify local ordinances. 

Application Process

Typical local licensing procedures involve:

  • Submitting property details, emergency contacts
  • Paying licensing fees (often $25-$500)
  • Providing floor plans, maps, photos  
  • Attesting safety standards will be met
  • Scheduling inspections
  • Showing proof of insurance

Licenses require renewal every 1-2 years in most areas.

Getting Started Tips

In addition to licensing, successful hosts should:

  • Vet potential property management partners
  • Create responsive booking systems  
  • Use professional photography and descriptions
  • Implement solid cleaning plans between guests
  • Master excellent communication and prompt inquiries
  • Provide local recommendations to enhance guest experiences
  • Maintain detailed records for taxes

Housing Rules and Requirements

Georgia short-term rental housing must comply with various safety regulations and occupancy limits.

Safety Regulations

Standard requirements include:

  • Smoke detectors and fire extinguishers
  • Carbon monoxide detectors, if gas appliances exist
  • Compliance with electrical, plumbing, and building codes 
  • Adequate emergency egress and exit signage
  • Visible exterior house numbers

Occupancy Limits

Local ordinances restrict maximum occupancy for short-term rentals based on factors like:

  • Number of bedrooms/bathrooms
  • Room dimensions
  • Available parking
  • Septic system capacity if applicable

Adhere strictly to established occupancy limits.


Most areas mandate initial housing inspections plus recurring re-inspections for licensing. Comply fully with inspector access and safety directives.

Insurance Requirements

Standard homeowner's or renter's insurance is insufficient. Obtain specialty short-term rental insurance with ample property damage and liability coverage.

Taxes on Short Term Rentals

You must pay all applicable state taxes plus local hotel/motel taxes as a Georgia host.

State Taxes

Georgia levies an 8% sales tax on lodging services for stays under 90 days. This applies to short-term rental income.  

Local Lodging Taxes

On top of state taxes, several Georgia cities impose local hotel/motel occupancy taxes on eligible rentals:

Verify specific local tax rates based on the rental location.

Reporting and Remittance

Register for a Tax ID number with the Georgia Department of Revenue (DOR) to report and remit taxes. Sales tax collections must be filed and paid monthly, while hotel/motel taxes can be remitted quarterly. Returns can be submitted online through the state's Georgia Tax Center portal by the 20th of the following month. Keep detailed accounting records and maintain compliance with all deadlines.

Penalties for Non-Compliance

The Georgia DOR imposes financial penalties for unfiled, late, or inaccurate tax payments:

  • Failure to file returns results in a 5% penalty per month up to 25%
  • Underpayment penalties range from 10-50% based on the degree of underpayment
  • Late payments face a 15% penalty on tax due plus interest
  • Criminal prosecution is possible for egregious tax evasion

Maintaining meticulous documentation and carefully meeting deadlines prevents costly penalties. Consider enlisting a tax professional to ensure full compliance.

Bottom Line

While launching a Georgia short-term rental involves research, smart preparation, and strict compliance, the rewards can be plentiful. Follow local rules, obtain required licensing, brush up on taxes, and get ready to provide that renowned Southern hospitality to guests eager to experience the Peach State's charms.

Georgia Airbnb Regulations by City

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

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