3 Key Facts on Homesharing Bill in Legislature
BY JUSTIN OWEN
As the popularity of homesharing grows, so too does the angst of the hotel industry. So in a playbook designed in D.C., the industry has turned to cities like Nashville to try and ban its competition.
On Tuesday, the Nashville City Council debated whether to ban homesharing by those who don’t live in their homes full time. Clearly, the Council is worried about how this looks, conveniently delaying the vote on this ordinance until after the state legislature goes home for the year, when the city can then do pretty much anything it wants without consequence.
As a result of Nashville’s dastardly actions, the legislature is considering a bill that, with a new amendment filed this week, will do one simple thing: prohibit our major cities from banning homesharing. You’ll likely hear all kinds of rumors about what the bill does and does not do, so here are three key facts to keep in mind about the amendment.
1. The bill only applies to the four largest cities of Memphis, Nashville, Knoxville, and Chattanooga. These cities are the main tourist destinations in our state. Banning homesharing in them will deter visitors, while driving up hotel prices for those who can still afford to visit. Downtown Nashville hotel rates are already higher than Manhattan’s. Homesharing helps solve this problem, and banning it will cost us major tourist revenue as a result.
2. Under this bill, all other communities can continue to regulate homesharing in any manner they want. Period.
3. So can Memphis, Nashville, Knoxville, and Chattanooga short of an outright ban. While we may not like some of the other ways cities are trying to regulate homesharing, and we argue some of those ways are even unconstitutional, this bill does not prohibit them from enacting those regulations. It only prevents an outright ban.
This bill will come up for key votes in both the House and Senate on Monday. Let’s hope lawmakers do the right thing. Homeowners’ property rights and our status as a hot tourist destination depend on it.