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County continues to grapple with short-term rentals

Companies such as Airbnb allow Georgia residents and others to either rent their homes or find homes for rent. In Forsyth County, the question regarding what to do about short-term rentals has been unresolved since it was first brought up for debate in 2016. It has proven difficult to balance the rights of homeowners and those who live near homes being used as rentals.

A proposed system would require individuals to acquire a permit to continue using their properties as short-term rentals. Those permits would need to be acquired by January 2020, and homeowners who don't have permits by then could face fines for renting out their properties. According to one county official, there were 250 homes being used as short-term rentals in the area. Since 2014, there had been about 20 complaints related to those properties.

A tourism official in the area was also against allowing homes to be used as short-term rentals because they don't help recruit people to the county. The reason why Airbnb and other sites are popular is because it allows homeowners to make extra money from something that they already own. It is popular for renters because they would rather stay somewhere that feels more like home while they are away. In many cases, renting a home through Airbnb is cheaper than booking a hotel room.

Someone who is planning on buying a property may want to make sure that they know what it is zoned for. An attorney who specializes in land use and zoning laws might be able to help a person determine if renting the property is legal. A lawyer could also provide guidance as to whether it is legal to run a business or perform other activities in an area zoned to be residential.

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