STR Permit & Building a Team Chattanooga

3 Replies

Hi All! I'm looking to purchase my first STR in the Chattanooga, TN area. There is a process to obtain an STR permit which includes notifying the neighbors within 300 ft. I was wondering if anyone here has experience with this process in the Chattanooga area. Would love any advice on how to make the process go smoothly. Additionally, would love some local references for building my team.

Hi @India Campbell ! I think there's a ton of potential with the STR market (and MTR as well!) in Chattanooga. It is such a tourist destination year round! As far as the permiting process, I would recommend calling Caleb Fisher, the city inspector who's in charge of the STR permits, directly. He's a really nice guy, and he has data on neighbor objections from past notifications. So he can effectively tell you where getting a permit is challenging, and where it's been easy. I heard from him just this week that Southside south of Main St has been an area where a neighbor gets others fired up and objecting to STRs.

@Ian P. is a local PM who manages STRs, he may be able to help further!

Thank you @Adrienne Green !

Hi @India Campbell

Adrienne is absolutely correct. 

We have successfully processed multiple STR Licenses in Chattanooga. With regard to how to make it go smoothly:

First, reach out to Caleb about the specific property and inquire if there have been any objections to previous applications in the hyper local area. If there have been applications but no or minimal objections, then the level of risk of getting objections is slightly reduced. Review the building code requirements located on the City's STR website and make sure all code requirements are met.

Next, get all your documents together, Deed, Insurance, Fire Escape Plan. If non-owner occupied, you will also need a local agent and a copy of their Limited Power of Attorney or letter to the city identifying who will be your local agent. There is also some questions specific to the property that will need to be answered during the application process.

Submit all documents when you have them. The city will review your application then notify within the portal you when you can pick up the sign to post in the yard as well as provide information to schedule your building inspection. They will also send out the letters notifying all residents within 300 ft of the property.

You or your agent will need to pick up the sign from the Land Dev. Office, post it for 15 calendar days visible from the street. Take a picture of the posted sign in front of the house and upload it to the portal.

Schedule the building inspector to perform their inspection. The inspector will tell you what modifications need to be done if any. This step could delay your licensing process if they identify any building code issues. Keep in mind, when you buy a home in TN, the home is not required to be brought up to code if it's an older home. However for the STR process, many things are required to be updated to building code requirements - GFCI outlets, Handrails, Windows, etc.

Once you have the inspectors out and they have approved the home, remove the sign on day 16 and wait for any objections. On the 31st day, assuming everything else is done, the city will review all information and typically issue the license within a few days. 

The entire process can take as little as 45 days if you have everything complete on the front end. We typically see the process take longer on older homes where updates need to be made.

Hope this information is helpful. Let me know if you have any additional questions. Always happy to have a call to discuss also.

Vacation Rental Property Management
We do the work. You get the ROI.
We do it all for your vacation rental. All—marketing, pricing, guest requests, housekeeping & more.
Free income estimate