Potential Airbnb in Knoxville area

5 Replies

Ben Headrick,

Thanks for the reply!

I was familiar to some degree with the laws there. Just to clarify, is this permit map saying that only certain areas are zoned for commercial/non-owner occupied rentals, or is it saying that you just have to obtain a permit in order to do a non-owner occupied rental? 

I haven't made any offers on any properties yet. I'm currently trying to get in contact with First Century Bank, but with no luck. Their commercial loan guy is pretty busy apparently. 

@Chris Donathan , Sorry, I thought I replied to this the other day. BP saved my comment, I just apparently never hit submit.

It's my understanding that if the house is zoned residential, it must be owner occupied to do short term rentals and you have to obtain a permit. If it is non-residential, you can do non-owner occupied, but you still have to obtain a permit.

I am aware of individuals who own non-owner occupied short term rentals within the city limits, but I’m sure the city is aware of them too, after all, you have to advertise your home online to have any guests. I’m not sure about how the city is going about enforcing the ordinances other than sending out letters and fines.

The city codes will have some changes soon concerning short term rentals, but it’s mainly about accessory dwellings and the property would still need to be owner occupied. You can watch for updates on this at https://recodeknoxville.com/

If I were looking to buy a short term rental in the Knoxville area, I’d look just outside the city limits in Knox County where it's still the wild West or possibly in the Sevierville/Pigeon Forge/Gatlinburg area.

Thanks that helps clear it up. My goal is to build a team there, boots on the ground. I plan on staying away from Knoxville proper, and look outside the city limits. I've looked into pigeon forge/sevierville, and it looks like finding discounted properties is not gonna happen there.

Hey Chris,

I'm actually almost done rehabbing my first property in Knoxville for AirBNB.  Should be listing later next month if all goes well.  Since I'm not local, I used my mom as the owner-occupant for the property to get my short term rental permit.  From what I hear, the city is definitely monitoring and shutting down STRs without permits, so make sure you do everything the right way.

Also keep in mind that one of the primary draws for Knoxville is the university, so if you get too far from UT it may impact your bookings.

If you need any recommendations for agents, contractors, banks or anything else feel free to hit me up.  I have lots of contacts there.