AirBNB, other short term rentals now included in Huntsville business license ordinance

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - City leaders say Huntsville's lodging ordinance didn't include a business license category for a burgeoning industry, short-term rentals, until Thursday after a council vote to amend the current rules.

"I think people didn't realize that. And frankly, we didn't realize that, until we went in and actually pulled out the ordinances," said John Hamilton, City Administrator.

Hamilton said now the ordinance has been changed, those who offer listings on popular sites like AirBNB and VRBO for vacation rentals must now obtain a business license.

"Just like any other small business owner in the city, they'll need to come here to the clerk treasurer's office and the clerk treasurer will have the information they need," he explained.

The reason for this is twofold: first, the city needed to make sure it was legally open to the industry that can continue to support tourism in the community. Second, the industry needed proper regulation from the city standpoint.

"We want travelers to our city to have as many options as possible as far as how they get the lodging they need," Hamilton said. He added, "This really is us just making sure we have the regulatory structure in place."

Now the city can also collect lodging tax on these rentals to support things like expanding the Von Braun Center.

For more information about the new regulation, click here.