Hendersonville city leaders crack down on illegal short-term rentals

Stephens says at times rowdy short-term rental neighbors can truly be a disturbance for permanent homeowners.
Published: Jul. 13, 2023 at 10:56 PM CDT
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HENDERSONVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) - The City of Hendersonville is addressing illegal short-term vacation rentals after they say there has been an increase in illegal rentals, particularly at lake homes.

According to the city’s 2016 ordinance, short-term vacation rentals (STVR) are defined as rentals for less than 30 days and are only allowed in the Old Town Commercial and General Commercial zones of the city.

“Illegal short-term vacation rentals are very unfortunate situations for our citizens. Living next to a STVR is essentially like living next to a busy hotel - especially during the weekends. It can be constantly hectic, frenzied and loud at all hours. It’s stressful and annoying for our citizens who are entitled to peace and enjoyment of their property,” shared City Attorney Lance Wray.

Long-time Hendersonville resident, Brad Stephens, used lived next to a short-term vacation rental for almost ten years.

“Just loud noise, you know music, drinking,” said Stephens, as he described some of the disturbance, he and his family experienced just yards away from his home.

Stephens says at times rowdy short-term rental neighbors can truly be a disturbance for permanent homeowners.

“We buy our houses you know as an investment or as a quiet home to raise our kids and you know we didn’t sign up for a party every night, different people every night,” said Stephens.

A spokesperson with the city of Hendersonville says many of the illegal STVR complaints are reported to the city through neighbors. Recently, they’ve received up to four complaints. Any STVR outside of the allowed limits is considered illegal and homeowners could be subject to a fine and further prosecution.

“The city has recently seen an increase in citizen complaints regarding illegal vacation rentals,” said Clary. “I appreciate our residents who make us aware of these nuisances. All of us have heard of the problems, including violence, that these short-term rentals are inviting across the nation. We are not going to allow that in Hendersonville. We will protect our residents and our property values.”

Mayor Jamie Clary wants residents to know the city staff will work hard to enforce the zoning ordinances and protect citizens.

“I mean it’s basically strangers you know next to you. This is your permanent home, and you have ten, twenty, thirty, whatever, depending on the size, strangers next to you every single weekend during the summer, and on holiday and on all the things,” said Stephens.

The mayor says he’s working hard to enforce the zoning ordinance.

Some homeowners have been taken to court by the city and residents can also be cited up to 50 dollars for each occurrence.

“I don’t believe the fines are that serious. So, you know a short-term rental person in charge of three, five, ten-thousand dollars for a weekend…you know a four-day weekend. And pay a minimum fine,” said Stephens.

Hendersonville residents can report illegal short-term rentals through the city’s website or by calling 615-451- 3838.