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Murfreesboro Short Term Rental Regulation: A Guide For Airbnb Hosts

Murfreesboro, Tennessee

Starting a Short Term Rental Business in Murfreesboro

Murfreesboro presents an excellent opportunity for real estate investors and entrepreneurs looking to capitalize on the growing short term rental market. As the fastest growing major city in Tennessee, Murfreesboro attracts over 6 million visitors annually for sporting events, conferences, music festivals and more.

With no extensive regulations or permitting processes, starting a short term rental business in Murfreesboro is straightforward. The city takes an open approach to welcoming sharing economy businesses.As long as your rental property is zoned for residential use and you comply with existing property laws, you can freely operate short term rentals out of single family homes, condos and apartments.

There is no need to register with the city or get special licensing.However, you still must adhere to some basic legal and tax regulations as a rental host:

  • Register your rental property with the Rutherford County property assessor's office
  • Collect and remit the 5% Murfreesboro hotel/motel occupancy tax
  • Pay any applicable state and county sales taxes on rental income
  • Comply with HOA bylaws if renting out a condo
  • Provide safe and legally compliant accommodations for guests

With minimal regulatory burdens compared to other cities, Murfreesboro offers an extremely lucrative market for short term rental investment.

The city's expanding economy, diversified industries and tourist appeal continue to drive demand higher each year.

Starting a Short Term Rental Business in Murfreesboro

With over 6 million annual visitors and a rapidly growing population, Murfreesboro offers a lucrative opportunity for investing in short term rental properties.

The city has taken an open and welcoming approach to the sharing economy, with no extensive regulations or barriers to operating vacation rentals.As long as your rental property complies with existing residential zoning and property laws, you can freely run short term rentals out of houses, apartments and condos in Murfreesboro.

No special permitting or licensing is required from the city.However, to legally operate in Murfreesboro, you must:

  • Register your rental property annually with the Rutherford County Property Assessor's office as a short term rental unit, as required under the Tennessee Short-Term Rental Unit Act. This involves submitting a simple questionnaire about your rental details. Failure carry penalties, so compliance is important. 35
  • Collect and remit the 5% Murfreesboro hotel/motel tax on all rentals under 30 days. The county sales tax may also apply depending on duration. 24
  • Comply with all existing leases, HOA bylaws and other binding rules if renting out a leased or jointly-owned property. Get landlord approval if required. 2
  • Maintain safe, legally compliant accommodations with smoke detectors, fire exits, insurance and more. Guest safety is paramount.
  • Create listings on major vacation rental platforms like Airbnb, VRBO and Booking.com to market your property.

With strong tourism demand and no major barriers to entry, Murfreesboro offers an extremely profitable market to build a short term rental business. The city embraces sharing economy innovation, giving hosts the freedom operate successful vacation rentals.

Murfreesboro does not impose any licensing or registration requirements at the city level for operating short term rental properties. Hosts can freely manage Airbnbs and other vacation rentals without needing permits specifically from the Murfreesboro government.However, there are some overarching state level regulations that apply:

  • As per the Tennessee Short-Term Rental Unit Act, all short term rental hosts must register their properties annually with the county property assessor's office. This involves submitting details via a simple questionnaire to properly classify your rental for tax assessment purposes. 35
  • The state also requires hosts to have a county business tax license. So Murfreesboro hosts need a Rutherford County business license to legally operate. This is mainly for tax administration. 5
  • For managed properties, the management company handling bookings and operations also requires both a state tax ID and county business license. 5

So while Murfreesboro itself does not mandate any permits or licenses, hosts still need to fulfill the Tennessee state rental regulations by registering with the county assessor and getting a county business license. The process is simple and ensures you remain legally compliant.

Required Documents for Murfreesboro Short Term Rentals

While the city of Murfreesboro does not mandate any permits or licenses to operate short term rentals, hosts must still complete some key documentation to stay in compliance.


You must register your rental property with the Rutherford County Property Assessor's office. This involves submitting a simple questionnaire about details like rental income, days rented, and property information.

Registration is mandated under Tennessee's Short Term Rental Act and helps the county assess property taxes accurately.Failure to register can result in penalties, so compliance is important. The registration process is straightforward and the county staff can assist if you have any questions.

Tax Documents

In addition to registration, you must collect and remit hotel/motel taxes to the city on all rentals under 30 days. This involves filing a monthly Hotel-Motel Tax form with payment of the 5% tax. You may also need to charge and remit county sales taxes depending on rental duration.Maintaining proper tax records and payments is crucial for legally operating your STR business.

Consider using accounting software or working with a tax professional to ensure you remain compliant.By registering your rental property and collecting required taxes, you can operate your Murfreesboro short term rental with full legal compliance and minimal burden.

Reach out to the county and city staff with any questions about documentation or reporting requirements.

Murfreesboro Short Term Rental Taxes

As a short term rental host operating in Murfreesboro, you must collect and remit applicable taxes on all bookings to remain in compliance.The primary tax is the city's 5% hotel/motel occupancy tax, which applies to all rentals less than 30 days.

This must be filed and paid monthly to the Murfreesboro Treasurer's Office by the 20th of the following month. Late payments or failure to register can result in penalties.Additionally, your rental income may be subject to Tennessee state sales tax (7%) and Rutherford County sales tax (2.25%), depending on the duration of stay.

Typically rentals of 90 days or more are exempt. However, hosts still must register with the TN Department of Revenue.As part of the Tennessee Short Term Rental Act, you must also register each rental property annually with the Rutherford County Property Assessor’s office.

This involves submitting a simple questionnaire about details like rental income, expenses and property use.Keeping accurate tax records and remitting all applicable hotel, sales and income taxes is crucial for legally operating a short term rental in Murfreesboro. Non-compliance can lead to audits, back taxes and penalties from multiple government agencies.

Consult a tax professional to ensure you properly register and file at federal, state and local levels.

Tennessee wide Short Term Rental Rules

In 2018, Tennessee passed the Short-Term Rental Unit Act to provide some statewide guidelines and definitions around regulating short term vacation rentals.The legislation prohibits local governments from enacting bans or other unnecessary impediments to short term rental businesses.

However, cities and counties can still implement regulations to address issues like noise, parking, trash and neighborhood character.Some key provisions in Tennessee's short term rental law include:

  • Defining a short term rental unit as a residential property rented out for less than 30 continuous days. This classification puts short term rentals under the umbrella of hotels and other lodging establishments.
  • Preventing local governments from prohibiting short term rentals outright if they were already operating legally prior to new regulations being enacted (known as "legacy" status).
  • Requiring hosts to register their properties annually with county assessors as short term rental units. This involves submitting details through a simple questionnaire.
  • Allowing fines and penalties for hosts who violate short term rental regulations. Fines can range from $50 to $500 per offense.
  • Giving flexibility to cities and counties to tailor additional short term rental rules based on local needs, such as occupancy limits, parking requirements or noise ordinances.

So while setting some baseline protections and definitions around short term rental businesses, Tennessee still gives local jurisdictions significant leeway to regulate issues unique to their communities. Most cities have additional requirements in place.

Does Murfreesboro strictly enforce STR rules?

With minimal regulations and no extensive permitting processes, Murfreesboro takes a relaxed approach to enforcing short term rental rules.

The city has embraced the sharing economy and wants to encourage tourism and economic growth.Compared to other Tennessee cities like Nashville and Knoxville that have intricate STR policies, Murfreesboro's oversight is fairly minimal.

As long as basic standards are met, hosts can operate vacation rentals without much government intervention.The city mainly focuses on ensuring rental operators comply with hotel/motel tax collection and property registration requirements.

These revenue-related rules are more strictly enforced through audits and penalties.However, when it comes to monitoring day-to-day rental operations, the city exerts little oversight as long as properties meet baseline safety and zoning standards. Issues like noise, parking and neighborhood impact are generally only addressed reactively upon complaint.

In online STR forums, Murfreesboro hosts describe an environment conducive to operating successful short term rental businesses with limited barriers. The city recognizes the economic value of vacation rentals and mostly allows the industry to regulate itself.So while basic tax and registration rules are enforced, Murfreesboro's overall approach is hands-off.

The city wants to attract tourist dollars and embraces short term rental innovation.

How to Start a Short Term Rental Business in Murfreesboro?

With strong tourism demand and minimal barriers to entry, starting a profitable short term rental business in Murfreesboro is straightforward. Follow these steps:

Research the Market

Conduct in-depth research on Murfreesboro's vacation rental market to identify the best locations, property types, amenities and pricing strategies. Analyze data on tourism traffic, events, Airbnb occupancy rates and real estate trends to inform your investing strategy.

Obtain Financing

Explore financing options to purchase or renovate your short term rental properties. Banks, private lenders and real estate investors can provide the capital needed to secure and upgrade homes, condos or apartments for vacation rentals.

Buy or Lease Rental Properties

Purchase single family residences, condominiums or multi-family properties in popular tourist areas and destinations. Or lease out apartments on a long-term basis to operate as furnished rentals. Ensure any leased properties allow subletting for short term stays.

Prepare and Furnish Properties

Renovate and furnish your short term rental units with comfortable beds, functional appliances, fast WiFi, entertainment equipment and everything needed to accommodate guests. Properties should feel like well-appointed homes.

List Your Rentals Online

Create appealing listings with professional photography showcasing your properties' best features. List on major sites like Airbnb, VRBO, Booking.com and Vacasa to maximize bookings and occupancy.

Manage Bookings and Logistics

Use dynamic pricing algorithms to optimize rates. Manage reservations, conduct background checks on guests, coordinate cleaning services and address any maintenance needs between rentals.

By following these steps and leveraging Murfreesboro's strong tourism market, you can build a highly profitable portfolio of short term rental properties.

What do Airbnb hosts in Murfreesboro on Reddit and Bigger Pockets think about local regulations?

Overall, Murfreesboro hosts on Reddit and BiggerPockets express positive sentiment regarding the city's approach to short term rental policy. With no extensive red tape or barriers to entry, investors feel Murfreesboro embraces innovation and the sharing economy.However, some hosts think certain regulations could be relaxed even further to encourage more vacation rental development:

  • A few hosts believe the 5% hotel/motel tax is still too high compared to other Tennessee cities and makes Murfreesboro less competitive for investment.2
  • Some hosts renting out condos and apartments express frustration with HOAs and landlords who prohibit short term rentals through restrictive bylaws. They feel Murfreesboro should limit these private bans.3
  • Hosts in multi-unit buildings are concerned about a Tennessee law requiring all short term rental units to register with the county annually. They find the disclosure burdensome.5

Overall though, Murfreesboro hosts are optimistic about the city's light-touch regulatory stance. With strong tourism demand and few barriers to entry, most investors plan to continue growing their short term rental portfolios in this market.

Reveal your property’s rental profitability

Buy this property and list it on Airbnb.