Georgia Governor Brian Kemp Issues Suspension of Short-Term Rentals Order

by: Joshua F. Jones

To reduce the spread of COVID-19 and temporarily prevent Georgia from becoming a vacation destination for out-of-state individuals, Georgia Governor Brian Kemp issued a new Executive Order. On April 8, 2020, Governor Kemp issued a state-wide order suspending Short-Term Vacation Rentals through April 30, 2020.

“Short-Term Vacation Rentals” includes any transaction for the lease or license to use residential property for residential or vacation purposes, facilitated by a third party or broker, for 30 days or less between a corporation, partnership, person, or other entity and a private person. Accordingly, arranging or offering lodging via companies like Airbnb, Vrbo, HomeAway, and other online lodging brokers/short-term rental platforms is temporarily not permitted in Georgia.

Governor Kemp’s Order does not apply to hotels, motels, campgrounds, or purely commercial transactions. Additionally, it does not apply to vacation rentals which had already been paid for before 10:00 a.m. on April 9, 2020.  Leases for property to be used as someone’s primary place of residence is also exempt from the Order.

Governor Kemp authorized all state, county, and local law enforcement officials to enforce this Order. Although law enforcement officials do not have the authority to dispossess or evict occupants in violation of this Order, any person found in violation shall be guilty of a misdemeanor pursuant to Georgia Code Section 38-3-7.

This Order will likely have a direct impact on many communities who face the daily challenges associated with short-term rentals. We encourage all community association leaders to remain vigilant and report violations of this Order to law enforcement. 

The full text of Governor Kemp’s Executive Order is available here: Executive Order: Suspension of Short-Term Rentals

The WCZ COVID-19 Response Team offers 24/7 access to attorneys for our clients’ legal needs as this situation continues to evolve.