Smith Station, AL has new strict short-term rental laws for hosts. Requirements include securing a short-term rental business license and providing proof of liability insurance.

Requirements are listing in the short-term rental law as follows:

Short-Term Rentals – License Required

a. No short-term rental business shall operate in the City without first obtaining a current City of Smiths Station, AL Business License from the City.

b. Any owner of more than one short-term rental proeprty shall be required to obtain a business license for each short-term rental property.

Short-Term Rentals – Insurance Required

a. Every person in the municipal limits who desires to obtain license to conduct a short-term rental business pursuit to Ordinance 2019-163 and all Amendments to Ordinance 2019-163 must provide proof of the following insurance coverage:

An additional rider on a homeowner’s policy that expressly covers short-term rentals and provides a minimum of $1,000,000 liabilty and personal liability coverage; or a commercial insurance policy covering short-term rentals at the permitted address that provides a minimum of $1,000,000 liability and personal injury coverage.

b. Insurance required above shall be without prejudice to coverage otherwise existing and shall name, as an additional interested party, the city, its officers and employees and shall provide that the policy shall not terminate or be cancelled prior to the completion of the permit period without forty-five days written notice to the city at the address shown in the permit agreement.

Short-Term Rental Laws & Insurance

With the explosive growth of short-term rental properties found on websites such as Airbnb and Vrbo, communities are struggling to find common ground regulation. Many communities have already passed ordinances and laws with which all have some type of insurance requirement. The concern is most are inadequate and often misleading.

Ultimately, a commercial general liability insurance requirement is good for owners and good for the City as it creates a barrier to entry which eliminates non-professionals. It comes with stricter insurance carrier underwriting requirements, which may include property inspections, and smoke alarms in all bedrooms, fire extinguishers, chimney cleanings, type of wiring, railings on all stairways, and a generally higher level for the standard of care.

These requirements help keep guests safe and ensure a successful, longer-lasting short-term rental business.

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