City of Huntsville files lawsuits against rental property owners for illegal operations – WAAY

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Many of us now use home sharing apps to find places other than hotels to stay while on vacation.

But these Airbnb and other rental options may not be following the proper protocols. 

We’ve learned the city of Huntsville has filed lawsuits against some of those rental property owners who are allegedly operating short term rentals.

Attorney Mark McDaniel says he’s seen an increase in lawsuits coming from the city as properties continue to pop up. 

McDaniel says the first thing potential property owners looking to rent need to do is check the city’s zoning laws.  

“Most of the residential areas in Huntsville you can’t do this, it’s not zoned for that,” McDaniel continued, “If you live in an area that you can do this, then you need to get a license from the city and you need to pay the taxes,” McDaniel said. 

Residents are concerned that people renting out properties in their neighborhoods are doing so illegally, taking away from those who follow the law. 

McDaniel believes some people are getting sued by the city because they may not know about the proper protocols to follow. 

“I think there’s a lot of people out there who think ‘okay I’m going to do a short term rental’,” McDaniel continued, “Huntsville is booming so it would be a really good business for someone to do, but you have to comply with the ordinances,” McDaniel said. 

McDaniel says the taxes on rental properties are nine percent plus an extra two dollars per room that’s rented out. 

“You’ve got a lot of hotels in this area and the people who own those hotels would certainly say ‘that’s not fair to us that we’re having to pay taxes’,” McDaniel continued, “and that is fair,” McDaniel said. 

WAAY 31 reached out to the city multiple times today for details on these lawsuits but have yet to hear back. 

For more information on Huntsville’s zoning laws, you can click here.

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