Tuscaloosa City Council approves short-term leasing

Tuscaloosa City Council approves short-term leasing

CW File

The Tuscaloosa City Council voted yes on allowing short-term leasing in two areas of Tuscaloosa. The T.O. Lake District and the T.O. Downtown District have both been granted the rights to lease their residencies short-term.

The meeting took place on July 11 and is the one of over a dozen city council meetings that have featured this issue. The topic of short-term leasing is something that members of the community are divided on. Some have raised concerns that criminals could be drawn to these leases while other members of the community have voiced their displeasure at the wasted tax dollars that are being spent on enforcing the ban. The belief is that short-term leasing will benefit the tax payers while also benefiting the city by charging a lodging tax on those who open their properties to short-term leasing.

The move is largely supported by those who are concerned with lodging availability for large events such as Alabama football game days, parents weekends or graduation. There are fewer than 4,000 hotel rooms in Tuscaloosa, and sometimes visitors for these events have trouble finding a place to stay close to their kids or their desired location. Prices for these hotel rooms on busy weekends also tend to increase.

Residencies that choose to participate in short-term leasing will be required to maintain a certain level of insurance coverage and will also have to undergo inspections.

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