Knoxville residents wishing to operate a short-term rental unit can apply for a permit from the City of Knoxville, provided they meet the conditions in the City’s newly adopted short-term rental ordinances.


The application form is available on the City website at It includes a list of necessary supporting documents, including proof of ownership and residency (for Type 1 permits). Applications will be accepted and permits issued through the Business Tax Office, in room 450 of the City County Building, 400 Main St.


Short-term rentals – defined as rentals for fewer than 30 consecutive nights – were not allowed under City codes until the adoption of the new ordinances. They are now allowed under certain circumstances:


  • Homeowners who live in residentially-zoned neighborhoods can apply for a Type 1 permit, available only for owner-occupants of the property that will be rented (in whole or in part).
  • Owners of residential property in non-residential districts – e.g., downtown and in other commercial areas that allow residential uses – can apply for up to two Type 2 permits. You do not have to be the resident of the property to apply for a Type 2 permit. (These can also be applied for by a lessee of the property, with permission of the property owner.)
  • Type 3 permits are available on a one-time basis to non-occupant owners of residential property in residential neighborhoods, provided the owner can show the property was being used as a short-term rental prior to March 1, 2017. These non-owner-occupied properties are eligible for one one-year permit, with no renewals. Applications for Type 3 permits must be filed by Feb. 1, 2018. No Type 3 permits will be issued after that date.


City staff will offer training and question-and-answer sessions for short-term rental hosts on two dates: 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 9, and at 11 a.m. on Friday, Jan. 19, both in the Small Assembly Room at the City County Building. There is also a list of answers to frequently asked questions online at