Savannah Area REALTORS® responds to Garden City Government code enforcement’s unlawful fines for short-term rental property owners

SAVANNAH, Ga. — Savannah Area REALTORS® recently issued an open letter to the Government of Garden City, Georgia in response to a recent code enforcement dispute involving fines for short term rental property owners.

The letter reads as follows:

“It has come to our attention that Garden City’s Code Enforcement division has begun the process of fining property owners for Short-Term-Vacation-Rental ‘Prohibited Airbnb activity’ within the city’s limits. Upon further research, it does not appear that Garden City has the requisite authority to enforce such a prohibition.

“As the leading voice on real estate issues on Chatham, Bryan, and Effingham County, the Savannah Area REALTORS® and other affiliated organizations, such as the Savannah Multi-List Corporation and the REALTORS® Commercial Alliance of Savannah/Hilton Head requests the city immediately cease further actions which unduly and unlawfully restricts the bundle of property rights, including the right to rent real property.

“Additionally, it is our understanding based upon various reports that the City Attorney notified the council of its lack of authority to enforce such prohibitions and enact corresponding fines. Furthermore, we are concerned to learn that City Code Enforcement intends to follow up with property owners in an effort to monitor compliance. We respectfully insist that the Fourth Amendment be observed that property owners are not unjustly monitored for infractions that are not codified.

“Savannah Area REALTORS® and our affiliated organizations hope to work with the City on this and other issues affecting property rights and we humbly request the city coordinate with SAR and its affiliated organizations, along with other stake holders in the draft and implementation of any future ordinance pertaining to property rights.

“We look forward to hearing from you and may be reached through our Governmental Affairs Director, Cody Jones at


Savannah Area REALTORS®, Savannah Multi-List Corporation, and REALTORS® Commercial Alliance of Savannah/Hilton Head”

Savannah Area REALTORS® (SAR) is the trade association for real estate licensees in Chatham, Bryan and Effingham counties, representing approximately 2,400 members. SAR is the voice for real estate in the Coastal Empire and works to provide education, promote the highest professional and ethical standards and address the changing needs of members while protecting private property rights and being active in the community. For more information, visit

Savannah Multi-list Corporation (SMLC) is the real estate professional’s source for property information in the Coastal Empire. SMLC is wholly owned by the Savannah Real Estate Board, Inc. SMLC provides a platform where cooperation between authorized participants is enhanced, and information is accumulated and disseminated to those participants for the preparation of appraisals, analyses, and other valuations of real property for bona fide clients and customers. For more information, visit


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