Airbnb is a home-sharing platform that lets you rent your place to people from around the world. Its popularity is growing rapidly and is changing the way people travel.
In Texas, there are no state laws that specifically govern vacation rentals. However, cities have a lot of say in how this industry develops.
Statewide Texas short term rental laws
Texas is a state that has been in the midst of a fierce debate over how to best regulate short term rentals. Some cities have adopted relatively lax regulations while others are much more stringent in their approach to allowing and controlling this kind of short term vacation rental activity.
One of the most popular cities in Texas to adopt a set of STR regulations, Austin, first introduced the concept of a city license for this type of property in 2012. The license entails payment of a hotel occupancy tax (HOT) of 7% to the city. However, there are also other statewide and local taxes that must be paid.
As with other Texas statewide short term rental laws, the city of Austin has several different types of STRs that can be rented out for a period of less than 30 days. They include:
Type 1 – Owner-Occupied or Owner-Associated Single-Family Homes and Duplexes: This is the category of short term rentals that are located on properties that are owned by the owner, who lives there at least 51% of the year. These properties are not subject to density limits in the city.
The city also has rules in place that restrict where and how a Type 1 STR may be located. These restrictions prevent a STR from being on a lot that is within 1,000 feet of another Type 1 STR.
If a host is caught operating an illegal STR in Austin, the host could be fined $500 per violation. Moreover, a host must submit an application to the city for a permit.
Many of the cities in Texas that have adopted a set of STR regulations stress that compliance is critical to the success of these rentals. This means monitoring your property and notifying your neighbors if you notice a problem.
Some cities also emphasize that a host must adhere to local trash pick-up schedules and cannot leave their trash bins unattended between pickups. In addition, some cities require a host to use a designated short term guest contact number or have the ability to speak with the guests by telephone.
City-level Texas short term rental laws
When you’re thinking about renting out your apartment in Texas as a short term rental, it’s important to understand the local city-level rules. These rules are designed to ensure that all short term rentals are safe, legal, and comply with health and safety laws. They vary from municipality to municipality, so you’ll want to take the time to research each one’s specific rules before listing your home.
Almost all Texas cities require homeowners to register their short term rental property with the city government. This process typically involves submitting some paperwork and often includes a registration fee.
Most STR regulations also require that all short term rentals have a lodging license or permit. This license or permit is usually valid for a certain amount of time and can be renewed depending on the city.
Some city-level regulations also place restrictions on the number of guests that can be hosted at a time. Typical limits include two people per bedroom, plus two additional guests.
Another concern for many locals is the impact that short term rentals have on their neighborhoods. Some residents have complained about noise, party-goers, and the fact that there are more vehicles parked in residential areas due to short term rentals.
These concerns have led some cities to try and regulate the number of STRs in their communities. Some cities have banned STRs altogether in residential areas, while others have tried to make it more difficult for homeowners to rent their homes as short term rentals.
In Austin, for example, the city has been a leading voice in regulating the STR industry. In 2012, the city adopted an ordinance that set out a licensure process for STR properties.
Despite these strict regulations, many people still choose to rent out their homes as short term rentals in the state’s major cities. This can be an excellent way to earn income and cash in on the growing tourism industry, while helping to support local neighborhoods.
While it’s hard to get into the details of the underlying issue, the Texas Supreme Court recently took an interesting decision that affects a lot of short term rental cases across the state. The ruling in Zaatari vs. City of Austin is particularly relevant because it addresses whether a homeowner can be prohibited from renting out their home for a short period of time if they aren’t claiming it as a “homestead.”
Dallas short term rental laws
Dallas is one of the top vacation rental destinations in the world and many people choose to stay in a home-rental for their trip. These are often referred to as “short term rentals” and can be found on sites like Airbnb, VRBO, Homeaway, FlipKey, and many others.
Those renting out their homes through these websites are subject to the city’s hotel occupancy tax. As such, they should register with the City of Dallas in order to pay the taxes. The hotel occupancy tax can be paid online, through regular mail, or in person at the city’s Special Collections Unit.
While the city has yet to enact any official rules for short term rentals in Dallas, many homeowners have come to the city’s Quality of Life committee asking it to regulate them and prevent them from disrupting their neighborhoods. They have urged the city to create more standards and regulations for these rentals, such as requiring owners to live in their properties, inspections, and density limitations.
However, this type of regulation is not necessarily easy to implement. There is also a lot of friction between the local community and those who want to use their properties for short-term rentals.
Some residents say that they are afraid for their children’s safety because there are a lot of strangers coming to stay in their neighborhood due to the increase of these rentals. There are also complaints that these rentals cause more traffic in the area and create a lot of noise.
Another major concern is that some hosts may not be respectful of their neighbors or their properties. They may trash or be obnoxious, which can lead to complaints and fines from city code enforcement officials.
During a recent meeting of the Quality of Life, Culture and Arts committee, council member Paula Blackmon said she would be willing to consider a plan that allows individual neighborhoods to decide whether or not they want short term rentals within their boundaries. But she noted that such an option would involve a lot of work for the residents and would likely not be very appealing to most homeowners.
Fort Worth short term rental laws
If you’re considering renting out your apartment for short term stays (also known as STRs or vacation rentals), it is important to understand the local short term rental laws in Texas. These laws are designed to protect the rights of property owners, ensure that short term rental hosts are responsible, and help manage the impact that a STR can have on a community.
One of the biggest challenges that STR owners face is the need to comply with local regulations and zoning rules. Many cities, including Austin and Fort Worth, have strict rules that a short term rental owner must follow.
In some cases, these rules may be enacted to deter illegal operations and limit the number of people that can stay in a property. Other zoning issues that short term rental owners should be aware of include requiring a permit for the use of a STR in residential areas and the ability to control the density of short term rentals within a specific block or multifamily building.
The city of Fort Worth is working to identify short term rentals in the city to encourage registration and discourage illegally operating STRs, according to Dana Burghdoff, assistant city manager for development services. She said staff has been meeting with residents, property managers, and STR owners to gather information and discuss potential changes to the zoning process.
When it comes to paying taxes, Texas short term rentals are exempt from the hotel occupancy tax if they are listed on platforms like Airbnb or HomeAway that automatically collect this from guests. However, owners must still register their properties and pay hotel occupancy taxes themselves.
Depending on where you are located in Texas, you might also need to pay the county or city sales tax. You can find out more about this at the Texas Comptroller Office website.
Another key component that Texas short term rental laws require is a stipulation that all STRs provide a designated contact who can be reached at any time for questions or concerns. This will go a long way towards demonstrating to the city that you are committed to a safe and responsible STR operation.