Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Austin, TX drafts Short Term Rental Regulations

In June, the city of Austin proposed this very simple set of regulations for short term rentals.

Some things I really like about it:

1)  its very simple.

2)  the sanctions it imposes are very reasonable compared to what we usually see in STR laws.

3)  it recognizes the difference between an owner who rents their home a few times a year, an owner who rents more frequently but isn't really doing it as a business, and an owner who is clearly in the business of renting out vacation rentals.

4) it supports the idea of vacation rental owners and managers forming or joining a local vacation rental association.

A few things I don't like about the proposed law:

1) vacation rentals have to be 1000 feet apart.  That rule would be a good thing in some neighborhoods, but it would not make any sense in areas of a city that are more devoted to tourism activity.

2)  it makes property owners "liable for renters' actions", but doesn't define what that really means.

Note that Austin is the home of Homeaway.Com, a public company and the world's biggest commercial venture related to vacation rental operations.

Download a copy here:
Austin, TX Draft Short Term Rental Regulations

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