Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Austin Short-term Rentals - Myth vs. Fact

Source:  http://keepaustinreasonable.com/facts.html



MYTH:
Corporations and out-of-state investors own the majority of short-term rentals in Austin.
FACT:
The Short-term Rentals Audit, conducted by the Austin City Auditor in April 2012, showed that 63 percent of short-term rentals are owner-occupied (meaning it is the homeowner’s primary residence) and 89 percent are owned by Austinites.
MYTH:
Short-term rentals “hollow out” Austin neighborhoods and destroy their community fabric.
FACT:
According to the Short-term Rentals Audit, in properties offered for short-term rent that are not the primary residence of the owner, the owner lives an average of 3.5 miles away. That means that even when the owner doesn’t live in the home itself, they often still live in the neighborhood, which makes them as motivated as other homeowners to protect the community fabric of that neighborhood.
MYTH:
Nuisances, like noise and trash, are rampant in short-term rentals.
FACT:
According to the Short-term Rentals Audit, this is false. The audit shows that short-term rentals were the source of a very small number of complaints, including only 0.4 percent of 311 calls (to report non-emergency issues); 0.2 percent of 911 calls (for emergencies); and 0.2 percent of code compliance citations in Austin.
MYTH:
Short-term rentals aren’t homes; they’re businesses and should be regulated like commercial properties.
FACT:
Short-term rentals are being regulated under “residential” codes because the individuals using the properties are residents of the homes. That’s true whether you rent a home for one week or one year. That determination was made by the city’s Planning and Development Review Department in 2011 and is consistent with how we have always regulated other residential rental properties (those rented for longer than 30 days).
MYTH:
If the Austin City Council doesn’t ban short-term rentals, long-term housing stock in the urban core will be significantly reduced, thereby increasing in the cost of housing in Central Austin.
FACT:
A ban isn’t necessary to preserve housing stock. The STR Solution would limit non-owner occupied short-term rentals to three percent of single-family housing stock per zip code. That means these properties will not become a large enough portion of the housing stock to have a significant effect on home prices.
MYTH:
Short-term rentals are responsible for declining enrollment in Central Austin schools.
FACT:
City staff has reported that there are currently .2 to .4 children per household in the zip code of 78704. Even if short-term rentals in the area reached the maximum cap of three percent in Council Member Riley’s proposal, it would reduce enrollment in schools by a maximum of 10 students in the entire zip code. That makes it clear that short-term rentals are not the cause of declining school enrollment. Rather, Austin City Demographer Ryan Robinson cites the exodus of families with children from the urban core as one of the “Ten Big Demographic Trends” of 2010. These factors – not short-term rentals – are driving declining enrollment in Central Austin schools.

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