Friday, August 3, 2012

Austin City Council Votes Against Short Term Rental Ban - 5 to 2

Austin's City Council voted to allow, and regulate, short-term rentals, instead of enacting a complete ban on them, in spite of opposition from a small but vocal community group that staged a demonstration in front of City Hall. The vote was 5 to 2 in favor of vacation rentals.

The vote came on August 2nd after more than two years of contentious public debate. Aggressive public relations campaigns were launched by groups aligned with both sides of the issue. The largest short term rental listing site in the world - HomeAway.Com - is based in Austin and provided significant support to local VR owners and managers.

No limits were placed on the number of owner-occupied homes that can be rented short term, but new rules limit the number of non-owner-occupied home rentals to no more than 3 percent of the single-family homes in a census tract.

Critics said the law would still allow too many rentals in one neighborhood, but other council members said the 3% limit was adequate.

The new law takes affect on October 1st.

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Doug Coates

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