Austin Code Department Announces Details of New Short-Term Rental Ordinance
Department Receives New Enforcement Tools
On Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2016, the Austin City Council approved significant changes to the Short- Term Rental ordinance. The revised ordinance imposes new requirements for advertising, sets occupancy limits, places new requirements on those requesting STR licenses, and creates a process for denying, suspending or revoking a license, along with an appeal process. The ordinance also sets limits on the distance between some Type 2 STRs, establishes requirements related to inspections, establishes requirements related to noise and music and prohibits certain types of gatherings. Eventually, the ordinance will prohibit Type 2 short-term rentals in residential areas.
“The City Council has created new licensing regulations and new enforcement tools that will allow us to better manage vacation rentals and to better respond to inappropriate behaviors at short-term rental properties,” said Austin Code Director Carl Smart. “These changes come as we move into our busy spring festival season. We look forward to continuing to work with neighborhoods to keep Austin a safe and hospitable environment for residents and visitors alike.”
The new licensing requirements include:
· Inspection of septic systems, if applicable
· A requirement for local contact information for property owner or manager
· A requirement for proof of a Certificate of Occupancy issued in 2006 or later, or a
third-party life-safety inspection
· Limits, by census tracts, on the percentage of short-term rentals in residential and commercial areas
The new enforcement tools include:
· An occupancy limit of no more than 10 adults or six unrelated adults
· Regulations on sound equipment, live music and noise
· A ban on advertising by non-licensed short-term rentals
· Prohibition on outdoor assemblies from 10 p.m. to 7 a.m.
· Ban on commercial events, such as bachelor and bachelorette parties, concerts, weddings and
other large events
· New enforcement actions for repeat offenders
· Additional authority to suspend or deny licenses
Also, the new ordinance discontinues Type 2 short-term rentals in residential areas on April 1, 2022.
Owners and managers of short-term rentals are encouraged to visit the Austin Code Department website to keep up to date on the implementation of these changes. That site is: http://austintexas.gov/STR.
The Austin Code Department encourages residents to use the Austin 3-1-1 mobile app on their cell phones to report STR problems. People can also call 3-1-1 if they have STR complaints. Calls may be anonymous.