Walk-ins welcome if all application requirements are complete
Residents who rent out their properties to folks visiting Austin need to follow new requirements starting Oct. 1.
A new ordinance adopted by the Austin City Council in August requires Short-Term Rentals (STRs), often called “Vacation Rentals by Owner,” to obtain a license to operate. Houses and residential units rented for periods of 30 days or less are considered “short-term” rentals.
All owner-occupied STRs, called Type I, can apply for a license starting Monday, Oct. 1, 2012. In addition, non-owner-occupied STRs, called Type II, can apply for a license if they can show proof of operating prior to June 13, 2011. STR owners should call 3-1-1 starting Oct. 1 to schedule an appointment to get a license and ask any questions.
All Type II STRs operating on or after June 13, 2011, will be able to apply for a license beginning in January 2013.
Type II STRs already in existence have an opportunity to be “grandfathered” in before additional location-based restrictions take effect Jan. 1, 2013. At that point, the ordinance limits the number of Type II STRs in a single neighborhood, placing a 3 percent cap per Census tract.
In January 2013, new Type II STRs licenses will only be issued in geographic areas where a 3 percent threshold of STRs has not been met.
To operate legally, other requirements include holding a valid certificate of occupancy or passing an STR inspection, staying current on hotel occupancy taxes, and paying a fee for notifications to adjacent property owners.
Failure to register is equivalent to operating without a license and may result in enforcement action, including citations.