Short-Term Rentals (STRs), residences that are rented for less than 30 consecutive days, are regulated by City ordinance, and licensed annually by Development Services Department Code Compliance. The goal of STR regulations is to encourage the safety of structures for people and pets, ensure compatible existence with the surrounding environment, and to allocate resources to provide education and address violations.

 

Overview of STRs in Austin

There are three types of STRs within the city limits of Austin.

Type 1 STR: A use that is rented for less than 30 consecutive days and is owner occupied or associated with an owner-occupied principal residential unit.

Type 2 STR: A use that is rented for less than 30 consecutive days, is not part of a multi-family residential use, and is not owner occupied or associated with an owner-occupied principal residential unit.

Type 3 STR: A use that is rented for less than 30 consecutive days and is part of a multi-family residential use.

Each type of STR has its own annual application and rules. Regardless of type of STR, all must be licensed under section 25-2-791 of the City Code.

Type 1 STR Definitions, Rules, and Licensing Application

Definition: A Type 1 STR can be single-family, multifamily or duplex and may encompass the rental of an entire dwelling unit or may be as limited as a sleeping room with shared full bathroom. Regardless of the scope of the rental agreement, the owner is present.

Rules: Owners of Type 1 STRs must provide documentation that the property is owner-occupied or is associated with an owner-occupied principal residential unit. The ownership information on the application must match the deed as recorded with the Travis Central Appraisal District or the Williamson Central Appraisal District.

ApplicationType 1 STR Application 

Type 2 STR Definitions, Rules, and Licensing Application

Definition: A Type 2 STR can be single-family or duplex and includes the rental of an entire dwelling that is not owner-occupied or associated with an owner-occupied principal residence. Type 2 STRs are also permitted in commercial-zoned districts (Central Business District, Downtown Mixed Use, Planned Unit Development, General-Retail-Mixed Use, Commercial Services – Mixed Use, Commercial Services – Vertical Mixed Use and General Retail – Vertical Mixed Use).

Rules: The ownership information on the application must match the deed as recorded with the Travis Central Appraisal District or the Williamson Central Appraisal District.

ApplicationsType 2 Residential STR ApplicationType 2 Commercial STR Application

Type 3 STR Definitions, Rules, and Licensing Application

Definition: A Type 3 STR is multi-family only (three units or more) and may be either owner occupied or not owner occupied. Type 3 STRs include the rental of entire dwelling unit.

Rules: Owners must provide documentation of the total number of buildings on the property and the number of units per building. They must also comply with applicable geographic caps.

The ownership information on the application must match the deed as recorded with the Travis Central Appraisal District or the Williamson Central Appraisal District.

ApplicationsType 3 STR Application 

Applying for a New STR License

Individuals applying for a new STR license must include the following documentation in full. Partial applications cannot be processed:

  • Completed application that is appropriate to the STR type (Type 1Type 2 ResidentialType 2 Commercial, or Type 3)

  • Cash, check, or money order payable to the City of Austin in the non-refundable amount of $863.80 to cover the $817 application fee, $45 notification fee and $1.81 Development Services Department technology fee which supports the City’s permitting system infrastructure

  • Proof of property insurance found on the declaration, information or summary pages of a policy

  • Proof of existing Hotel Occupancy Tax (HOT) account via copy of a canceled check used to pay HOT and copy of most recent quarter tax report to City Controller or copy of zero report filed if no renters within the quarter

  • Copy of Certificate of Occupancy

  • Copy of owner’s drivers license

  • Completed, notarized Agent Authorization Form from the property owner showing allowance of third-party STR management

A person who submits an application for a short-term rental license shall pay an additional fee if the application is submitted after a notice of violation or citation is issued to the person for operating a short-term rental without a license under section 25-2-793 of the City Code.

Applicants may schedule a time to deliver the application packet in person to 6310 Wilhelmina Delco Drive by emailing STRLicensing@austintexas.gov, submitting the required operating license documentation online or mailing the required documentation to:

City of Austin – DSD Code Compliance
Attn: Finance- STR
PO Box 1088
Austin, Texas 78767

STR licenses are good for one year from date issuance.

Renewing an STR License

Individuals renewing an STR license must do so before the current license expires unless a 30-day extension is requested via email to STRLicensing@austintexas.gov. Applicants must also include the following documentation in full. Partial applications cannot be processed:

  • Cash, check, or money order payable to the City of Austin in the non-refundable amount of $490
  • Proof of property insurance found on the declaration, information or summary pages of a policy

  • Proof of existing Hotel Occupancy Tax (HOT) account via copy of a canceled check used to pay HOT and copy of most recent quarter tax report to City Controller or copy of zero report filed if no renters within the quarter

A person who submits a request to renew a short-term rental license shall pay an additional fee if the application is submitted after a notice of violation or citation is issued to the person for operating with an expired short-term rental license under section 25-2-793 of the City Code.

Applicants may schedule a time to deliver the application packet in person to 6310 Wilhelmina Delco Drive by emailing STRLicensing@austintexas.gov, submitting the required operating license documentation online or mailing the required documentation to:

City of Austin – DSD Code Compliance
Attn: Finance- STR
PO Box 1088
Austin, Texas 78767

STR licenses are good for one year from date issuance.

STR Licensee/Operator Responsibilities

Under section 25-2-791 of the City Code, a licensee/operator must provide renters a copy of an information packet in a conspicuous common area of the STR that includes: the name and contact information of the local contact designated on the STR application, restrictions on noise applicable under section 25-2-794 of the City Code, parking restrictions, trash collection schedule, information on relevant burn bans and water restrictions, applicable requirements of the American with Disabilities Act and other guidelines and requirements applicable to short-term rental uses.

Under section 25-2-796 of the City Code, a licensee/operator who does not live within the Austin Metro Area must identify an individual or individuals to serve as local contacts and respond to emergency situations. A local contact must be present within the Austin Metro Area and be available to respond within two hours after being notified of an emergency by an STR guest, City employee or by an individual entitled to notice of the contact information under section 25-2-792, during any 24-hour period. If there is a change related to a local contact, the licensee must provide updated or new information to the director in writing within three business days.

STR Guest Responsibilities

Beyond the owner/manager policies specific to individual STRs, there are common issues that create unreasonable and potentially unsafe conditions for STR guests and area residents:

  • Loud Noise (parties, events, etc.)

  • Advertising without a license (AirBnb, VRBO, etc.)

  • Operating without a license

City ordinance governs these matters in section 25-2-794 of the City Code. An STR licensee or guest may not:

  • Use or allow the use of sound equipment that produces sound in excess of 75 decibels at the property line between 10 a.m. and 10 p.m.

  • Use or allow use of sound equipment that produces sound audible beyond the property line between 10 p.m. and 10 a.m.

  • Make or allow another to make noise or play a musical instrument audible to an adjacent business or residence between 10:30 p.m. and 7 a.m.

  • Advertise or promote, or allow another to advertise or promote, the dwelling as a short- term rental if the dwelling is not licensed as a short-term rental.

STR City Requirements

Under section 25-2-791 of the City Code, the DSD director shall mail notice of the contact information for the local contact to all properties within 100 feet of the short-term rental use, at the licensee’s or operator’s expense upon issuance of an STR license.

The City must issue Type 2 for the same parts of the City where Type 1 licenses are available under the Anding vs. City of Austin ruling. The ruling also clarified that individuals who owned their property prior to the approval of the 2016 ordinance are eligible for a Type 2 license.

STR Licensing, Enforcement Contacts and Resources

STR Licensing Questions

Licensing Intake: 512-974-9144 | STRLicensing@austintexas.gov
Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

STR Enforcement Inquiries

Supervisor Eric Gardner: 512-974-2362 | Eric.Gardner@austintexas.gov
Tuesday-Friday, 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Open Data Portal: Short-Term Rental Locations

Memo to Council: Response to Resolution No. 20181129-041

Austin Build & Connect: Public Search (Operating License)

Frequently Asked Questions