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New Rules for Short-term Rentals

The City of Austin Code Compliance Department is now enforcing new short-term rental (STR) regulations that went into effect October 1, 2012. STR activity is expected to soar with SXSW right around the corner, and the City is cracking down on unregistered STRs now to ensure homes are in compliance before a slew visitors arrive.

The City’s Code Compliance Department has hired additional staff specifically to investigate illegal STR activity. According to city staff, homeowners who advertise their homes for short-term rental without a license will be given a warning and instructions for obtaining a license. STR homeowners face misdemeanor citations and fines if they fail to comply. Details about STR rules and how to comply are featured below.


As of October 1, 2012, Austin homeowners who wish to lease their properties on a short-term basis (less than 30 days), even if only once per year, must register and apply for a license with the City, in addition to paying state and local hotel occupancy taxes.

On August 2, 2012, the Austin City Council passed an ordinance regulating short-term rentals, and on October 1, emergency rules went into effect. The table below breaks down the fees and application process for Type 1 STRs (owner occupied homes) and Type 2 STRs (not owner occupied). The City expects to post permanent STR rules for public comment in the first quarter of 2013.

The new STR rules apply to single-family structures (including duplexes) only. Condos and multi-family structures are not affected by the new STR ordinance. For more information, including coverage of ABoR’s role in the development of fair, reasonable STR regulations, visit www.abor.com/str.

To apply for an STR license, visit www.austintexas.gov/str.

Requirements for paying hotel occupancy taxes can be found at 
http://austintexas.gov/department/hotel-occupancy-taxes or 
http://www.window.state.tx.us/taxinfo/hotel/


Emergency STR Rules Registration Begins Application Requirements Limit License Fees

Type 1
: owner-occupied STR (rental of the
entire dwelling unit)

10/01/2012
  • Proof outstanding HOT paid, if applicable
  • Homestead designation
  • Proof of insurance
  • Certificate of Occupancy or proof of inspection
  • Owner contact info

none
  • $235 annual licensing fee
  • $50 notification fee

Type 2
: non-owner occupied STR operating prior
to June 13, 2011 (rental of entire dwelling unit)

10/01/2012
  • Proof of HOT paid for one year prior to 6.13.11
  • Proof of insurance
  • Certificate of Occupancy or proof of inspection
  • Owner's contact info and local contact info if applicable

No more than 3% of all single family residential units per census tract
  • $235 annual licensing fee
  • $50 notification fee

Type 2
: non-owner occupied STR operating after June 13, 2011 (rental of entire dwelling unit)

01/01/2013
  • Proof of outstanding HOT paid, if applicable
  • Proof of insurance
  • Certificate of Occupancy or proof of inspection
  • Owner's contact info and local contact info if applicable

No more than 3% of all single family residential units per census tract
  • $235 annual licensing fee
  • $50 notification fee

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