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City Watch: Short-term rentals—and what to do about them—remain hot topic of discussion


An appellate court recently invalidated parts of the city of Austin’s local ordinance addressing short-term rentals.

Key takeaways

  • Two provisions of the city of Austin’s short-term rental housing ordinance were struck down by the 3rd Court of Appeals as a violation of property owners’ private property rights.
  • Many cities have ordinances governing short-term rentals, and legislators considered legislation during the last session that would have set statewide standards. None of that legislation passed, but it is likely to resurface in 2021.
  • The Texas Apartment Association continues to follow this issue; contact to share your experiences.

During the 2019 Legislative Session, the Texas Apartment Association took part in several conversations about a highly contested topic: short-term rentals (STRs). You know the ones—AirBnB, Homeaway, etc. Local regulations on these types of facilities exist in many cities across Texas, which has spurred calls for statewide regulations to be enacted. While no legislation was passed this session, this will inevitably be a topic that arises again when the legislature next meets in January of 2021.

Austin is one of the many cities with local ordinances on STRs, and recently the 3rd Court of Appeals struck down two provisions of this ordinance as unconstitutional, stating these requirements violate private property rights of homeowners. While this is still an ongoing suit, the rulings here are highly likely to come into play with any bills introduced on the topic next Session. Read more about the ruling here.

TAA will continue to monitor STR regulation and reform efforts statewide, and we encourage anyone with experience dealing with these to share your stories. You may contact David Mintz, TAA Vice President of Government Affairs or Kyle Jackson, TAA Director of Government Affairs at

More from December 2019 Member Newsletter

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