Short-Term Rentals in Austin

With Austin City Limits Music Festival coming soon and Formula 1 right on its heels, Austin is preparing for its annual influx of fall visitors—and if past years are any indication, the short-term rental market is sure to be hopping. Short-term rentals, defined by the city as “the rental of a residential unit or accessory building for less than 30 consecutive days,” have become an increasingly popular way for Austin residents to earn some extra income while providing event goers with the comforts of home.

Obviously, there are plenty of factors to consider when deciding whether or not to rent out your home to an out-of-town guest. In addition to assessing your comfort level about not knowing the people who will be living in your home, you will need to decide which company is the best one to help you list and promote your rental. Also, the City of Austin has implemented stricter regulations related to short-term rentals. On August 2, 2012, after more than two years of public debate, the Austin City Council passed new rules that would require all homeowners renting their homes to register with the city and pay a 15 percent hotel tax beginning October 1. In 2013, the rules were broadened to require registration for apartments, condominiums and other multifamily properties, and they capped the number of non-owner-occupied home rentals to no more than three percent of the single-family homes in a census tract. For details on the various changes, read the Austin American-Statesman articles from August 2012 and February 2013.

If you are ready to begin the process for renting out your home, you will first need to determine which type of short-term rental you have. If it’s a Type 2 (not owner-occupied, single family or duplex) or Type 3 (not owner-occupied, multi-family) rental, be aware that there is a cap on the number of short-term rentals allowed in each census tract. To find out your census tract, use this census tract lookup, then see how many licenses are available in your area.

Next, assuming you are eligible to rent your property, you will need to fill out the appropriate short-term rental license application for your type of rental and submit it, along with a $285 licensing fee, proof of property insurance, proof of payment of hotel occupancy tax, and a certificate of occupancy or certified inspection, to Austin Code Compliance. For complete instructions and FAQs, visit the City of Austin website.

Renting out your home can be a lucrative prospect, but be sure to minimize any hiccups along the way by remaining in compliance with the city, and choosing a reputable company to help you list your rental. From the folks at Blairfield Realty, happy renting!

Don’t forget to watch our informational video on obtaining a short-term rental license in Austin!

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