During major events and festivals like SXSW, ACL and Formula1, hotels will sell out and visitors begin looking to private homeowners for accommodations. With SXSW right around the corner, many Austinites consider renting out their homes short term to make some extra cash. They will list their homes or extra bedrooms for rent on sites likehomeaway.com, vrbo.com, airbnb.com or craigslist.com. While this may garner you some quick cash, there are new laws you should be aware of. Here’s how you can legally make your home a short term rental.
Homeowners must obtain a vacation rental operating license from the City of Austin. A short-term rental, or STR, is defined as the rental of a residential building for less than 30 consecutive days.
There are three different types of short-term rental application forms that depend upon whether the unit is single-family or multifamily and owner-occupied or not owner-occupied. If the unit is not owner-occupied there may be a cap on the number of STRs allowed in each census tract of the city.
After you fill out the correct type of STR application form, you will need to pay a $285 fee. The STR licensing fee is $235 and there is a $50 notification cost from the Planning & Development Review Department to notify adjacent neighbors.
The next required form is a proof of property insurance, which you can fulfill through a summary of declarations page from your current insurance policy.
In addition to the $285 fee, you will also need to pay the Hotel Occupancy Tax. To pay the HOT, you will first need to contact the Comptroller’s Office to register and obtain a taxpayer ID number. STR owners must charge customers a 15% HOT in addition to the original rate. 9% of the HOT goes to the City of Austin and 6% of the HOT goes to the State of Texas. If your property is outside of the Austin Full Purpose Jurisdiction, you only have to charge a 6% HOT which goes to the State of Texas.
The final document you will need is a Certificate of Occupancy or a Certified Inspection. A Certificate of Occupancy can be obtained by calling the City of Austin, Building Inspections Division. Alternatively you can pay a third party to do a Certified Inspection.
If you rent out your home without a STR license, you may face some fines! Don’t let this happen to you. Screen any potential renters first, make sure your home is insured and obtain an STR license so you can rent out your home worry-free.
For more information: http://www.austintexas.gov/str