Renting a house for a short period of time has become an increasingly popular option for Austin homeowners looking for a little extra money in their pockets and tourists seeking housing. With SXSW kicking off this week, the demand for short-term rentals (STR) is expected to spike. If you’re a homeowner looking to rent your home for a period of less than 30 days, there are some important factors you should consider before taking the plunge.
Are you ready?
Before jumping into the short-term rental market, make sure you’re prepared to be a landlord. Here are some simple tips to remember before renting out your property:
- Find the most qualified applicant (and set qualifying criteria before doing so).
- Set your pricing based on a market analysis on surrounding STRs in your area. Consider availability, timing, etc. when setting your price.
- Determine how you will check your applicants’ backgrounds.
- Do your research—Chapter 92 of the Texas Property Code covers every aspect of renting. Before becoming a landlord, even if it is part time, it’s a smart idea to read up on your responsibilities.
- If you’re not ready to become a landlord, reach out to qualified professionals to get the job done. AustinHomeSearch.com has a vast database of real estate professionals that specialize in rentals, or check out other professional organizations like the National Association of Residential Property Managers.
Obtain a license from the City of Austin
A City of Austin Ordinance requires operators of short-term rentals, sometimes called vacation rentals by owner (VRBO), to obtain a license to operate. The ordinance classifies three different types of STRs:
- Type I: Owner-occupied, single-family, multifamily, or duplex;
- Type II: Not owner-occupied, single-family or duplex; and
- Type III: Not owner occupied, multi-family (condo, apartment, etc.).
Depending on the type of STR, you’ll have a different City of Austin application to complete. Here’s the list of items you’ll need to submit along with your application:
- $285 fee;
- Proof of property insurance;
- Proof of payment of Hotel Occupancy Taxes (if applicable); and
- Certificate of occupancy OR certified inspection.
This helpful video explains the City of Austin ordinance in full detail.