Austin’s Moratorium on STRs: What REALTORS® Need to Know

short-term rentals

On November 12, Austin City Council adopted a moratorium on investor-owned (Type 2) short-term rentals (STRs). Due to this recent adoption, the City of Austin is no longer processing applications for Type 2 STRs that were submitted after September 17, though it will continue to renew licenses that were previously issued. While already-issued STR licenses can be renewed, they are non-transferrable between owners and lapse when a property changes hand. The moratorium is effective until at least March 2017.

How the Moratorium Impacts REALTORS®

It's important for Central Texas REALTORS® to be aware of the moratorium on new Type 2 STR licenses in Austin so they can help their clients make informed decisions about purchasing new property.

According to ABoR attorney Joe Babb, REALTORS® should be aware of risk reduction practices related to advertising the potential for short-term rentals. “Central Texas REALTORS® need to know they may be exposing themselves to liability if they advertise a listing in Austin as a potential STR,” said Babb. “Given the recently-adopted moratorium, any language that suggests a listing has STR potential might be considered misleading and result in buyers making poorly informed investment decisions.” Babb recommends that REALTORS® warn their clients that there are tight restrictions on STRs in Austin and direct them to information about STR regulations available through the Austin Code Department’s website.

The Future of STRs

Additional changes to the City’s short-term rental ordinance are scheduled to go before Council on December 10 and are currently under consideration at the Planning Commission.

As always, ABoR’s Government Affairs team is closely monitoring the issue and advocating for policies that protect property owners’ right to use their property in ways that are compatible with surrounding uses and do not degrade neighborhood character or quality of life. Stay tuned for updates on STRs and the moratorium on our blog.


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