With the multitude of attractions and events in Austin, short term rentals are becoming more popular with home owners and investors. However, these STR’s have been getting a lot of ridicule from local neighborhood associations. Austin hosts many special events throughout the year and both businesses and property owners should be able to reap some kind of monetary gains due to the influx of tourist. I understand both sides of the argument about STR’s but to ban short term rentals all together isn’t the solution nor will it happen. With our music events such as South by Southwest and Austin City Limits, the city will make millions. Not to mention the new Formula 1 race which is projected to bring in more money than any other event in our city. All these tourist attractions ultimately increase our property values and help our city prosper. However, if our tourist don’t have a place to stay when they come to town they may stop coming. These local neighborhood associations should recognize that we are talking about a few weekends out of the year not months at a time.
As of October 1, 2012 the city council passed an ordinance that those owners that rent their properties out for less than 30 days will be required to be permitted through the city and possibly be subject to a hotel tax. I don’t disagree with this ordinance and I think it is a good compromise for both sides. Regardless of the ultimate outcome after all the additional amendments to this ordinance, I believe short term rentals should be the choice of the property owner and not those that live within close proximity. A neighbor can always call the police if a tenant becomes disruptive or abusive in any way. Otherwise, let the friendly tourist stay in these homes and spend their money in our great city!