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City staff to continue studying how to regulate short-term rentals

Posted Sept. 13, 2019

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The City Council directed city staff to continue studying the best way to regulate short-term rentals as the use of Airbnb and similar properties becomes more prevalent in Fort Worth.

Planning & Development Director Randle Harwood estimated there are 1,100 properties being marketed as short-term rentals in Fort Worth, generating about $15 million in gross revenue yearly. If all of these properties paid hotel occupancy taxes, the city would net between $1 million and $1.5 million yearly.

Some Texas cities, including San Antonio, Austin and Arlington, regulate short-term rentals. In addition, many cities collect a hotel occupancy tax from these properties, but Fort Worth does not have a mechanism for collecting the tax.

Under the current zoning regulations, short-term rentals are essentially allowed everywhere but in residential areas. Code Compliance officers are responsible for enforcement on a complaint basis, usually the result of a nuisance situation such as excessive noise or parking problems around a property.

Last June, city staff began tracking zoning violations related to short-term rentals. Since then, 11 violations have been recorded.

Through the end of this year, city staff will continue to explore how to implement regulations and enforcement options. Another briefing to the City Council is scheduled for January 2020.

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