When deciding whether to become an Airbnb host, it's important for you to understand the laws in your city. As a platform and marketplace we do not provide legal advice, but we want to provide some useful links that may help you better understand laws and regulations in Austin. This list is not exhaustive, but it should give you a good start in understanding your local laws. We’ll continue to update this information as more becomes available. If you have questions, you can visit the City of Austin or contact the Austin Code Department directly, or consult a local lawyer or tax professional.
Short-term rental regulations
Hosts in Austin are required to obtain an operating license to host short-term stays (fewer than 30 nights). Property owners must apply for the license or provide a notarized letter of authorization to third party agents wishing to rent their property. Additional information on short term rental licenses in the city of Austin can be found here.
Step 1: Check your eligibility
The city has three short term rental categories with unique regulations and requires a specific license.
The Type 1 short term rental is an owner occupied single family home, multi-family or duplex. Type 2 is a single family home, multi-family or duplex that is NOT owner occupied. And Type 3 is part of a multi-family use property (condo, apartment building, etc) and is EITHER owner occupied or not owner occupied.
To register Type 1 owners must provide documentation that the property is owner-occupied or is associated with an owner-occupied principal residential unit.
To register Type 2 owners must provide documentation of ownership, and the short-term rental use may not be located on a lot that is within 1000 feet of a lot on which another short-term rental (Type 2) use is located.
To register Type 3 owners must provide documentation of ownership, must provide documentation of the total number of buildings on the property and the number of units per building. Owners must comply with applicable geographic caps.
Consult the Types of Short Term Rentals page for more information.
Step 2: Get a registration number
Owners can apply online for a short term rental license.
The total fee is $733.80 and is good for one year. .
Austin requires the following information for an application:
- Proof of property insurance
- Driver’s License
- Third party agents must have a notarized authorization from owners allowing them to manage their property.
Host must also request a certificate of occupancy.
- To request up to 6 Certificates of Occupancies (COs), submit an email to DSDCertificateofOccupancy@austintexas.gov. Be sure to include the address and unit number (if applicable) in your request.
- To request 7 or more Certificates of Occupancies (COs), submit a Public Information Request to Public.Information@austintexas.gov. Be sure to include the address and unit number (if applicable) in your request.
Hosts are responsible for paying City of Austin Hotel Occupancy taxes and Texas State Hotel Occupancy Taxes. Hosts should first obtain their Short Term Rental license from the City of Austin and then register with City of Austin Department of Finance and the Texas State Comptroller
Step 3: Add your registration number to your listing
As a last step, you’ll need to add your license number to your listing to finalize your registration with the city. Once you add your number, your registration will be complete and you can continue hosting short-term stays.
Renewing your registration
You’ll need to renew your license annually and pay a $412 fee. Licenses expire [one year from the date they are issued, and hosts must provide proof of property insurance and proof of payment of the City of Austin Hotel Occupancy Taxes, which could be in the form of canceled checks or the most recent quarterly report submitted to the City Comptroller.
Other contracts and rules
As a host, you need to understand and abide by other contracts or rules that bind you, including leases, co-op rules, HOA rules, or other rules established by tenant organizations. You should be able to find out more by contacting your housing authority (such as a community council) or landlord. Your lease (or other contract) might also have specific details.
Our commitment to your community
We are committed to working with local officials to help them understand how Airbnb benefits our community. Where needed, we will continue to advocate for changes that will allow regular people to rent out their own homes.
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