Austin homeowners wanting to rent their houses may get fee break



Bio | Email | Follow: @HeatherK_KVUE

Posted on October 16, 2012 at 6:08 PM

Updated Tuesday, Oct 16 at 6:21 PM

AUSTIN --  As of Oct. 1, Austin homeowners were required to register with the City if they plan to rent out their homes for fewer than 30 days. Right now they pay a $235 application fee and a $241 notification fee. Thursday the Austin City Council could reduce the notification fee to $50.

The council has also asked for a review of seven points of the short-term rental ordinance. They want to clear up whether an owner must register with the City before they advertise their property, or whether they can register after a reservation has been made.

The manager of the planning and review department, Jerry Rusthoven, says the city council has also asked them to look into the the possibility of doing single-room rentals as opposed to the whole house, as well as enforcement mechanisms and the advertising.

Rusthoven says they expect more people will apply and comply with the law if the notification fee is reduced.

"So far we've only had a small number of people have applied. We anticipate more. One issue that's been raised is that perhaps the amount of the fee could be deterring some people from registering," said Rusthoven.
The notification fee covers the City's cost to inform neighbors within 100 feet of the rental.

Director of the Code Compliance Department Carl Smart says his office will be enforcing the ordinance and "making sure that those persons who need to be licensed are licensed, and that they are operating properly."

Two inspectors and a third person to help with registration have already been hired.

Homeowners can find the documents they need online, but they have to go to the code compliance office on Rutherford Lane to apply. For more information, click here.