Crackdown on short-term rentals begins this weekend

If you are planning to rent out your house this July 4th beware. The city is cracking down on short term renters who are breaking the law.

Starting this weekend on Fridays and Saturday through July they'll be inspecting homes between 10 p.m. and 4 a.m.

Code enforcement says it's a response an increased number of complaints related to short term rentals while it's important to follow the law some are questioning how it's being enforced.

Carl Shepherd is the co-founder of HomeAway. Homeowners looking to rent list their properties on his site. It services 19,000 jurisdictions, Austin is one of them.

"With its ordinance, Austin has achieved the highest level of registration that I am aware of in the US," he said.

City data shows there are about 1,150 properties licensed for short term rentals. But according to a city release increased complaints about some of those properties are prompting a pilot program launching this weekend.

"We have challenges with over occupancy, but we also hear about noise complaints, trash and debris, we hear about ingress and egress issues," explained Jacqueline Ballone with the Austin Code Department.

The city says they've received more than 300 complaints. Though when pressed they couldn't tell us how many were specific to short-term rentals.

Nevertheless they think it's a problem. So according to their release, they'll be out on Fridays and Saturdays during July between 10 p.m. and 4 a.m.

Their release does say quote in addition to spot inspections -- the team will respond to complaints received and inspect known trouble properties. The city clarified inspections will be related specifically to complaints received

Code enforcement is asking residents to call 311 with complaints. They say they'll evaluate the program's effectiveness when it ends in August. That's also when they plan to share their findings with the city council and the public.

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