Austin Council weighs Type 2 Short-Term Rentals moratorium

AUSTIN, Texas— The Austin City Council weighed in on Type 2 Short-Term Rentals Thursday night, aiming to put one-year moratoriums on these types of licenses based on a recently drafted ordinance.

There are different types of Short-Term Rentals.  Type 1 means a resident leaving town for the weekend and rents the place out for a few extra bucks.  Type 2 means the property owner doesn't even live there, it's specifically meant to be rented out.

Austin Council focused Thursday’s meeting solely on Type 2 licenses. This comes after council recently started cracking down on short-term rentals.  According to the ordinance draft, this means both residential and commercially zoned areas would be affected, but it would not include existing Type 2 licenses— they would be grandfathered in. 

Jay Reynolds works with the Austin Rental Alliance and is for short-term rentals.  He's not sure the grandfathering will actually happen.

"The way the language is right now, it would be an all-out ban on even renewals of type 2's, even though it says there's a grandfathering clause. There's also ambiguous wording which is, I'm sure, very intentional by certain members of the council," Reynolds said.

Jessie Neufeld, with Neighbors for Short Term Rental Reform, says reform is need.

"For me, honestly, the biggest issue was raising a child next to a house that was essentially operating as a hotel.  Vacant half the week and the other half were a bunch of strangers that we didn't know," Neufeld said.  

Many Austinites are still waiting to hear more from the council.  If council votes yes, the moratorium is for one year.  Council will set a public hearing before December 2016 to discuss how effective this was.