Dallas gets task force to deal with Airbnbs

Airbnb, Vrbo, and the rest of their short-term rental brethren seem poised to take the same route Uber and Lyft took five years ago. Dallas City Council wants a task force, which will ensure the city gets its share and respond to concerned neighbors in rental hot spots across the city.

The hardest thing Dallas is asking short-term rental owners right now is to register their rental with the city and pay a portion of their revenue in hotel occupancy taxes.

According to city staff, about 400 rental units have been registered with the city out of the 1,200 that the city believes are currently operating in Dallas. Since 2018, Dallas has been working with a company called MUNIRevs to find and contact short-term rental owners who it says operate in the city. The partnership’s data is shared with the city’s code compliance department, the Dallas Police Department, and the city’s Building Inspection Department.

City council staff and quality of life, arts and culture committee want better tax collection and possibly an ordinance to address residents’ concerns about noise, increased demand parking, overcrowding and rentals that are operated as party houses, rather than hotel alternatives.

“The vast majority of short-term rentals are in my district,” said David Blewett, board member. “I receive a large number of neighbors who give me comments on problems.”

Blewett represents parts of downtown Uptown and East Dallas, all of which have a large number of short-term rentals. He wants the city to go after unregistered operators.

“I recognize unregulated (short-term rentals) as a threat to our single-family neighborhoods,” Blewett said. “I’d love to see some sort of three-warning method and you got out where, if the code is called and you’re not registered, it becomes a lot harder to register.”

Other council members fear that too strict a line may discourage homeowners from registering or put Dallas in legal jeopardy.

“I don’t want to be so burdensome on our own residents – who see this as a source of income – that we’re going to punish them as well,” said Jennifer Gates, questioning city rules that require landlords to reimburse them. hotel taxes if they hope to save their rentals.

Austin passed the state’s toughest short-term rental ordinance in 2016. It required short-term tenants to sleep no more than two unrelated adults in a room, called for rentals to be phased out short term unoccupied by owner by 2022 and no holidays. for short-term rental between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m. The city was quickly pursued.

“I think we have to be extremely aware that we could work hard and then we could be totally preempted.” – Jennifer Gates

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“I think we have to be extremely aware that we could work hard and then we could be totally preempted,” Gates said.

West and Northwest Dallas Council representative Omar Narvaez lamented the number of short-term rental units that have popped up in multi-family buildings across Dallas, but he echoed Gates. He doesn’t want to cut off a potential source of income for those who might need it, he said.

“I don’t want to over-regulate all of this,” Narvaez said, “but I want to put some sensible regulations in place (in place). I don’t want that senior who still lives in his three or four or five’s house. rooms, maybe who lives alone, to say to himself, “Maybe I can rent a room or two to supplement my retirement” – I don’t want to penalize them, but at the same time I don’t I want someone which runs an indoor-outdoor-bar entertainment venue. ”

Once assembled, the Dallas Short-Term Rental Task Force is expected to report to City Council on a quarterly basis. If this gives the impression that building a new ordinance could take a long time, that’s because it probably will. The city’s rental transportation task force met in January 2014. Its non-compliance order came into effect on April 30 of the following year.

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