Dallas Addresses Short-Term Rental Dilemmas With a Few Proposals

Dallas City Council members were briefed June 1 on two propositions for short-term rental regulations — one idea allows only single rooms to be rented out and another still allows short-term rentals with a few stipulations.

Constituents are unhappy with the number of short-term rental properties listed on online platforms including Airbnb, Vrbo, and other platforms because said properties are being marketed as places to host events or large groups of people — enough to regularly disturb the neighbors.

The first proposal would make owner-occupied short-term rentals OK in Dallas, meaning homeowners can rent out their garage or a single room in their home, but nothing more. If this is what goes through, Dallasites can only have one short-term renter on their property at a time, off-street parking would be required for residents, and spaces in these homes can only be used for their intended use: living. 

On the other hand, the other proposal still doesn’t allow on-street parking or events, but short-term rentals would be allowed to continue business as usual across Dallas. 

A third option, which was proposed by Councilmember Carolyn King Arnold during the meeting, would entail the city banning short-term rentals in single-family residential areas across the board.

“If you hear the term ‘single family,’ you’re not expecting concerts to be next door to you nor are you expecting to share parking spaces with 10, 15, 20 more people in a single family unit because most of our homes are designed [with] two or three bedrooms, so you’re not looking for someone to come over with a household full of children,” Arnold said.

Dallas has 1,200 short-term rentals registered with the city (meaning the city knows the property is used for short-term rentals and the owners pay a hotel tax), but there are currently 4,884 active short-term rentals in Dallas, according to AirDNA.

Each of the proposed ideas had support from council members, but there were also hesitations. Council member Paul Ridley recommended that the Dallas Zoning Advisory Committee review the proposals, but Mayor Pro Tem Chad West said it is important for the council to take a stance and give clear guidance to get the Zoning Ordinance Advisory Committee. 

Planning and code enforcement officials will circle back to the council toward the end of the month after making updates and revisions using the council’s feedback.

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