Arlington to Consider Regulating Short-Term Rentals like Airbnb

Resident told council members party house near AT&T Stadium is no fun for him

The City of Arlington will look at increasing regulations on short-term rentals, found on increasingly popular sites like Airbnb.

Longtime Arlington resident William Middleton told city council members last week that a home near his, just a short walk from AT&T Stadium, is often used as a party house on game day weekends.

“I’m very concerned about what I’m seeing going on,” he said. “I have people going through my yard, my neighbor’s yards, the yards all around us, going to and from the games. They leave behind trash, food trash, urinate on my property sometimes.”

An Arlington city official told council members that there are 71 known properties that operate as short-term rentals on a regular basis.

If those properties are operating within the bounds of the law, the owners are required to pay taxes on the money their guests pay to stay. Some council members expressed concern that is not happening.

Council member Charlie Parker said one way to ensure that the property is operating within the bounds of the law is to require that the owner must be within some reasonable distance of the property when it is being rented, so as to prevent absentee owners from curtailing laws meant to regulate hotels.

Council member Robert Rivera told his peers he posted on his personal Facebook page that the city was considering increased regulations regarding short-term rentals. He said that post generated 120 comments from 87 people, with the comments being split roughly 50/50 in favor of or opposed to regulation.

Other cities — like New York and Austin — have attempted to regulate short-term rentals with mixed success. Both cities are currently involved in lawsuits against them, the argument being that the regulations go too far.

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