Dallas City Council votes to ban STRs in single-family areas

US: Dallas City Council has voted in favour of banning homeowners from listing their properties as short-term rentals on platforms such as Airbnb and Vrbo in single-family residential neighbourhoods in the city.

The vote, 12-3 in favour of tightened rental regulations, took place on 14 June after more than three years of master plans, briefings, debates and campaigns on the matter in Dallas, and three months after city councils submitted a formal proposal to restrict rental platform activity in specific neighbourhoods in the city.

The rules will apply specifically to single-family zonings but short-term rental properties can be still listed in commercial areas and other non-specific residential neighbourhoods, albeit under stricter regulatory conditions, which could include registration schemes or a hotel tax fee.

According to local media, residents in neighbourhoods with a high proportion of rental listings had complained about loud “party homes”, disruptive groups, a lack of waste disposal and even shootings at the properties, accusing booking platforms of not being accountable for their users’ actions in rental listings.

Elsewhere in the United States, Airbnb has filed a lawsuit in New York City over “extreme and oppressive” restrictions and a “de facto ban” against short-term rentals that are set to come into effect next month, which would require property owners to stay in the rental with guests during their stay. Los Angeles is introducing new proposals that would make it compulsory for a short-term rental to be the primary residence of an owner, Chicago is mandating two-night minimum reservations, and officials in New Orleans have also adopted new regulations limiting short-term rental activity.

The latest news however would make Dallas the largest US city to adopt such a hardline approach to short-term rentals by potentially even bypassing regulation and going straight to restrictive bans.

Luis Briones, public policy manager for Airbnb, told The Dallas Observer: “Airbnb and our host community have actively engaged with the City of Dallas in its years-long process to advocate for fair short-term rental rules, and we are disappointed by the City Council’s vote that will prevent responsible residents from sharing their home to supplement their income.”