Local cities propose need for ordinance on short-term rentals

By Patty Santos - Reporter

CASTLE HILLS, Texas - Castle Hills city leaders are mulling over the possibility of coming up with an ordinance for short-term rentals within city limits. 

On Tuesday, the leaders asked staff members to begin drafting an ordinance.

Attorney for homeowners associations and Alderman Place 3 Amy McLin said the city has to be careful and watch where other cities, such as Austin, have gone too far in limiting property rights.

“We need to be careful and look at what the purpose and intent is. If we are in any way limiting a person's use of property, we have a high potential for drawing lawsuits,” McLin said.

McLin believes there are about five to 10 short-term rentals in the city, and only a handful of complaints have come to the surface. 

Leon Valley City leaders are currently also exploring the need for an ordinance. San Antonio City Council has yet to take action on its ordinance.

Abe Juarez owns about two dozen properties that he uses for short- and long term-rentals in the Five Points neighborhood north of downtown San Antonio. He said the city needs to collect taxes from renters, but that’s it.

“Let the city have their application. Let all Airbnb owners fill out an application and start paying their taxes,” Juarez said. “This is something new. It’s a new trend, but at the same time, I feel like it’s your home, you can do whatever you want with your home as long as you’re not breaking any laws or ordinances.”

Juarez said short-term rentals are more profitable and a better investment for him. He thinks cities creating ordinances might limit the number of people wanting to own short-term rental properties.  

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