The City of San Antonio is proposing an ordinance to help regulate the use of homes as short-term rentals (STRs), often known as Air BnBs or Vacation Rentals by Owner (VRBO).  The purpose of this ordinance is to “establish regulations for the protection of the health and safety of occupant(s) of short term rental properties and to protect the integrity of the neighborhoods in which short term rental properties operate.” The city formed a 25-person task force in May, 2017 to evaluate the proposed ordinance and to make recommendations.  The city task force is comprised of short-term rental owners, concerned citizens and neighborhood association representatives. The King William Association has a representative on the city-wide task force and also formed a neighborhood task force to look at parts of the ordinance that were of particularly interest to the neighborhood and to make recommendations to the King William Association Board of Directors. 

The current draft of the ordinance is proposing two types of STRs: Type I and Type II. Type I STRs are owner occupied (the owner is “generally present”), only part of a dwelling (casita, guest room, etc.) can be rented out and there are no proposed density restrictions. Type II STRs are owner not occupied, the entire dwelling must be rented and they will be limited to the same density restriction as Bed and Breakfasts.  However, under the current ordinance draft, it is possible to have Type I and Type II STRs adjacent to one another. The following is also being proposed:

  • All STRs must pay a yet to be determined fee for a rental permit.  The permit will be valid for three years.
  • Rentals must be for less than 30 days in duration.
  • STRs must provide at least (1) off-street parking spot per unit rented.
  • Each STR must have an initial health and safety inspection.  The City of San Antonio may conduct renewal inspections if conditions warrant additional inspection.
  • All STR owners must remit payment of the Hotel and Occupancy Tax (HOT), to the City of San Antonio.  Currently, the culminative HOT rate is 16.75%.
  • A STR legally in existence at the time City Council votes on the ordinance will be considered “grandfathered.”  “Legally in existence” is defined as current on all applicable HOT taxes at the time of registration.

The city anticipates this ordinance going before City Council in February, 2018.  The current draft of the ordinance can be found on the City of San Antonio’s web site: sanantonio.gov/DSD/Resources/Codes#176642678-short-term-rentalCodes#176642678-short-term-rental

- Gretchen Garceau-Kragh