Lawmakers in Dallas submitted a proposal last week to ban short-term rentals, following a years-long pushback by residents in the Texas city against companies like Airbnb and VRBO. City staff reportedly told members of the City Council that about 95 percent of the short-term rentals being operated in the city would be eliminated if the city implemented a law that defined short-term rentals as lodging. Dallas’ City Plan Commission recommended that officials define short-term rentals as “lodging,” which would make the vast majority of the 1,700 rentals in the city illegal in residential neighborhoods but legal in certain commercial areas. A discussion on the proposed ordinance is set to take place on April 4. Residents of Dallas have campaigned using the slogan “Homes not Hotels” in recent months, in response to issues over loud parties, trash, and shootings that they say was brought on by short-term rentals.
Dallas may be the latest city to consider clamping down on short-term rentals but it’s certainly not the first. Just this week, New Orleans officials adopted new regulations limiting short-term rentals after heated debate among residents. The city, which is heavily dependent on tourism, will require owners of short-term rentals to live on the property and will be limited to licensing one property per block. In New York City, officials recently enacted a new law that requires short-term rental operators to register their unit with the city. Additionally, building owners can add their property to the city’s “Prohibited Buildings” list, which then bans any short-term rentals in their building. Battles over short-term rentals will no doubt continue to play out in more cities across the country, and as the threat of a recession looms, the short-term rental market could be a risky venture for property owners.