Dallas Director of Code Compliance Calls for “Regulatory Structure” for Short-Term Rentals
DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Parties, Pollution, and Parking: Even if you’ve never stayed in a short-term rental, there’s a good chance you’re paying for the problems they can create.
There are thousands of short-term rentals in Dallas, but the I-Team found most are not registered with the city. Now the director of code compliance wants to make sure these owners are playing by the rules and paying what they owe.
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Aria Smith contacted the I-Team after arriving at her short-term rental in October. The travel photographer had paid $ 2,500 for a month’s stay in a one-bedroom condo near SMU. “I was looking for something good that I would be comfortable staying in,” Smith said. But when she pulled over, Smith was dismayed to find a dilapidated building with signs of structural problems.
“All the stairs are cracked… the second floor is sinking,” Smith said. “You can see the beams supporting the second story – some are completely broken, others broken and bent.”
Smith did not feel safe staying there. When the host refused to reimburse her, she contacted AirBNB and the City of Dallas. It was then that she learned that the address was not registered with the city. “The person who owns this property hasn’t deposited anything with the city to make this place a short-term rental.”
The I-Team has confirmed that the address is not registered with the city and that the owner does not pay hotel occupancy taxes. But this case is not uncommon. Records show that of more than 2,000 short-term rentals in Dallas, about 60% go unrecorded.
Carl Simpson wants to change that. The code compliance director is pushing for new rules for short-term rentals – what he calls a “regulatory structure” on the industry. His recommendations to city council include inspections, designated parking, and a guard for each property: a nearby person appointed by the property owner who can respond quickly to minor issues.
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“If the neighbors are complaining about the noise at 1 am, we can contact an agent who can respond and deal with these tenants,” Simpson said.
Simpson says it should be up to the owner to fix these kinds of issues, not the police or the city. “We need to hold these owners accountable for their business activities. “
Regarding Aria Smith’s AirBNB, city inspectors told the I-Team they found signs of structural issues, including several cracks in the bearing and “loose, deteriorated materials.” under the balcony. The owner has 30 days to complete the repairs.
Smith – who left the condo a week after the start of his stay – is warning all short-term owners to run their business the right way. “You may think you’re doing a great job, but at some point you’ll have the wrong person who just won’t take it… and I am that person. “
A spokesperson for AirBNB said the company suspended registration and granted Aria a full refund. Regarding those unpaid hotel occupancy taxes, Simpson says the owner will owe back taxes as well as penalties and interest.
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CBS 11 has contacted the Dallas Short Term Rental Alliance for an interview. The organization sent the following statement:
“The Dallas Short Term Rental Alliance (DSTRA) continues to work with city hall and wider community stakeholders to present concrete and meaningful solutions to the issues raised by fellow Dallas residents. Our members pride themselves on helping generate economic activity in areas of the city that typically do not benefit from tourism money. This allows us to welcome visitors to the city we love while helping us earn extra income; help supplement our social security, pay off our mortgages, cover growing property tax liabilities, and improve overall quality of life by reinvesting in our homes and communities. said Vera Elkins, member of DSTRA.
“We got together over a year ago to educate stakeholders about short-term rentals, the value they bring to communities, educate new short-term rental hosts on the property registration system. city and our commitments to Dallas. As good operators, we have also worked with the City and the platforms to eradicate the few bad actors.
“DSTRA has worked on various efforts, advocates for a simplified check-in system, and supports platforms like Airbnb and Expedia to collect hotel occupancy taxes (HOT) on behalf of hosts and remit these taxes to the city. The organization is convinced that the next steps in the process should be a simplified and autonomous short-term rental registration process at the City and for the City to reach a HOT agreement with the platforms. If these next steps can be taken, the city will have the data it wants and the right operators can continue to add value to the city.