Updated Oct. 6 at 11:56 a.m. to include a statement from the city of Austin.
The city of Austin is being challenged on an ordinance enacted earlier this year that regulates vacation rentals.
Attorney General Ken Paxton intervened today in a lawsuit against the city of Austin over its short-term rental ordinance. Short-term rentals are properties rented for 30 consecutive days or fewer, typically booked through websites such as Austin-based HomeAway and AirBnB.
A statement from Paxton's office said he was "concerned that [the ordinance] exceeds the lawful scope of the city’s authority and infringes upon residents’ fundamental constitutional rights."
Approved in February by City Council, the ordinance added restrictions for Type 1 STRs, which are owner-occupied, single-family dwellings, Type 2 STRs, which are not occupied by the owner, and Type 3 STRs, which are multifamily dwellings.
The ordinance is set to phase out all Type 2 STRs from residential areas by 2022, limit the number of people who can occupy an STR to two adults per bedroom plus two additional adults and prohibit outdoor assemblies between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m. as well as limit outdoor assemblies to six adults.
Paxton's office claims the ordinance violates the freedom of assembly and homeowner protections against unlawful search and seizure.
“This blatant overreach by local government infringes upon the constitutional rights of people who own and stay at short-term rentals,” Paxton said in a statement. “The city of Austin’s draconian ordinance defies logic and common sense, and must be struck down.”
In a statement Thursday, Oct. 6, the city stated it would continue to defend the ordinance in court.
"The Austin City Council spent many hours working through the important issues related to short-term rentals to carefully and deliberately draft an ordinance that best serves all our residents," the statement reads.
Read Paxton's intervention here.