Frisco property owners looking to rent out space for less than 30 days will now have to apply for a permit and pay a $300 annual fee.

City Council members on Aug. 17 approved the ordinance in a 5-1 vote. The purpose of the ordinance is to require a licensing and regulatory framework to address short-term rental properties, according to the city.

Short-term rentals are lodgings offered for rent for fewer than 30 calendar days at a time, which can be accessed through online services like Airbnb and Vacation Rental by Owner (VRBO). Space for rent could be an entire house or a private room with space shared with other occupants, according to the city ordinance.

In a May 18 work session, Frisco City Council discussed the potential ordinance and referenced a small number of problem properties identified by Frisco police. A total of 25 short-term rentals between Jan. 1, 2019, and April 30, 2021, were called on for various issues, including noise complaints, domestic disturbances, drug activity, harassment and parking issues.

Council members said the proposed frameworks address both regulations and enforcement. John Keating, who said he owns short-term rental properties outside of Texas, said the proposed regulations are the result of nearly five years of study and described it as a “start.”

“I think here, with what we're trying to accomplish, is our first attempt at creating some guidelines or boundaries, and some clarity,” Keating said. “It helps communicate to everyone that whether you own rent or are renting, all of those, all of our city rules or city ordinances would apply.”

Mayor Pro Tem Bill Woodard cast the only vote against the measure, who argued that such a measure would only serve to correct a small number of problematic properties. Woodard also said that Frisco doesn’t implement a permit process for long-term rentals, which he said are likely more problematic than short-term rentals.

“I don't know that the burden of the permit process outweighs the fact that it's only a handful of properties,” Woodard said. “For me, I'm sitting here looking at this going, ‘OK, we get the benefit of maybe fixing five or a dozen homes that are problematic.’ But I think we have other avenues to try.”

Applications for a short-term rental permit will be processed through the city’s online permit portal.