Fort Worth city staff provided an update to City Council during a June 4 work session regarding the short-term rental registration ordinance that was adopted in February 2023.

The details

According to city documents, the short-term rental registration ordinance established a registration program for short-term rentals to accomplish several goals:
  • Properly identify the property’s location
  • Ensure the owner is paying all required taxes to the city, which includes hotel occupancy taxes
  • Provide contact information for owners and agents to aid in responding to complaints and emergencies
City documents state that prior to an owner using their property as a short-term rental, which are properties rented out temporarily, typically through services such as Airbnb and Vrbo, they must have a valid, active short-term rental registration from the city. Short-term rentals must be located in a zoning district that allows them, which include:
  • Mixed-use
  • Commercial
  • Industrial
According to city documents, short-term rentals are not allowed in residential districts.

The annual registration fee is $150 for the first year and $100 for renewals.

A closer look

According to city documents, 98 registration applications have been received since the ordinance was adopted. Of those applications received, 85 were approved and 13 denied. Applications were denied primarily for being located in a zoning district that does not allow short-term rentals.

The update included information on enforcement, which is carried out by the city’s code compliance department. City documents state the enforcement process typically begins when code compliance officers investigate citizen complaints regarding the property, which usually involve noise, parties and trash.

According to city documents, when a violation is observed, a citation is issued to the property owner. Fines set by ordinance and are not to exceed $500, except in cases involving fire safety, zoning or public health and sanitation, where fines can reach up to $2,000 per occurrence.

City documents state, since the ordinance’s inception, the code compliance department has investigated 222 properties for short-term rental violations, resulting in 114 citations for noncompliance.

Other cities in North Texas that have recently adopted short-term rental regulations include Grapevine and Plano.