As part of new regulations approved by League City, short-term rental owners in the city will now pay a $300 renewal fee and a hotel occupancy tax.

The overview

Following League City’s city auditor investigation into the city’s short-term rental regulations, last set in 2019, League City City Council on Oct. 10 voted to change its policy for registering short-term rentals and collecting taxes from them.

The details

Major changes to League City’s short-term rental regulations include:
  • Short-term rental operators, such as Vrbo and Airbnb, are required to collect and remit a hotel occupancy tax to the city and submit quarterly reports to League City.
  • The application fee for short-term rental renewal has increased from $25 to $300.
  • The annual renewal of short-term rentals will be required by Dec. 1, and all required inspections must be completed by Dec. 31.
  • Listing or advertising a short-term rental will be illegal without a valid permit.
  • Tax records must be maintained for three years.
  • League City’s current short-term rental application fee of $25 is much lower than that of Galveston and Kemah, which charge $250 and $450, respectively.
Notable quote

City officials said they hoped the changes would make short-term rentals in the city easier to regulate.

“We’ve had a lot of issues with Airbnbs being listed and then when we send a violation notice, the owner comes back and says, ‘Well, I never rented it, and it's unlisted,’” Director of Planning Kris Karpenter said.

With the new regulations, League City will be able to inform platforms, such as Airbnb and VRBO, if the city revokes a permit on rentals that are not in compliance with the new regulations, Karpenter said.

“We don’t have the same problems as Galveston or Kemah, but it can be a problem, and the HOAs can point to different things, and sometimes it's better to get ahead of these things,” Mayor Nick Long said. “What [the auditor] proposed closely mirrors what’s in Kemah and Galveston and gives us more uniformity with the people that are next to us.”