Real Estate Broker/Owner with E-Rae Realty 651873

Austin and the surrounding areas are booming right now and more and more people are coming to visit each day to get a little piece of this amazing city. Perhaps you are one of these people and you decided you like Austin so much you want to buy a home here that you can use from time to time and then rent out while you're not here.  That's a great plan, but in order to make your dream a reality, you need a thorough understanding of the rules and regulations regarding short term rentals (STRs).  They vary immensely throughout central Texas, and the success or legality of your investment property rests on understanding these various rules. 

No matter where you are looking to invest, it's important to understand that STRs are generally classified as rentals less than 30 days.  If you are planning to rent your home out monthly or for even longer durations there are far less municipal rules.  If you are planning to use your property as a vacation rental, this post is for you!

Within the city limits of Austin, the regulations regarding short term rentals are pretty strict.  They have a comprehensive permitting process and caps on the number of short term rentals allowed.  In fact, in the City of Austin, it's almost impossible to get a permit to operate a short term rental for a single family home if it's not your primary residence.

However, a plethora of nearby Austin suburbs have no STR rules at all, and there are unincorporated areas that aren't subject to any municipal oversight!  Dive into the list below to know what the regulations are like throughout Central Texas.

  • the City of Austin breaks down short term rentals into three types, to learn all about these classifications, check out this previous post
  • no permits are being issued for STRs for single family, investor-owned homes EXCEPT in the following zoning districts: Central Business District (CBD), Downtown Mixed Use (DMU), Planned Unit Development (PUD), General-Retail - Mixed Use (GR-MU), Commercial Services - Mixed Use (CS-MU), Commercial Services - Vertical Mixed Use (CS-V), General Retail - Vertical Mixed Use (GR-V)
  • STR permits are being issued for Type 3, multifamily properties i.e. condos. There are caps on the number of STRs allowed in each condo building. If the condo is located in a residentially zoned area the maximum number of units that can have a Type 3 permit is 3% of the total units in the condo building. For condos located in commercially zoned areas, the max number of STR permits is 20% of total units. 
  • STR permits can be issued for single family homes where the owner has a homestead exemption on the subject property. These permits are used when you live in the home, and want to rent out the entire home from time to time, OR if you only want to rent out part of the home ie. a room or guest house on the property.
  • Link to more info on COA regulations

  • STRs prohibited 
  • no rentals less than 30 days
Sunset Valley: 
  • no restrictions on STRs
  • maximum of 25 single family homes can be used as STRs 
  • currently, there is a 2 year waiting list to get a permit 
  • there's no limit for permits for condos​​
Round Rock: 
  • no restrictions on STRs
  • no restrictions on STRs
Cedar Park: 
  • no restrictions on STRs
Bee Cave: 
  • no restrictions on STRs
  • no restrictions on STRs
Lago Vista: 
  • must apply for an STR permit
  • STRs are not permitted in R1 zoning
  • STRs must have two parking spots per dwelling, no street parking
  • Link to more details
  • STRs are permitted in the Overlay District
  • events are not permitted on site
  • residence may not house more than 15 people at a time
  • Link to more details
Westlake Hills: 
  • ​only a homestead owner may apply for a short-term rental special use permit, but may do so for the homestead or another property owned by the homestead owner
  • only one permit will be issued per homestead, regardless of whether the permit is for the homestead or another property owned by the homestead owner
  • essentially you must own a primary residence in Westlake in order to get an STR permit, but if you own two homes in Westlake, you can get a permit for the one you don't live in
  • a guesthouse can not be used as a short term rental
  • Link to more details

Interested in finding out more information about purchasing a home to use as a short term rental in the Austin area? Contact me for details
This post originally appeared on
Posted by
Erika Rae Albert 
Broker, Realtor®, GRI
108 Wild Basin Road South Suite 250
Austin, TX 78746
t: 512-779-7597
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Comments (1)

Kristin Johnston - REALTOR®
RE/MAX Platinum - Waukesha, WI
Giving Back With Each Home Sold!

Great information.   Thanks for sharing and have a wonderful week!

Oct 19, 2021 07:47 AM