Short-Term Rentals (STR)

Updated: January 25, 2023 

What's the update

On January 31, City Council is scheduled to consider a registration ordinance for legal short-term rentals in Fort Worth. 

An STR, sometimes referred to as a “vacation rental,” is a residential property available for rent for guest lodging for a period ranging from one to 29 days. STRs exist in residential districts in Fort Worth, where they are not allowed.

The proposed ordinance would require:

  • Short-term rentals where allowed by zoning to register.
  • An annual registration and fee: $150 for the initial year and $100 per year for renewals.
  • Registrations would be nontransferable.
  • Collection of hotel occupancy tax for the property.
  • Minimum stay is one night.
  • A local responsible party must be available 24/7 to respond to concerns at the property. The local responsible party may be the property owner or an operator working on behalf of the owner.
  • No more than one group would be allowed to inhabit the property at a time.
  • Rentals would be limited to two persons per bedroom, plus two additional persons, with a maximum of 12 people staying in the property at one time.
  • Only on-premise parking would be allowed.
  • No events or parties would be allowed.
  • The host would be required to provide instructions to comply with noise, trash, parking and curfew ordinances.
  • Advertising and operation of short-term rentals without registration would be prohibited.
  • Registration may be revoked based on violations.

 

What happens next?

The City’s Code Compliance and Financial Management Services departments are working together to procure a third-party service to register and administer legal short-term rentals. The scope of services will include identification, registration, compliance monitoring, hotel occupancy tax collection and customer service.

If the registration ordinance is adopted, City staff will mail property owners and provide a timeline for registration with a deadline of May 1, 2023.

Code Compliance has resumed  enforcement of zoning violations on a complaint basis, regardless of nuisance violations, and will communicate with property owners with active cases in the coming weeks.

 

What has taken place so far?

Following the launch of a Short-Term Rental webpage last July, the City of Fort conducted two engagement opportunities. The meetings are recorded on the City website and YouTube.

 

Data Mining Report on STRs

Image of Short Term Rental report dashboard

Click to enlarge image(JPG, 2MB)

Last summer, City staff selected a firm to identify short-term rentals currently operating in the city.

Deckard Technologies Inc. identified 68 legal short-term rental properties and 565 properties where potential illegal short-term rental use is occurring. Over the past year, there have been 814 properties that operated as short-term rentals, with more than 2,400 listings. The Report can be found here(PDF, 9MB).


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is a short-term rental (STR)

Short-term rentals are residential properties available for rent for guest lodging for a period ranging from 1 to 29 days.

 

Where are STRs currently allowed in Fort Worth?

  • Mixed-use and most form-based districts, commercial and industrial districts with a Certificate of Occupancy from the Development Services Department.
    • They are not allowed in residential districts, such as those zoned single-family, two-family and multi-family areas.

Use the Interactive Zoning Portal to learn where STRs are allowed or view the Interactive Zoning Map with layers to understand the zoning requirements.

 

How are zoning violations for STRs currently enforced?

The city’s Code Compliance Department investigates on a complaint basis. When violations are observed, warning/citations are issued to property owners. The city cannot issue citations based on advertisements or online bookings alone.

 

What are the City’s goals related to this process?

  1. Preserve residential quality of neighborhoods and protect from commercial lodging encroachment.
  2. Ensure health and safety of guests and residents.
  3. Support tourism in a balanced way.
  4. Preserve residential housing supply.
  5. Collect Hotel Occupancy Tax (HOT) from legal STRs.
  6. Minimize impact on staff and recover costs for code enforcement.

  

Last summer, four options were taken out for public input. Council will receive updated information on the options available to them at their December 6 Work Session.

During the Dec. 6, 2022 Work Session, City briefed the City Council on proposed registration and operating standards for legal short-term rentals and on revised zoning options for case-by-base Conditional Use Permits for short-term rentals illegally operating in residential zoning districts. The City Council directed staff to keep the current Zoning Ordinance regulation which does not allow Short Term Rentals, or STRs, in residential zoning districts and requires a zoning change for STR use.

 

These are the four options that were previously presented. 

Option 1: Current Ordinance – Continue to require zoning change for STRs in residential zoning to PD Planned Development, mixed-use or commercial zoning.

Option 2: Treat owner-occupied STRs as Bed and Breakfast Homes. This would require conditional use permit with a 5-year time limit. It would not be allowed in single-family zoning; only allowed with a conditional use permit in 2-family and multi-family zoning with 400 ft. separation. Treat investor-owned STRs similar to Bed and Breakfast Inns and require conditional use permit (CUP) with five-year time limit and would not allow single-family zoning; only allowed with CUP in high-density multi-family. Would continue to require zoning change for all STRs in single-family zoning.

Option 3: Allow owner-occupied STRs by conditional use permit in all residential districts, up to 5-10% of block or multifamily building. Allow investor-owned STRs by conditional use permit in multifamily districts, up to 5-10% of block or multifamily building. Continue to require zoning change for all others.

Option 4: Allow owner-occupied STRs by right in certain neighborhoods or citywide, up to 5-10% of block or multifamily building and fewer than 30 booking nights per year. Require a conditional use permit or zoning change for all others.