DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – The City of Dallas is still struggling with how to regulate short term rental properties, listed on sites like Airbnb and VRBO.
On Wednesday, May 5, the Dallas City Council will hear from the public about what they think in a hearing scheduled for 1:00 p.m.READ MORE: Colonial Pipeline Restarting Operations After Cyberattack
When Vera Elkins’ grandmother started showing signs of dementia, she had to step away from her job to help take care of her.
“I also take care of my special needs younger brother,” Elkins said. “I have to be able to make my own schedule and financially be able to support my family.”
That’s why she turned to operating short term rental properties in Dallas.
“It allows me to take care of the things I need to take care of that are important to my heart,” she said.
While Elkins views sites like Airbnb and VRBO as a critical income stream, other Dallas homeowners see them as a big nuisance, bringing wild parties to otherwise quiet neighborhoods.
“My husband and I have seriously considered moving out of this neighborhood because of this issue,” said Emily Gironda, who says the neighboring unit in her east Dallas duplex turned into an Airbnb three months after they moved in.
She says it’s brought added noise, trash, and even strangers walking into her own home.
“There are places where we can develop and regulate and welcome hotel guests. They do not need to be in residential neighborhoods,” she said.
The City of Dallas has been considering stricter regulations on short term rental properties for more than a year, and have come up with a few different options.READ MORE: Dallas City Cameras 'Out Of Order' At Crucial Moment Hinder Deadly Hit-And-Run Investigation
They range from new requirements to outright banning short term rental properties in certain neighborhoods.
“We are already policing and trying to regulate the Airbnbs ourselves, and it’s not working,” Gironda said.
Property managers like Elkins worry too much regulation will kill the industry.
She says responsible hosts are working to weed out the bad ones.
“We are doing our best to help stop that, those party houses,” Elkins said. “We’re actually reporting them to the platforms, and they’re handling them.”
It’s something she hopes the city council takes under consideration as they figure out what to do about short term rentals.
“Airbnb is an important source of income for Dallas families and brings economic benefits to neighborhoods throughout the city,” said Jose Luis Briones, the Airbnb public policy manager for Texas. “Over the last several months, we’ve had meaningful conversations with city leaders, and remain committed to working with the City of Dallas on fair, reasonable rules for hosts that continue to protect property rights and support local communities.”
City staff say it would take at least a year to implement any of the changes.
Currently short term rentals in Dallas are required to pay hotel occupancy taxes.MORE NEWS: How Restaurant Labor Shortages Are Affecting North Texas Locations
According to the city, only about a third of the properties thought to be short term rentals actually do.