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New Fort Worth STR ordinance requires hosts to get city permit

  • Feb 21, 2023 | Jennifer Sokolowsky

Short-term rental (STR) operators in Fort Worth, Texas, will need to register with the city for a short-term rental permit under a new law approved by the City Council.

The measure also bans STRs from residential areas and allows them only in commercial, industrial, or mixed-use areas that are specifically zoned for them. Only 68 short-term rentals — defined as rentals between one night and 29 consecutive days — are currently legally operating in allowed zones, while 565 short-term rentals are operating in prohibited areas, according to the city.

The new rules go into effect immediately, but operators have until June 1, 2023, to register. Applicants for short-term rental permits must pay a $150 fee for the initial registration, and $100 annually after that to renew. Advertisements for vacation rental properties must include their city-issued, short-term rental permit number.

Under the new ordinance, STR hosts must also designate a responsible party who can be available at all times while guests are staying at the property and who can reach the property within an hour of being called.

Other rules include:

  • Occupancy is limited to no more than two people per bedroom, plus two people, for a maximum of 12 people
  • Only one group can rent a short-term rental property at a time
  • All parking must be off street
  • Events and parties are prohibited

Currently, the city is paying Deckard Technologies a maximum of $35,000 for a subscription to a service that monitors short-term rentals for enforcement purposes. The city plans on contracting with another third party to administer a short-term rental registration program platform.

Violations of the ordinance can result in fines of up to $2,000. The city may revoke STR permits for operators who:

  • Receive one or more citations for violations of short-term rental or other laws
  • Knowingly make a false statement in their application
  • Fail to notify the city of any material changes from their initial application
  • Fail to submit lodging tax

Operators whose STR registration has been revoked will not be eligible for another STR permit for a year after revocation.

The new law specifies that STR hosts are required to collect city hotel occupancy taxes from guests, file occupancy tax returns, and remit the taxes to the city. Operators are also required to register with state tax authorities, collect state hotel occupancy tax, and file state returns.

Airbnb and Vrbo automatically collect the state portion of the tax for bookings on their platforms. However, those platforms do not collect city tax, so Fort Worth hosts must collect and remit the city portion of the tax themselves.

MyLodgeTax can help short-term rental hosts automate and simplify city and state lodging tax compliance, from registration to tax return filing. If you have tax questions related to Austin vacation rental properties, drop us a line and we’ll get back to you with answers.

For more on lodging taxes in Texas, see our state Hotel Occupancy Tax Guide.

Lodging tax rates, rules, and regulations change frequently. Although we hope you'll find this information helpful, this blog is for informational purposes only and does not provide legal or tax advice.
Avalara Author
Jennifer Sokolowsky
Avalara Author Jennifer Sokolowsky
Jennifer Sokolowsky writes about tax, legal, and tech topics. She has an extensive international background in journalism and marketing, including work with The Seattle Times, The Prague Post, Avvo, and Marriott.

Learn more about TX lodging tax rules