Short-Term Renters Score Supreme Court Victory in Texas
By Joshua Fechter
A Bexar County homeowner did not violate a neighborhood association's restrictions on property use when he rented out his home to short-term visitors, the Texas Supreme Court ruled Friday.
The court's ruling comes as city leaders in San Antonio weigh how to regulate short-term rentals made through vacation rental services like Airbnb, HomeAway and VRBO and as the city of Austin engages in a legal fight over its ordinance governing short-term rental use.
Kenneth Tarr bought a single-family home in the Timberwood Park subdivision north of Stone Oak in 2012. Two years later, Tarr began renting out the home to short-term guests through sites like VRBO when his employer transferred him to Houston.
The Timberwood Park Owners Association objected to Tarr's use of his home, arguing that Tarr had violated deed restrictions limiting property use to "residential purposes" and "single family residence" by allowing multiple guests to rent his home for commercial purposes -- a view backed by a Bexar County district judge in 2015 and the Texas Fourth Court of Appeals in 2016.
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