CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — On Tuesday, Corpus Christi City Council passed the second reading for a new ordinance on short-term rentals (STR).
All short-term rentals will now be required to register with the city. On March 15, an online portal to register will begin for rentals in Flour Bluff and on Padre Island. Registration for the rest of the city will begin July 11.
Owners have to pay a $50 application fee and $50 yearly renewal.
“The city needs to know where the STR's," said Councilman Greg Smith. "Another thing, STR’s are in residential neighborhoods where they’re not allowed by ordinance on there.”
For some time, residents of Padre Island have had issue with people renting their homes out in residential neighborhoods. Multi-family dwellings are still allowed to be rented out.
“The registration is an excellent way to control the short-term rentals," said Marvin Jones, president of Padre Island Property Owners Association. "In particular, here on the island, the members of the community do not want short-term rentals in the single-family residential zoning.”
Despite this praise, others said they rely on renting their homes for their livelihood. Brian Banks helped his relative organize their rental.
“Others around the city, there were lots of them at the city council meeting the other day in the same boat. They can’t afford their house without it," Banks said.
Smith said it's a $500 fine if caught operating without a registration or in a single-family residential zone.
The city recently conducted a 'sting' operation by renting a home in a place that was zoned RS-6 or single-family residential. They said conducting more of these 'stings' is not viable with the operation costing over $1,000.
“At that point in time they will be looking for anybody renting that is not registered," said Smith. "It’s a quick search of the internet and its a $500 fine for any violation.”
"That should make it easier for the city attorney to prosecute them, issue them a ticket, it’s a class c misdemeanor, kind of like a speeding ticket," Jones said.
The issue people have had with rentals in single-family homes is they've attracted some renters who bring loud noises, trash and parties late into the night.
Banks said that those rentals are such a small percentage of the people renting.
“The guests that come here, they’re typically workers at the refineries or wind energy system or nurses and doctors," said Banks "I’ve got a friend who’s got an Airbnb rental right by the hospital… he’s got nurses and doctors there now."
Smith said these regulations are on par with what cities across the country are doing with STR's. In July, we compared the Coastal Bend's situation with other cities across the United States.
Smith said more changes could be coming as three separate groups are working on recommendations for further ordinances.