STR Short Term Rental “airbnb” issue

HANA has not taken a formal position on the STR (short term rental) issue and I  think we should. Let me know your thoughts and how we should address it (letter to Council?)

My STR thoughts: There is a reasonable compromise … that people should be allowed to have STR  on their property provided they live there themselves (and other provisions about parking, noise, etc). It seems to me the absentee owner STRs are the ones causing problems in our neighborhoods.

However,  there are responsible absentee STR owners as well. In some cases a STR would have fewer problems than longer term rentals because it takes a longer time and legal woes to evict long term tenants who are a problem in the neighborhood. A well managed STR can also be less disruptive than by the semester rentals owned by out of state owners.   So it’s not as simple an issue than it might seem at first glance.

PARTY BUS: I talked with UTA officer Lt. Octavio Aguirre after our Nov 2018 Meeting about a related issue affecting some of our neighborhoods.  It seems there are buses are for hire for people to drink and party related to the stadiums but also to UTA events. These party buses park on side streets near the stadium or UTA.

Partiers are supposed to stay on the bus but they rarely do for various reasons including that there is limited bathroom space on the bus. He was willing to talk further about this if we want. Lt. Aguirre says if they get a disturbance call they go out and tell the bus they have to leave the area. The bus simply moves to a different area and the problems continue and other officers get call outs. This uses valuable LE resources (not to mention tax dollars).

 I was not aware of this issue at all. It seems to affect people closer to Collins (probably north of HANA as well). To me this is an even more serious problem than STRs. I guess these are short short term rentals … a bus for the night using our city streets. Let me know what you think.


  1. I see no reason to make a distinction between short-term rentals and other rentals. The problems they can cause are not very different other than the time that the problem continues to exist. My view is that anyone offering for rent a house, an apartment, a room, or anything else in Arlington is operating a business and should be required to have a business license. If the business generates excessive legitimate complaints, then the license can be revoked.

    Perhaps the city could insist that landlords include in their leases or rental agreements a list of rules or conditions that tenants or renters must agree to. A failure to live up to the agreement would be a violation of the lease agreement and cause for termination of the lease.

    An absentee owner should be required to have a local property manager who is responsible for responding to and addressing any complaints.

    There may come a time when Arlington may want to define certain areas that are specifically or primarily for short-term rentals. I think of beach front properties along the coast. In such areas the rules of acceptable behavior may be more relaxed than in neighborhoods of primarily long-term residents and owner-occupied homes.

    The only idea I have had about party buses is to find an area where they can go and not disturb anyone, the city dump, an industrial area, the entertainment district, etc. Rather than just chasing them out of one neighborhood into another, the police could require them to go to such a location and stay there until the party is over..

    1. I agree. All types of rentals can have good and bad landlords and tenants.

      This issue is related to the issue of ADU (Accessory Dwelling Units) or, as Arlington codes refer to them, SLU (Secondary Living Units) … otherwise known as granny flats or mother-in-law units. These can provide a homeowner with supplemental income or caretaker help.

      In general flat bans don’t address the many complexities in the character of our neighborhood, which is varied and diverse.

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