Short-Term Accommodations for Residents and Tourism

ARLINGTON, TX – STR PERMITTING

Disclaimer: This is a summary of STR policies that apply to Arlington, TX highlighting select guidelines and requirements. This information is subject to change. Do NOT rely on this information as comprehensive source material or as legal, financial or tax advice. Contact your city, county or state governments for official policy and consult your attorney and/or CFA for legal, financial and tax questions.

The Arlington Short-Term Rental (STR) ordinance passed on April 23rd, 2019 requires anyone renting lodging for less than 30 days to obtain a permit from the City of Arlington. You can find an overview of Arlington’s STR Regulations under "Regulations and Taxes" on this site. The article that follows summarizes some of the key permitting requirements.

Editor's Note: The START Movement is providing this information solely to assist STR owners in Arlington. While we are in favor of reasonable policies that protect the health, safety and welfare of STR owners and our fellow residents, we find the current ordinance to be grossly overreaching, with many elements that infringe on property and other constitutional rights. Others are simply unnecessary and harassing, having nothing to do with serving the health, safety, and welfare of the City. If you would like to help us fight back against the injustices of this ordinance in favor of more reasonable policy please JOIN US today!

Contents

Application Process

The Arlington ordinance has banned STRs throughout nearly 90% of the city, so the first step is to make sure your planned rental is in an area the city has currently approved for short-term rentals. You can find details on which areas are permissible for STRs and check the property address of your rental under the “Permissible STR Locations” section of the Arlington STR Regulations page on this site.

You will need to establish an account on the Arlington Permits website to start an application. Details of the required documents and information to complete the application are outlined in the next section under Application Requirements.

The fee for a short-term rental permit is $500 for each single-family home or unit of a multi-family home that you intend to rent. This fee is non-refundable whether your application is approved or not. 

If you have questions about the application process email tends to work much better than calling. However, if time is of the essence, you can visit the Office of Planning and Development at City Hall and be seen very quickly.  If you are unable to complete an online application, or have questions about the permitting process, try emailing the Planning Technician, currently Oanh Nguyen, at oanh.nguyen@arlingtontx.gov or call 817-459-6694.

Application Requirements

To complete the online application, you will need to submit the following documents:

Site Plan

According to the ordinance this is a “plot plan of the premises identifying the location of parking spaces to be used in conjunction with the short-term rental.”

 Floor Plan

The ordinance specifies a “dimensioned floor plan of the proposed short-term rental identifying bedrooms, other living spaces and emergency evacuation routes.” The floor plan basically just needs to have measurements in the main rooms and exterior walls e.g. "Bedroom One - 8x10". There are free online tools that can help you create the floor plan such as this one by Visual Paradigm Online.*

* This link is being provided as a convenience and for informational purposes only. It does not constitute an endorsement or an approval by the START Movement Inc of any of the products, services or opinions of the corporation or organization. The START Movement Inc bears no responsibility for the accuracy, legality or content of the external site or for that of subsequent links. Contact the external site for answers to questions regarding its content.

Insurance 

You will need to have your own one-million-dollar liability coverage as the Airbnb/Homeaway guarantee will not be sufficient in the eyes of the City Inspector to meet the requirements of the ordinance.  It can be somewhat difficult to find insurance for a home-share STR but you can try asking on Facebook or other forums. Upload a copy of your insurance policy with your application.

Hotel Occupancy Tax (HOT) 

In addition to Texas HOT, to operate an STR in Arlington you will also need to register for City of Arlington HOT. You can do this by filling out and mailing the form found at the City of Arlington Treasury Office under Hotel Occupancy Tax. When applying for the STR permit upload a copy of the letter or email confirming your registration that includes your account number. If you need a copy try calling the Treasury Office at 817-459-6300. You must be current on your HOT payments in order to qualify for a permit.

Host Rules

The application process also requires you to upload the host rules. The ordinance specifies that host rules include, but are not limited to:

  • occupancy restrictions
  • limits on parking
  • trash pickup days/times
  • prohibitions on special events
  • limits on amplified sound
  • curfew times

Apparently the Inspector can get caught up in the minutia of these items which can delay your application, so suggest you include a copy of the entire Arlington STR Ordinance with your house rules when you submit the application. Also suggest you include a copy of the ordinance with your house rules at the property, which will be reviewed during the inspection.

Inspection

After your application is complete, you will be contacted by the inspector to schedule your inspection date, which typically takes 3-5 days. Once you pass the inspection, you will receive the permit via email on the same day. 

Inspections With Guests Present

It is possible to complete the inspection while the unit is occupied by guests, however, the occupants will have to physically sign off that the city has permission to enter. You may find it easier to skip the extra step and schedule the inspection for a time when the unit is vacant. 

Inspection Checklist 

The City uses the checklist found at this LINK when conducting the inspection. Be sure to go through each point. The inspector is not going to overlook any of these but is also not going to inspect anything else. For example, the inspector will literally measure your address to make sure the numbers measure 4” high. Note: pay particular attention to the size of the fire extinguisher you have on site. The 2A:10B:C model specified in the checklist is more of a commercial extinguisher than those typically used in homes.

 Additional Links

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