$500 hourly fine approved for problematic rental properties
By KEVIN RICH
Special to the PRESS
In light of incidents that occurred during Spring Break, the South Padre Island City Council tackled the issue of short term rentals in its Wednesday, July 5 meeting.
Earlier this year, Council appointed a subcommittee to address the issue brought about by parties that sprang up and got out of control during this year’s celebrations. As a result, the committee discussed a proposed amendment to the code of ordinance related to short term rentals, as well as a draft of a voluntary short term rental agreement.
Council member Theresa Metty, who served on the short term rental subcommittee, opened the discussion. “I had no idea how restricted our police are in how unable they are to deal with an out of control situation on private property. The renter’s rights prevail, unless there is a rental agreement in place that allows, even the property owner, let alone the police, to enter the property if there’s an issue.” Metty said.
She added that the issue of how to “hand-off” to the police, when a situation gets beyond what a property manager or owner wants to handle, also had to be considered. Metty explained the discussion of the committee focused on how to ensure that responsible property owners rent responsibly, with a rental agreement giving the authority to enter the property, as well as defines who can hand off authority to the police when the situation warrants.
In her presentation on the matter to Council, City Manager Susan Guthrie noted that short term rentals represent a significant segment of the SPI lodging marketplace, and is growing due to the availability of web based management platforms.
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