AUSTIN – The Texas Public Policy Foundation (TPPF) filed a lawsuit to halt the City of Austin’s short-term rental (STR) ordinance restricting property owners and guests. TPPF’s Center for the American Future, aided by the Center for Local Governance, represents individual property owners and entrepreneurs in the lawsuit, Zaatari et. al v. City of Austin, et al., which seeks declaratory and injunctive relief from the unconstitutional city ordinance.
“The City of Austin has, once again, overstepped the bounds of reason and commonsense with bad public policy,” said James Quintero, Director of the Center for Local Governance. “Austin’s onerous new regulations on short-term rentals are rife with constitutional violations, as the Foundation’s litigation efforts will prove.”
TPPF General Counsel and Director of the Center for the American Future Robert Henneke said, “The fundamental purpose of government is to preserve and protect liberty. Austin’s short-term rental ordinance goes way beyond the lawful scope of the City’s authority and purposefully infringes upon citizens’ fundamental constitutional rights. One does not forfeit protections to privacy and warrantless searches and seizures simply by choosing to stay as a guest in a short-term rental. Nor does operating an otherwise lawful short-term rental cause you to have inferior property rights than your neighbor. The City’s short-term rental ordinance is patently unconstitutional, and must be struck down.”
Attorney Chance Weldon with the Center for the American Future further stated, “The City’s data proves that short-term rentals do not present anywhere near the nuisance that would warrant special regulation, let alone this onerous ordinance. According to City public records dating back to when short-term rentals were first regulated, the City has only prosecuted STR owners five times—every time for operating without a license. The City’s STR ordinance is an imagined solution to a non-existent problem. Rather than regulating for the sake of regulating, the City’s time is better spent addressing actual problems our community faces.”
For more information and to view the lawsuit, please visit: http://txpo.li/TPPF-lawsuit-short-term-rentals
James Quintero is Director of the Center for Local Governance at the Texas Public Policy Foundation.
The Honorable Robert Henneke is General Counsel and Director of the Foundation’s Center for the American Future.
Chance Weldon is an Attorney with the Center for the American Future at the Texas Public Policy Foundation.
The Texas Public Policy Foundation is a non-profit, free-market research institute based in Austin, Texas.