AUSTIN – The Texas Public Policy Foundation’s litigation Center for the American Future filed its summary judgment motion to determine that the City of Austin’s short-term rental ordinance violates Plaintiffs’ rights under the Texas Constitution. Supported by evidence collected from the city during the litigation, the’ motion shows how Austin’s ordinance violates residents’ rights under the Texas Constitution to privacy, assembly, equal protection, movement, due course of law, and the right to be secure from unreasonable search and seizures. 
 
“In more than 15 months of litigation, the City of Austin has yet to substantiate a legitimate interest supporting the short-term rental ordinance provisions challenged by plaintiffs," said Rob Henneke, general counsel and director for the Center for the American Future at the Texas Public Policy Foundation. "The City’s own study shows that short-term rentals statistically receive less 911 and 311 complaints than residential properties not used as short-term rentals. In a four-year period, only 11 verified noise complaints were made, and none were prosecuted by the city. Short-term rental owners have invested thousands of dollars into their private properties, and have constitutional rights to operate these properties in an otherwise lawful manner.” 
 
"Austin's ordinance not only decimates the property rights of short-term rental owners but also unconstitutionally regulates private harmless activities of short-term rental guests," said Chance Weldon, an attorney with the Center for the American Future at the Texas Public Policy Foundation. "Among other things, the ordinance requires that all guests submit to warrantless searches and be in bed by 10 p.m. Despite more than a year of litigation, the City has not produced any evidence that renting a home for 29 as opposed to 30 days is the type of nuisance activity that would justify such severe restrictions. The Texas Public Policy Foundation is proud to represent several short-term rental owners and guests to fight this act of government overreach.”

Review the motion for summary judgment here.

For more information or to request an interview with Mr. Henneke or Mr. Weldon, please contact Alicia Pierce at apierce@texaspolicy.com or 512-472-2700.
 
The Honorable Robert Henneke is general counsel and director of the Center for the American Future at the Texas Public Policy Foundation.

Chance Weldon is an attorney with the Center for the American Future at Texas Public Policy Foundation.

The Texas Public Policy Foundation is a non-profit free-market research institute based in Austin. The Texas Public Policy Foundation aims to advance a societal framework that effectively fosters human flourishing based upon cooperation and mutually beneficial exchange of ideas and speech.