Most Airbnb sites in Dallas aren’t properly registered, city says

There are more than a thousand Airbnb and other short-term rentals in the city of Dallas, but only a third of the hosts are doing it legally.

Members of city council were briefed on the problem on Tuesday and learned majority of short-term rentals aren't registered with the city. That means tax money that could be going toward city projects and growth isn't coming in.

There are 400 short term rentals registered in Dallas, but an estimated 800 more are not.

Current rules state that property owners are required to register with the city and pay hotel tax. There's a 15 percent fine for not paying the hotel tax, but there are questions about whether any of this is being enforced and whether more regulations are needed, based on complaints.

Some of the issues include noise, overcrowding, trash left after the guests leave, parking issues on the street and so-called party houses.

"I don't want to over-regulate any of this, but I do want to put sensible regulations,” said councilman Omar Narvaez.

Airbnb reports having more than 387,000 guests in Dallas County last year, and in that same area, during that same time, hosts made $57.4 million dollars. That total does not include VRBO or other rental companies.

While the industry can be lucrative, there have been deadly shootings at short-term rentals.

A birthday party at an Airbnb in Old East Dallas in July ended in gunshots after midnight. In Plano, police say 18 shots were fired into a short-term rental during a party in November, killing Allen High School football player Marquel Ellis, Jr.

Airbnb now bans "open invite" parties.

Norma Minnis says she lives three doors down from a short-term rental in the Lakewood neighborhood of dallas.

"Who will bear the burden when they are out of control? The community,” she said.

She believes if they aren't banned from residential areas altogether, they should be regulated more.

“The regulation today is that the neighbors are regulating these things,” Minnis said.

Various cities throughout Texas handle the short-term rentals differently.

Houston does not have any regulations for short-term rentals, while Fort Worth doesn't allow them in residential areas. Austin is being sued, as its regulations are the most stringent.

Dallas plans to create a task force to address the issue, but there’s no timeline for when the task force will be formed and begin meeting.