Cities across Texas are trying to ban or limit Airbnb type rentals. But homeowners who want to rent out their properties to travelers are fighting back and winning.
As we show you in this I-Team report, Hollywood Park is the most recent community to have its short-term rental ban blocked by the courts.
In November Hollywood Park passed an ordinance banning short-term rentals of thirty days or less, claiming they result in “increases in traffic, public nuisances, parking, noise, litter and the influx of strangers into residential areas”.
“To me it’s more about our freedom of property rights,” says homeowner Bonnie Browning.
Browning and another homeowner, Abby Argo, were granted a preliminary injunction by a federal court last Friday. It allows them to keep operating their short term rentals in Hollywood Park.
The women argued they’ve spent money improving their homes in order to rent them out and the ban would be financially devastating to them.
“In essence, I’d have to sell my home because truthfully the income I make from renting my home in Hollywood Park out is substantial,” Argo said.
“What is more important to me is the freedom to do with your property that you’ve invested in what you want to within reason,” Browning added.
Browning says she needs to stay in her home some of the time, so renting it long-term doesn’t work.
The women say Hollywood Park already has a number of nuisance ordinances against noise, litter and traffic it could use to crack down on bad behavior.
“Neither Abby nor I have had any citations or any complaints or any calls,” Browning told News 4.
Earlier this year a federal judge ruled Austin’s short-term rental ordinance was unconstitutional. Just this month a district court judge blocked an STR ban in Dallas.
The Hollywood Park injunction only applies to Browning and Argo. Other homeowners booking short term rentals in the town can face fines up to two thousand dollars a day.
“We want to work with the city well and be able to operate legally,” Argo said.
Hollywood Park officials did not respond to our request for comment on the injunction.