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Austin Rental Registration 5 – 2 in Favor

A Resolution by Council Members Tovo and Martinez for a pilot rental registration program passed 5 to 2 vote at June 6, 2013 Austin City Council Meeting–Mayor Leffingwell and Councilman Spelman voting against.

The areas included in the pilot rental registration program are Rundberg, East Riverside/Oltorf Combined Neighborhood area, Central Austin Neighborhood Advisory Planning Committee areas, the Hyde Park neighborhood, the Northfield area and the North Loop area.

“My professional opinion, as it relates to rental registration, is that it can be a very effective tool for code compliance,” said Carl Smart, director of the Code Compliance Department. “It sets a standard and communicates that standard very well to property owners and tenants so that everyone is aware what that standard is, and provides a more proactive method of addressing code violations.” (Community IMPACT June 7, 2013).

By including Central/North Central Austin neighborhoods, the Council was looking to address the issue of “stealth dorms.” Stealth dorms are homes or duplexes rented to more than six unrelated people. City code only allows up to six unrelated people to occupy a duplex. City staff and an advisory group have 90 days to work out the details of the program.  Staff will be devising a process by which citizens may provide input.

With two days notice, Central Austin neighborhoods collected over 150 signatures in support of the Tovo-Martinez pilot program. While applauding Tovo and Martinez for this proactive step, these neighborhoods also told the Council duplex occupancy limits should be lowered, and they will be back before the Council for action on this.

Read this Sarah Coppola article to learn more.

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