AUSTIN – The Austin Code Department (ACD) Advises the General Public to Remain Vigilant of Fraudulent Short-Term Rental Operating Licenses.
Owners of Short-Term Rentals (STRs) are required to obtain an operating license annually (Ordinance No. 20160223-A.l). This law applies to all properties (including rooms and guest houses) rented for less than 30 consecutive days.
Recently ACD has noted an uptick in reported fraudulent Short-Term Rental licenses. Scammers often use valid-looking print outs of a license with official-looking letterheads, graphics, and other forms of fraudulent identifiers including false information. Additionally, an STR license is considered fraudulent if presented or used as a valid document when its current state is expired.
How to confirm a valid Short-Term Rental Operating License
- Open Data Portal: Short-Term Rental Locations
- Austin Build & Connect: Public Search (Operating License)
How to Protect Yourself
- A Short-Term Rental license should be posted inside all Short-Term Rental properties. If it isn’t you can request to see a copy of the document.
- If you are unsure of the validity of the document, you can confirm the status of the property use by searching the Open Data Portal or visit the Austin Build and Connect link above.
How to Report a potential scam
- You may call our customer service Code Connect line at 512-974-2633.
- Report to Austin Code Departments License and Registration Division at STRLicensing@austintexas.gov or call 512-974-9144 8 AM to 4 PM Monday to Friday
- Report it to Austin 311 at any time
A general reminder that Austin Code will NEVER:
- Ask for credit card or wire transfer information over the phone.
- Demand immediate payments in person with cash, gift card, Bitcoin, or any non-traceable form of payment.