Texas Supreme Court supports short-term renters rights in new decision

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COLLEGE STATION, Tex. (KBTX) - Renting out your home is becoming a popular way to make some extra cash. Sites like Airbnb are being used across the state as lodging options

The Texas Supreme Court recently sided with short -term renters. On Friday, the state's highest court took a stand supporting property rights. They ruled that property owners have the right to open their homes to short-term rentals, despite what a homeowner's association might say.

Russ Bardin and his wife have a quiet getaway just outside Cook's Point. They also use it to make a little extra income.

"Our biggest clients booked from Airbnb come with game days," said Bardin. "Aggie football game days and we get some through for graduation."

Bardin said he used to rent his entire property, but had issues with renters bringing pets and trashing the place. Now, they rent individual rooms. He and other property owners that use AirBnb pay state Hotel Occupancy Taxes.

Kindra Fry, the President and CEO of Experience Bryan/ College Station said multiple housing options are impacting local hotels and motels.

"They are taking people out of hotel rooms and putting them in homes here locally and, with the surge in Airbnb and HomeAway, it seems that it's affecting the hotel industry as a whole," said Fry.

She expects cities will revisit their policies.

"We don’t know now what the local you know ordinance is or the local governments are going to be able to do based on this recent ruling. So we’ll have to kind of see how this is going to play out," she said

College Station requires home owners to register with the city. It's a $15 charge per building rented. Bryan currently has no rules in place.

For Bardin, his home is in a rural area of the county, but he favors letting property owners have freedom to rent.

"Well I'm always in favor of being able to control your own property and so would look favorably upon that just letting the property owners deal with Airbnb however they like," he said.

The City of College Station said they will be reviewing their policies after this ruling.