${site.data.firmName}${SEMFirmNameAlt}
Austin
512-279-6431
Harlingen
956-421-4904
San Antonio
210-227-3243

The Texas Supreme Court recently overruled a trial court and an appellate court, holding that the owner of single-family residential structure could indeed use it as a short-term rental property for parties and the like even though the covenant of the Timberwood Park Owners Association restricted use of the property to a residential purpose.

The court observed that the restriction was only applicable for the type of structure at issue, not its use. Further, where the covenant did restrict use to a “residential purpose,” the covenant failed to define what counted as a “residential purpose.” For that reason, the court applied common definitions of those terms and held that short-term renters were still using the property as a residence. The fact that the use for a short time was not of consequence.

While the Tarr case dealt with a homeowner association, cities throughout the state are reasonable to be concerned. Many cities rely on distinctions between residential and commercial uses when regulating short-term rentals.

The key, therefore, will be for each municipality to protect its laws by including specific language that is tailored to the unique goals and needs of each community. Also critical will be the location of the language in the body of such regulations themselves. The Tarr cases demonstrates that simply having a definition for a structure, for instance, will not suffice if the definition of the use is itself either nonexistent or vague.

Smart cities will consult with their legal counsel moving forward to handle this problem proactively in order to avoid the costs that could be associated later with litigation to resolve disputes. Specific language tailored to the needs and goals of each municipality.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
  • San Antonio Office map

    San Antonio Office
    2517 North Main Avenue
    San Antonio, TX 78212

    Phone: 210-227-3243
    Map & Directions

    Harlingen Office
    701 East Harrison
    Suite 100
    Harlingen, TX 78550

    Phone: 956-421-4904
    Harlingen Law Office Map

    Austin Office
    2500 W. William Cannon
    Suite 609
    Austin, TX 78745

    Phone: 512-279-6431
    Map & Directions

  • Austin Office map
  • Harlingen Office map