Under new short-term rental ordinance, Fort Worth cites 114 properties


The city approved a new ordinance for short-term rentals in Feb. 2023. The new ordinance allows property owners to apply for permits to operate short-term rentals.

FORT WORTH, Texas — Since Fort Worth approved a new short-term rental ordinance in 2023, city staff have issued 114 citations for non-compliance.  

Owners of properties that meet the requirements of the ordinance are allowed to apply for a permit to operate a short-term rental in entertainment and commercially zoned districts. The ordinance also allows city staff to enforce the rules of the ordinance. 

Since the ordinance was adopted in February 2023, 98 people have applied to legally operate a short-term rental in Fort Worth, according to data from the City of Fort Worth. Of those applicants, 85 were approved. The 13 applications were denied mostly because the properties were located in areas zoned for residential housing, which is not allowed under the ordinance. 

The ordinance also requires that short-rental owners host no events or parties at the properties, pay an initial $150 registration fee and renew each year for $100. The city also collects a hotel occupancy tax from short-term rental owners.

The city’s code compliance department is responsible for investigating resident complaints about properties suspected of illegally operating as a short-term rental. Most complaints stem from a nuisance such as parties, excessive noise or trash, the city said. 

After a complaint is made, city staff monitors the property for activity, which could include online bookings, vehicle traffic and conversations with renters and neighbors, according to the city’s reports. When violations are observed, the city can issue a fine of up to $500. If the cases involve fire safety, zoning or sanitation fines can reach up to $2,000. 

Since the ordinance was finalized, the code compliance department has investigated 222 properties, resulting in 114 violations, an increase from violations issued in previous years. In 2023, the city issued 182 citations, so far in 2024 the city has issued 88. 

The city is currently being sued  by short-term rental operators who claim the city’s ordinance is unconstitutional and a “violation of economic liberty and property rights.”