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Short-Term Rental Housing

Short-Term Rental Housing

An ordinance regulating short-term rental housing in College Station goes into effect Oct. 1, 2020. A short-term rental is a residential unit that’s rented out for fewer than 30 consecutive days. It includes single-family homes, duplexes, triplexes, fourplexes, multi-family units, and manufactured homes.

Short-term rental operators must have a permit and collect and remit hotel occupancy taxes. The ordinance was approved by the city council on June 25, 2020, and included a 90-day implementation timeline to establish procedures, set up hotel tax collection, and allow STR hosts to get permitted. A permit is valid for one year from the date of issuance and must be renewed annually.
 

Short-term Rental Permit Fee - $100
Short-term Rental Inspection Fee - $100
Short-term Rental Permit Renewal Fee - $75

Short-term rental operators also must:
  • Provide an informational brochure to guests that includes pertinent neighborhood information, how to contact the operator, and local emergency numbers.
  • Equip the dwelling with working life safety equipment such as smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors if using gas/propane, and one fire extinguisher per floor.
  • Maintain the unit in compliance with applicable city codes.
  • Collect and remit hotel occupancy tax from guest stays, filing on a monthly basis

How To Apply for a Permit

STEP 1:
Request access to the online permitting system by emailing STR@cstx.gov with your name, permanent (i.e., your homestead property) address, email address, and phone number. You must receive a login and password before applying online.

STEP 2:
Know your STR type. The ordinance permits three categories of STRs, and the zoning of your property is relevant to your respective category. To find your zoning, go to the city’s interactive map, click the layer icon on the upper right, then select “Zoning” from the options.

    Short Term Rental I
    • Bed & breakfast facility in a residential zoning district
    • Single-family dwelling
    • Proprietor’s permanent residence
    • No more than four unrelated occupy overnight
    • No more than four rooms where shared/common bathrooms are provided
    • No more than one meal is served daily
    Short Term Rental II
    • Owner-occupied
    • Single-family dwelling
    • Located in a residential zoning district of General Suburban (GS), Restricted Suburban (RS), or Wellborn Restricted Suburban (WRS)
    Short Term Rental III
    • Owner-occupied or non-owner-occupied
    • Single-family, duplex/triplex/fourplex, multifamily, manufactured home
    • Located in a residential zoning district other than GS, RS, or WRS
Non-Owner-Occupied STRs: Homes in General Suburban, Restricted Suburban, or Wellborn Restricted Suburban may be permitted only if they are owner-occupied. However, the ordinance also includes a grandfathering provision where operators of non-owner-occupied properties may apply for a permit by Nov. 27. The applicant must demonstrate that the unit has previously been used as a short-term rental through evidence of hotel occupancy tax remittance. To illustrate continuous use, proof of tax remittance must cover a period of at least six of the last 12 — or 12 of the last 24 — months immediately preceding October 2020.

STEP 3:
Apply online. Be sure to include the proper documentation: homestead exemption (if required), Guest Information Guide, and hotel occupancy tax evidence, if applicable.

STEP 4:
When notified, schedule your Life Safety Inspection to ensure your STR meets the ordinance’s life safety requirements. For most STRs, inspections are also required for renewal.

STEP 5:
Receive your permit when your application is approved.

STEP 6:
Register with Avenu Insights to set up your hotel occupancy tax remittance and report filing. The ordinance requires that Hotel Occupancy Taxes be assessed and collected by short-term rental operators. The Code of Ordinances authorizes a hotel occupancy tax equal to 7% of the occupant's consideration where the cost of occupancy is at least $2 per day.

On the last business day of the month after the month of collection, entities required to collect the tax must file a report and remit the appropriate taxes. Failure to submit the report and remit payment is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine and a penalty of 15% of the tax due for every 30 days that the report is not filed or the payment is not made. 

FAQs - Hotel Occupancy Tax

    What are hotel occupancy taxes?
    A hotel's owner, operator or manager must collect hotel taxes from their guests. For the purposes of the state tax, a hotel is considered to be any building in which members of the public rent sleeping accommodations for $15 or more per day. Local hotel taxes apply to sleeping rooms costing $2 or more per day.

    The tax covers hotels, motels, and bed and breakfasts, as well as condominiums, apartments and houses rented for less than 30 consecutive days. This includes short-term rentals. Hotel tax does not apply to hospitals, sanitariums, nursing homes, student dormitories operated by colleges and universities, or condominiums, apartments and houses leased for more than 30 consecutive days.
    How are local hotel occupancy taxes used?
    Under the State’s Tax Code, expenditures of hotel occupancy taxes must directly enhance and promote the tourism industry in College Station.
    Are short-term rental units required to collect & remit hotel occupancy taxes?
    Yes. According to the Tax Code, a short-term rental is subject to hotel occupancy taxes (see Tex. Tax Code § 156.001(c)).
    What is the hotel occupancy tax rate for College Station?
    7% of the consideration paid by the occupant of any hotel or short-term rental where the cost of occupancy is at the rate of $2 or more per day.
    How often do hotel occupancy taxes have to be submitted?
    Every month. On the last business day of the month following the month of collection, every person required to collect the tax must file a report through Avenu Insights, the City’s contracted hotel occupancy tax collector. A report must be filed every month, regardless of whether any stays were recorded and taxes collected.

    Avenu Insights offers online filing at revds.com.

    For questions, contact Avenu Insights at (866) 556-7274 or by email at clientsupport@avenuinsights.com.
    I own a short-term rental. How do I submit these taxes?
    First, to operate a short-term rental in College Station, you must receive a permit by applying online. Once you’ve received your permit, you’ll need to file and remit your taxes through Avenu Insights, the City’s contracted hotel occupancy tax collector, on a monthly basis. Avenu Insights offers online filing at revds.com.
    I thought Airbnb takes care of my required taxes?
    Some companies like Airbnb have an agreement with the State of Texas to collect and remit the appropriate taxes on behalf of hosts registered with the platform. However, this only covers the 6% state tax rate. Hosts must also file and remit the appropriate local hotel occupancy taxes to the City of College Station and Brazos County.
    Is there a penalty for late filings?
    Yes. Failure to file the required reports and to remit payment is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine and a penalty of 15% of the tax due for each thirty (30) days that the report is not filed or the payment is not made.

    Violations of the STR ordinance (such as nonpayment of hotel occupancy taxes) may result in permit revocation or denial of your permit at renewal.

Contact Information

For questions about the STR ordinance or registration process:
Code Enforcement Division
Community Services Department
979.764.6363
str@cstx.gov


For complaints about STR operators:
Code Enforcement Division
Community Services Department
979.764.6363
codeenforcement@cstx.gov
SeeClickFix


For questions about Hotel Occupancy Tax:
Avenu Insights 
800.556.7274
clientsupport@avenuinsights.com

 

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