Texas Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Short-Term Rental Owner
The Texas Supreme Court has ruled in favor of a Texas homeowner whose homeowners association pressed to restrict his short-term rental activity. The decision may have wider ramifications in the controversy over Texas short-term rentals on platforms such as Airbnb, HomeAway, and VRBO.
Kenneth Tarr began renting out his home near San Antonio for short terms in 2014, but the Timberwood Park Homeowners Association argued that he was not allowed to do so, since the association’s deed specified that his home could be used as a “single family residence” for “residential purposes” only.
In 2015, a Bexar County district judge ruled in favor of the homeowners association, as did the Texas Fourth Court of Appeals in 2016. The unanimous Supreme Court decision overturned those previous rulings.
“So long as the occupants to whom Tarr rents his single-family residence use the home for a ‘residential purpose,’ no matter how short-lived, neither their on-property use nor Tarr’s off-property use violates the restrictive covenants in the Timberwood deeds,” Justice Jeff Brown wrote on behalf of all nine Supreme Court justices.
The ruling will directly affect short-term rentals within homeowners associations that have similarly worded deeds, but the precedent it sets could also affect the ultimate outcome of legal challenges involving cities’ restrictions on short-term rentals....