Corpus Christi Rules for Vacation Rentals in Single-Family Areas

Short-term rentals are now permitted in single-family neighborhoods in Corpus Christi, with the exception of North Padre Island.

Short-term rentals, also known as vacation rentals, are usually furnished apartments, condos, or houses where renters can feel more at home than they would in a hotel.

The city defines a short-term rental as a residential unit that is rented for less than 30 days.

At its regular meeting on Tuesday, the city council passed an ordinance allowing vacation rentals in single-family neighborhoods in Corpus Christi, excluding North Padre Island.

The measure is the second part of an order that reduces restrictions on short-term rentals. Until Tuesday, vacation rentals in single-family areas were operating illegally.

The council passed the first phase of the ordinance in January, requiring owners of short-term rentals to register for a permit to legally operate their rentals. Registration for Flour Bluff and the island, which make up District 4, opened in March. Online registration for the rest of the city begins July 11.

Here’s what you need for a permit

Non-owner occupied vacation rentals will only be able to occupy 15% of one side of a block. Owner-occupied rentals, which include garage or mother-in-law rental units, will not be restricted.

Vacation rental owners can request a special exception to the block area percentage restrictions if their block is already at the 15% limit.

The registration fee for a permit will be $50 until the end of the year. Starting January 1, 2023, owners of short-term rentals will need to reapply for a permit, and the fee will be increased to $250. All vacation rentals will receive a permit number which must be added to all listings for the unit.

The permit application must contain the following:

  • A list of all owners, operators, and agents (if any) of the short-term rental, including names, addresses, email addresses, and phone numbers.
  • A sketch of the floor plan, which identifies sleeping areas, proposed maximum number of guests, escape routes and fire extinguisher locations.
  • The name, address and 24-hour telephone number of a local contact person, who is the owner, operator or designated agent and who will be responsible for and authorized to respond to complaints regarding use short-term rental.
  • A sworn self-certification that the short-term rental owner has met and will continue to meet standards and other requirements, including but not limited to maintaining the unit’s insurance coverage .

How will complaints be handled?

The city is creating a 24-hour hotline that residents can call to report any nuisance related to short-term rental. The complaint will be escalated to the Vacation Rental’s 24 hour contact, Code Enforcement or Police, depending on the situation.

The registered local contact must be available by telephone 24 hours a day to respond to calls from the Claims Helpline. The local contact is required to contact the occupier to resolve the issue within one hour of receiving notification or attempted notification of a complaint.

One hour will be given to solve the problem in order to avoid a violation. If the problem is not resolved, the local contact will have an additional hour to visit the property to try to resolve the situation.

Development Services must then receive a detailed report of the complaint and resolution or attempted resolution within 48 hours.

What about offenses

From mid-March to mid-May, the city issued about 100 tickets, with fines of up to $500, to short-term rental landlords operating unlicensed or in single-family zones.

The city is adding four code enforcement officers and an administrative position to oversee short-term rental compliance. Violation fines will continue to be up to $500.

City officials hope all of the roughly 3,000 short-term rentals in Corpus Christi will be permitted by September 1. In most cases, violations will not be issued until after this date.

Kathryn Cargo tracks business openings and developments while reporting on the impacts of city government decisions.Check out our subscription options and special offers at Caller.com/subscribe.

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