AUSTIN (KXAN) —With thousands of people coming to Austin for South by Southwest, many will choose to stay in Airbnb’s around the city, but there are rules if someone is operating one.
Joe Arenella has been renting his Airbnb out for eight years, each year he makes sure to get his license to operate in Austin.
“We are booked for SXSW, ACL, Formula 1,” said Arenella.
He expects to make a lot of money during these big weekends. With so many people coming to town, Arenella said he is usually booked.
“For locals in Austin, South by Southwest represents a significant economic opportunity with hosts collectively earning more than $13 million over lasts years festival,” said Haven Thorn, a spokesperson for Airbnb.
To operate a short term rental, the City of Austin requires owners to get a new license yearly.
In December, the city’s code department said there are about 11,000 short-term rentals in Austin, but only about 1,800 were licensed.
“I do think there are some people who are taking advantage of it,” said Arenella.
Unlicensed operators could be fined up to $2,000.
The city says because of staffing shortages, it could take eight to 10 weeks to process short-term rental applications.