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South Padre Island irons out property rental rules ahead of spring break

On Thursday, the city held a meeting to make sure property owners are in compliance with registering their homes through the city in order to get the permit.

With Spring Break right around the corner, South Padre Island is a go-to destination for many looking for a break from school or work.

Even though many call SPI a getaway, others call it home.

The city of South Padre Island is making sure every law is being followed for short-term rentals, especially during the Spring Break season.

On top of the 17 percent hotel occupancy tax rate, SPI residents who rent out their home will need to follow several more steps to get a renter’s permit.

On Thursday, the city held a meeting to make sure property owners are in compliance with registering their homes through the city in order to get the permit. Once they get the permit, that number will need to be listed in every single online ad.

If not, property owners can face a fine.

Other violations that could result in fines include underage drinking, trash on the lawn and illegal parking.

But fines were not the only thing discussed at the meeting.

"Rental properties that become large parties become very time consuming for our agency, very problematic, so what we're trying to do is develop a process that allows us to be able to address it in a timely manner,” said SPI police Chief Randy Smith.

Smith says if property owners are going out of town, but still renting their home, there are steps they can take to make sure their property stays safe.

"They can address the problem by pre-policing," said Smith. "They can get the right language in the contract that makes the renters understand. They should meet the renter so maybe they can weed out any problems in advance."

Owners say they’re glad the city is taking precautions for the upcoming months.

"I loved it, great job keeping us all in the loop," said Sandy Broadway, who rents out several properties on the island. "I think the overall goal that they're trying to convey to us is that they're trying to keep our city safe and beautiful, protect owners property--which is great.”

Additional officers and jail staff will be working overtime throughout the month of March to manage the influx of visitors.

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