Cliff Keheley

Short-term rental homes in Mesquite are slated to operate under new rules.

After concerns and issues with short-term rental homes, the Mesquite City Council gave consensus to move forward with a proposed ordinance that will require more frequent inspection and registration as well as more code enforcement.

According to the city of Mesquite, Council Member Tandy Boroughs initiated the changes. 

“Residents want to be able to peacefully enjoy their homes,” he said. “Occupants of short-term rentals should not be able to host parties with dozens of people and create noise and parking problems. Neighborhoods were not designed to handle this type of use.” 

The ordinance would separate short-term from long-term rentals.

Neighborhood Services Director Maria Martinez said all short-term rental homes will now need to undergo annual registration and inspection to prevent deterioration in the home. Additionally, property owners will be required to post rules outside and inside the home to establish limitations on parking, guest and noise limitations. The property owner will also need to put their contact information as well as police and fire contact information on the rule posting to ensure residents and neighbors can access them as needed. Some of the new rules include limiting overnight guests to no more than four to a house with two adults allowed in each bedroom and limiting on-street parking to two spots on the street.

City Manager Cliff Keheley said some of the houses have turned into small event centers, which will no longer be allowed under the new ordinance.

Martinez said that short-term rentals should ideally be unnoticeable.

“Best case scenario would be that you would not even know that it’s operating,” Martinez said. “Maybe you’ll notice a different car out front. That’s how I would see a compliant short-term rental. Worst case scenario, we would see someone who doesn’t care for the property, is loud and a nuisance. In that case, I would utilize our police and code officials to ensure we are getting these things reported, and we can track what occurs and who’s allowed into these properties.”

Other ordinance changes were approved that align all of the City’s rental programs and minimum housing standards under one chapter for uniformity, city officials said. 

“Now that we have the ordinance out of the way, we're going to do an evaluation of what is being advertised as a short-term rental, and what is the process of notifying those owners of the expectation,” Keheley said. 

Winston Henvey is the reporter for the Mesquite News, Coppell Gazette and The Leader serving Carrollton, Flower Mound and Lewisville. Email him with story suggestions at whenvey@starlocalmedia.com.

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