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Frequently Asked Questions

Boat Dock Registration

As per the ordinance definition, a boat dock “includes a wharf, pier, float, floating dock, island, boat dock, boat slip, boat lift, stationary platform, or other similar structure”.  

City Ordinance 20140626-113 requires you to provide proper addressing of your boat dock. This is a mandatory measure put forth by the City of Austin.  

To properly address your boat dock, your address should be located on the front of your boat dock. The signage must include the street address of the primary property associated with the dock and shall be displayed 4-6 feet above normal pool elevation on the lakeward side of the dock facing centerline of the lake or slough on which it is located. The letters and numbers must be at a minimum of two inches in height and must contrast with the background they are placed on (the preferred lettering is reflective but this is left at the owner’s discretion). The tag must be constructed with materials that resist water damage and deterioration by ultraviolet light. 

How to address your boat dock

There are three options to register your boat dock: by mail, in person, and online. The steps are as follows: 

 

1. Complete the registration form found on www.austintexas.gov/boatdocks. 

2. Attach current photos for proof of addressing.  

3. Submit the registration form and photos:  

• Mail: Via USPS Certified Mail/Return Receipt Requested to City of Austin-Austin Code Department, Attn: Finance - Licensing and Registration, P.O. Box 1088, Austin, TX 78767. 

• Walk-in: The registration form may be submitted in person at Austin Code Department, 1520 Rutherford Lane, Bldg. 1, Austin, TX 78754. This is not a mailing address. Registrations mailed to this address will be returned.  

• Online: The form and photos may be emailed to ACDLicensing@austintexas.gov 

 

After the Austin Code Department has received your registration form with current photos, the Austin Code Department Intake Office will process your application. Once received, you will be sent a confirmation notice. To get in touch with the Intake Office, please call 512-974- 9144. Hours of operation are Monday through Friday from 8:00am-3:00pm. If you do not receive anything from the Austin Code Department regarding your boat dock registration after one week, please reach out through email at ACDLicensing@austintexas.gov. If your submitted registration form is somehow incomplete or invalid, the Austin Code Department will reach out to you.  

There is currently no fee to register your boat dock. A Cost Analysis Study is currently being conducted. Once this report is completed, a boat dock registration fee could be implemented beginning October 1, 2019. 

Yes, you will need to renew your boat dock registration. Residential properties need to renew every 5 years (fee required). Commercial properties are required to renew every 2 years (fee required).  

For those who may have more than one boat dock structure (for definitions of boat docks see question #1) located at the same address, you will only need to address one of the structures. At your discretion, address your most prominent boat dock. For all other questions, please email ACDLicensing@austintexas.gov.   

Code Connect

Code Connect is a program that allows citizens to contact the Austin Code Department and talk to an experienced facilitator who can help them with general code questions, provide resource guidance, and give  updates on their existing cases.  Code Connect is here to Inform – Guide – Educate!

The Code Connect Facilitator will assess your question or the situation you are presenting.  Then the facilitator will assist you in getting the answer to your question or a path to resolving your situation.

You are always welcome to call the Code Inspector assigned to your case. However, since  Code Inspectors are most often away from their desks performing field inspections, they may not be available to answer their office phone.  Code Connect is staffed with facilitators who are available for the citizen to call to get an update on their case.

Monday – Friday

8 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Please call 311 or your assigned Code Inspector. You can also visit the 311 homepage for more information.

No. The Code Inspector is ultimately responsible for their case. Code Connect Facilitators will provide case updates based on information found in the case material. The facilitator cannot provide case direction, nor can they tell an Inspector what action they must take.  Please note that a person who is not  a legal party to the case cannot be provided case information. A Public Information Request will have to be submitted in such instances by clicking here: http://www.austintexas.gov/public-information-request

The City of Austin Development Services Department (DSD) is responsible for these types of questions.

DSD Website: http://www.austintexas.gov/department/development-assistance-center

Phone: 512-978-4000

Hauler for Hire Licensing

Yes, Austin Code may revoke a license if a licensee does not comply with the law, pay required fees or file required reports.

The following list of licensed private haulers is provided as a resource. The City of Austin does not endorse any particular company. 

An applicant must provide the following to receive a license:

  • A completed City of Austin Application for Licensing and Exemption.
  • A list of vehicles and containers
  • Proof of insurance — a certificate of general and commercial auto liability insurance
  • The annual State of Texas vehicle inspection certification for each licensed vehicle
  • The semi-annual tonnage report
  • Required vehicle and container licensing fees

Recycling vehicles and containers are exempt from fees as long as they are used exclusively to collect recyclables and have blue recycling licenses. The license decals must be permanently affixed to the exterior vehicle doors or the service side of the container.

The licensing fee for solid waste vehicles is $300 per vehicle / per year.  The fee is due on or before the last business day in January of each year.  The fee for solid waste containers is $3 per container / per month.  The container fee is paid quarterly (every three months). 

Per Ordinance No. 20120628-012, you do not need a license. The licensing requirement is for businesses, which collect landfill trash and/or recyclables in Austin.

Yes, the City of Austin spends $250,000 per year cleaning property where furniture, tires and junk have been illegally dumped.

  • To educate the community about the ordinance
  • To support prevention of illegal dumping by encouraging citizens to call 3-1-1 or 9-1-1
  • To provide resources to clean illegal dumpsites
  • To support the Universal Recycling Ordinance (URO).  Learn more.

Offenses are punishable by a fine up to $2,000 and, upon a first conviction, not less than $100.  The minimum fine shall be doubled for the second conviction of the same offense within any 24-month period and tripled for the third and subsequent convictions of the same offense within any 24-month period.

Recycling is a process by which materials are collected, sorted, processed or prepared into marketable commodities for manufacturing into new products.

Solid waste is rubbish, refuse and other discarded materials, such as tires and construction scraps (e.g. landfill trash or debris).

Submit application by mail: City of Austin Code Department, Attn: Finance-Private Hauler, PO Box 1088, Austin, TX 78767, in person: 1520 Rutherford Lane, Building One, or online to ccdhaulerlicense@austintexas.gov

The Private Hauler Program is located at: 1520 Rutherford Lane, Building One, Austin, Texas 78754.  This is not a mailing address. Applications mailed to this address will be returned. Submit application by mail to: City of Austin Code Department, Attn: Finance-Private Hauler, PO Box 1088, Austin, TX 78767. Or in person: 1520 Rutherford Lane, Building One

Austin Code and law enforcement will ensure private haulers operating in the city comply with this ordinance and other applicable laws.

Please contact our Licensing Program Specialist at 512-974-9035 for information regarding licensing and reporting requirements.

All private haulers that collect, remove, or transport waste, recycling, and/or organic/compost within the City of Austin must obtain a Private Hauler License (Ordinance No.20120628-012City of Austin Code 15-6, Article 3).  The license must be renewed annually, and is not transferable.

International Property Maintenance Code

How to Prevent CO Poisoning:

  • Inspect flues and chimneys for cracks, corrosion, holes, debris or blockages.
  • Buy fuel-powered heaters with automatic shut-off features.
  • Fuel heaters in well-ventilated areas.
  • Service heaters before the first use of winter season
  • Open windows periodically to air out your house. Homes with energy-efficient insulation can trap CO-polluted air inside.
  • Use a gas stove for cooking purposes only.
  • Operate gas-burning appliances in a well-ventilated room.
  • Never leave a car running in a garage.
  • Use charcoal grills outdoors, never indoors.
  • Install and maintain carbon monoxide detectors.

Learn more about Carbon Monoxide Safety

Possible Sources of CO

  • Gas stoves
  • Hot water heaters
  • Fireplaces
  • Lawnmowers
  • Pilot lights
  • Gas or oil furnaces
  • Car exhaust fumes
  • Wood-burning stoves
  • Charcoal
  • Gas space heaters
  • Tobacco smoke

Learn more about Carbon Monoxide Safety

When a person breathes in carbon monoxide, it is absorbed by hemoglobin, the oxygen-carrying protein in the blood. "Carboxy hemoglobin" is then formed, replacing oxygen, preventing its release in the body and eventually causing suffocation.

  • Mild Exposure: Flu-like symptoms including slight headache, nausea, vomiting and fatigue.
  • Medium Exposure: Severe headache, drowsiness, confusion and a fast heart rate. Prolonged exposure to medium levels of carbon monoxide (CO) can result in death.
  • Extreme Exposure: Loss of consciousness, convulsions, heart and lung failure, possible brain damage and death.

While everyone is at risk for CO poisoning, unborn babies, infants and young children, senior citizens and people with heart and lung problems are at a higher risk due to their greater oxygen needs.

Learn more about Carbon Monoxide Safety

Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless, extremely poisonous and explosive gas that causes 1,500 accidental deaths and more than 10,000 injuries each year. CO is slightly lighter than air and mixes throughout the atmosphere. It is a by-product of incomplete combustion, produced when fuels such as natural gas, propane, heating oil, kerosene, coal, charcoal, gasoline or wood are burned with insufficient air.

Learn more about Carbon Monoxide Safety.

The ordinance goes into effect on April 1, 2018. Learn more.

If the Alarm Sounds ...

If the alarm sounds and anyone in the house has symptoms of CO Poisoning

  • Leave the house immediately and call 9-1-1 or an emergency response number.
  • Have someone contact the fire department and consult the local fuel company.

If your alarm goes off and no one has symptoms of CO poisoning:

  • Turn off all fuel-burning appliances that are possible sources of CO.
  • Open windows to air out the house.
  • Contact the local fuel company or a licensed technician to repair the problem.

Learn more about Carbon Monoxide Safety.

Carbon monoxide alarms may be purchased online or at local retail stores. 

In a dwelling unit, a carbon monoxide (CO) alarm must be installed outside of each separate sleeping area and in the immediate vicinity of each sleeping area. A CO alarm must be installed within a sleeping area if a fuel-burning or solid fuel appliance is located within the sleeping area, a bathroom attached to the sleeping area or a garage attached to the sleeping area.

The property owner or property manager is responsible for the installation and maintenance of carbon monoxide detectors.

Repeat Offender Program

Exceptions only apply to owner-occupied rentals and units regulated by another section of the code (such as hotels, motels, and bed and breakfasts). 

The owner of a property must register within 14 days. If the owner would like to appeal the registration, they must submit a statement that supports the appeal. This must be in writing within 10 days and sent to:   City of Austin, Code Department,  Attn: ROP, PO Box 1088, Austin, TX 78767

The property owner will remain on the repeat offender list for a minimum of two years. This information will also be available to the public at:  www.austintexas.gov/department/repeat-offender-program

Registration is $300.

Registration is non-transferable.  If the property is sold, the new owner will have 30 days to submit a new Repeat Offender application and pay a new registration fee (if applicable). If the rental property is made compliant within 90 days after the property is sold, the property will be taken off of the repeat offender list.

The owner will be asked to provide his/her name, address, telephone number, and email address. If the owner is a corporation or association, the name and address of the registered agent on file with the Texas Secretary of State will be required.  In addition, the number of individual rental units and buildings at the property and a telephone number that will be answered 24 hours a day by a local contact (i.e.: emergency phone number) will be required. 

The City of Austin requires multi-family and single-family rental properties (not occupied by the owner) that have met the following conditions to register for the Repeat Offender Program:

  1. Received two or more separate notices of violation for conditions that are dangerous (likely to cause physical harm or injury to someone) or impair habitability (impair the quality of life for a tenant, such as problems with hot water, electrical service, heating, electrical hazard or infestation) for the same property within 12 consecutive months and failed to correct the violations within the time frame required.
  1. Received five or more separate notices of violation for conditions that are dangerous or impair habitability (as defined above) which are issued on separate days for the same property with a 12 month period regardless of whether the violation was corrected or not. 
  1. Was issued two or more citation for conditions that are dangerous or impair habitability for the same property within 12 consecutive months.

The registration certificate must be displayed at the property. In addition, signs in English and Spanish must include the emergency phone number for the property and information regarding how to report code violations. One sign for each 50 unit will need to be displayed and must be 12 inches x 24 inches and on weather-proof material. 

Rooming and Boarding House

The fees are based on number of sleep rooms in the establishment. They are $300 + $11 per sleep room. Fees are prorated by quarter. All fees are non-refundable.

By law, a residentially zoned structure cannot house more than six (6) people. In 2017, a plan was put in place to allow residentially zoned properties to legally obtain Rooming/Boarding House licenses. In order to do this, a person with a disability or someone representing a person with a disability must submit a Reasonable Accommodation Request to a City of Austin employee. The RA Request form can be downloaded at http://www.austintexas.gov/rooming-and-boarding. These can be turned in directly to the City of Austin Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Office or to the Austin Code Department with the Operating License Application.

Please see http://www.austintexas.gov/rooming-and-boarding for more information about the Rooming/Boarding House program.

The payment options are: 

  • Credit Card
  • Cash
  • Check
  • Money Order
  • ONLINE Credit Card
  • ONLINE e-Check

All Payment are made to “City of Austin”

No. To use this website, you MUST set up a Tax Account with the City Controller. This means that you would have to turn in a “zero report” every quarter to prove that you do not need to pay Hotel Occupancy Taxes. Please choose another payment method.

All new establishments must provide a complete application, a Certificate of Occupancy, and proof of payment of their Hotel Occupancy Taxes (if applicable). (NOTE: Hotel Occupancy Taxes are only paid if your tenants stay for UNDER 30 days.)

The license is good until Dec 31 of the year of issuance. All fees for the next year’s license are due by that day.

The license is non-transferable. If a change of ownership occurs, the new owner must fill out a new application and submit all required paperwork and fees.

An inspector will contact you to schedule a time for an annual inspection. It does not need to occur before a license is renewed. However, if the establishment is being licensed for the first time, an inspection will need to be scheduled and passed before issuance of that first license.

Yes. All establishments with 7 or more unrelated individuals living in it MUST be licensed.

You will still need to be licensed by the City of Austin.

Short-Term Rental Licensing

A total of $443.00 is due at the time your application is submitted. The Short-Term Rental review fee is $393.00. There is also a notification cost of $50.00 from the Planning & Development Review Department to notify adjacent neighbors as outlined in the amended ordinance (§20130926-144). All fees are non-refundable.

The payment options are:  

All Payment are made to “City of Austin”

Yes. Every person owning, operating, managing, controlling, or collecting payment for occupancy in any hotel (or short-term rental) shall collect the Hotel Occupancy Tax from their guests for the City.

You may call the City of Austin, Financial Services: Controller's Office at 512-974-2590, then press 1, or email: hotels@austintexas.gov.

A Certificate of Occupancy, or “CO” can be obtained at no cost from the City of Austin, Building Inspections Division located at: One Texas Center, 505 Barton Springs Road, 3rd Floor. If you do not have a Certificate of Occupancy, call 512-978-4000 press 2; then press 3 to request a copy.

If the City of Austin does not have a copy of the property’s Certificate of Occupancy, you have two options:

CERTIFIED INSPECTION

If you are unable to obtain a Certificate of Occupancy, you may hire a certified third-party inspector. The inspector must use this Third Party STR Inspection Checklist

A professional inspector certified by the Texas Real Estate Commission or a Residential Combination Inspector certified by the International Code Council (ICC) must inspect the dwelling. The City of Austin cannot recommend an inspector for you. To locate an ICC-certified inspector, complete a Web search for “home inspectors” and then verify the inspector holds a current ICC certification. A copy of the receipt for the service must be attached to the inspection and the inspector must state the structure is safe to occupy. If there is an unsafe deficiency, a license cannot be approved until the deficiency is corrected and re-inspected by the inspector. If deficiencies are noted that do not create an unsafe condition, your license can be issued, but the items will need to be corrected. A follow-up inspection may be conducted by Code Inspectors and failure to correct all deficiencies can be cause for suspension or revocation of your operating license.

The Short-Term Rental Operating License is for valid for 12-months from the time of approval and may be renewed on an annual basis.

The Short-Term Rental Operating License is non-transferable per Ordinance #20120802-122, “a license may not be transferred and does not covey with the sale or transfer or the property”.

Failure to register is equivalent to operating without a license and may result in enforcement action, including citations.