New Ruling on Short-Term Rentals


The Supreme Court of Texas recently issued an opinion that has a major impact on short-term rentals in Texas and the interpretation of deed restrictions.

In Tarr v. Timberwood Park Owners Association, Inc., the Supreme Court of Texas held that phrases in deed restrictions such as “used solely for residential purposes” are not broad enough to prohibit short-term rentals. The case resolved a split among Texas courts relating to the interpretation of deed restrictions containing such language. Prior to Tarr, lower courts reached opposite results despite being faced with similar language.

Tarr concerned language in deed restrictions affecting San Antonio’s Timberwood Park subdivision. The language is very similar to language found in many residential deed restrictions. The restrictions stated that:

  • All tracts shall be used solely for residential purposes, except tracts designated … for business purposes, provided, however, no business shall be conducted on any of these tracts
    which is noxious or harmful by reason of odor, dust, smoke, gas, fumes, noise or vibration ….

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