SHORT TERM RENTALS
short term rental information
Short Term Rental Registration and Renewals
Short term rental owners are required to register their properties. The registration process is quick and easy and can be done online. Registration must be renewed annually by December 31st. You will receive an email as a reminder that it is time to renew along with detailed instruction on how to proceed. The fee for registering your property is $250.00 with a small convenience fee. Once the registration fee is paid you will be assigned a GVR (Galveston Vacation Rental) number.
For additional information on the registration fee please see Short Term Rental FAQs under the helpful links section of this page.
Ordinances, Authorization and Penalties
In 2015 The City of Galveston passed Ordinance 15-012 which authorized the Park Board of Trustees to require all Short Term Rentals (STR’s) to be registered. The Park Board is also authorized to collect Hotel Occupancy Tax (HOT) on a monthly or quarterly basis.
In May of 2021 the City of Galveston passed Ordinance 21-021 which requires the property owner and/ or property management company to display the GVR number on any and all advertisements. This includes all booking platforms, management company websites and any private listings (i.e. Facebook, Instagram, etc.). It is the owner’s responsibility to make sure that their individual property(s) are in compliance. Failure to do so will result in the listing being removed.
Failure to comply with the STR registration or HOT payment requirements as outlined in Ordinance 15-012 is a Class C misdemeanor offense and is punishable upon conviction by a fine not to exceed five hundred dollars ($500.00) per offense. Each day shall constitute a separate offense.
Delinquent, non-registered, non-complying properties are subject to legal action.
Online Reporting and Paying Service
Notice to our larger HOT payers - there is no longer a $50,000 limit on payments made online. The new payment system can accept online payments in any amount.
In an effort to make things more convenient for our HOT clients, the Park Board provides an online system for reporting and paying taxes. The Park Board does require you to file zero-dollar reports, even when no tax is due and/or if an online platform like Airbnb and Vrbo are collecting and remitting HOT on your behalf. The new reporting system will require you to report the rental activity from Airbnb and Vrbo, as well as all other rental activity.
With the new system, you have more options to pay the registration fee and HOT. You can pay by card, ACH, or check. ACH is a direct debit to your bank account. It is a reusable payment method and can take up to 4 business days to receive acknowledgement of success or failure. Using ACH is slightly different from accepting cards:
• You must authorize the payment terms.
• You must verify your bank account by logging into your bank’s online system. The process is safe and secure and occurs on your bank’s online platform. The ACH payment flow is as follows:
The Park Board uses Stripe to process all card and ACH payments.
STR Owners must file their tax reports by the 20th of the month following the reporting period. Properties which do not generate more than $500 per month in taxes or $1,500 per quarter can report on a quarterly basis. Quarterly due dates are April 20th, July 20th, October 20th, and January 20th.
Late payment penalties and interest will be assessed on all payments received after the due date.
You can access your account 24/7. Need assistance accessing your account? Please contact Dawn Robinson at 409-797-5195 or email Support. Phone and web support is available Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Staying in a Short-Term Rental? See our Good Neighbor Brochure
We are pleased you have chose to spend your vacation on Galveston Island. Galveston is famous for its 32 miles of sandy beaches and rich history that spans back hundreds of years. There is so much to see and do that it would be impossible to do it all in one trip, so we hope to see you again soon!
Vacation rentals have become a popular option for families, and what better way to get to know Galveston than to live like a local? By choosing to stay in a short-term rental, you will be living among the many residents who call Galveston home.
This brochure outlines ways you can be a good neighbor during your stay. Please show consideration for your neighbors and remember to park in your designated spaces and refrain from creating loud disturbances - and of course, enjoy your stay!
Have a complaint about an STR?
If you are having an issue with parking, noise, trash or other code or ordinance violation with an STR, you can call our 24/7 Hotline at 409-247-8160. Or you can file a report online using our mobile friendly compliant form – the form can be found here: Short Term Rental Complaint Form.
If you are experiencing an emergency, please call 911. The hotline will record the details of the complaint and call the local property contact to notify them of the issue. If the complaint received by the call center is related to code violations (e.g., trash), the complaint is forwarded to the City Marshall’s office. If the complaint received requires an immediate response (e.g., noise, parking, etc.) the caller is encouraged to call the Galveston Police Department’s non-emergency number at 409-765-3702.