Short-term rental operators can now start licensing their units

Short-term rental operators can now start obtaining business licenses for each of their units.

Last month, city council approved a proposal to legalize short-term rental of homes through services like Airbnb and VRBO.

The new rules require anyone operating a short-term rental to obtain a business license and safety inspection if the unit is not in one of the city’s commercial or mixed zoned neighborhoods where hotels are permitted.

Short term rentals are classified as type 1 or type 2.

Type 1 rentals are houses that the owners live in, but sometimes rent rooms or the whole house to clients when they are out of town. Secondary suites also count as Type 1 properties. Type 2 rentals are rented year round and no owner lives there.

Homeowners of both types must pay the 2% city hotel, motel, and restaurant (HMR) tax and must purchase vacation or short-term rental insurance. They must also appoint a representative who can be at the unit within three hours in the event of an emergency.

Type 2 owners have an additional requirement to obtain a Planning Commission conditional use permit if the rental is located in a residential area.

The new law includes an occupancy limit which states that a short-term rental can only accommodate two people per room plus two more. Special events – such as parties, weddings, birthdays, and receptions – are not allowed. Parking is limited to the maximum number of vehicles allowed in the underlying zoning district.

The order went into effect on May 21, but the board included a six-month grace period for all operators to come into compliance. This deadline is November 21, 2021.

Commercial licenses can be applied for online at

The following information is required to obtain a Commercial Short Term Rental (STR) license:

  • Physical address of the rental property
  • The type and total number of housing units located on the lot containing the STR unit.
  • If the owner is not the owner’s own agent, the information of the agent designated by the owner, including legal name, mailing address, immediate contact phone number and immediate contact email address
  • City Building Safety Division Approval Documents for Life Safety and Evacuation Inspection for Rental Housing
  • Proof of seasonal rental or STR insurance coverage
  • Proof of claiming city hotel, motel and restaurant tax (HMR) remittance and verification that all sales, use and HMR taxes are up to date
  • A conditional use permit approved for Type 2 units authorized after the 6 month grace period
  • As of June 18, all short-term rental operators will also need to register with the new contact register with owners.

About Jermaine Chase

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