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State Regulation

Are you ready to dive into the exciting realm of short-term rentals in the sunny and diverse state of California? Get ready for an adventure, because we're about to explore the vibrant and ever-changing landscape of vacation rentals in the Golden State!

In this exploration, we'll uncover the secrets behind short-term rentals in California, touching on everything from their legal aspects to the intricate details that can significantly enhance your hosting experience. We'll navigate through the essential questions every aspiring host should consider before diving into the business in California, providing insights and tips to help you thrive in this bustling market. Join us as we journey through the world of California's short-term rentals, where opportunities and challenges await at every corner.

Is there a statewide definition of STR?

In California, a short-term rental (STR) is typically defined as a residential unit that is rented for a period of 30 days or less. This definition is generally applied across the state and is also used by local counties and cities. Many cities and counties in California have enacted specific ordinances to manage and regulate short-term rentals, often to address issues like noise, parking, and trash that can be associated with these types of rentals.

statewide registration requirement
Statewide Registration Requirement

In California, the regulation of short-term rentals (STRs) is largely governed by local jurisdictions, with no uniform statewide policy. Operators are typically required to register with local authorities and comply with safety and compliance inspections. They must also maintain adequate liability insurance and adhere to specific tax responsibilities, including collecting and remitting California Hotel Occupancy Taxes and additional local taxes. Regulations and requirements, such as registration numbers, primary residence stipulations, and limits on rental duration, vary significantly across cities and counties. Hosts face penalties for non-compliance, including fines and potential criminal charges for severe violations.

What is the length of stay of STR in the state?

Short-term rentals (STRs) are generally defined as residential units rented for 30 days or less. This definition aligns with how short-term rentals are typically advertised, such as vacation rentals. The specifics of short-term rental regulations can vary significantly across different cities and counties within the state.

Statewide Tax Requirement

There is currently no statewide lodging tax specifically for short-term rentals (STRs). The state government leaves the regulation of short-term rentals, including the imposition of taxes, to local authorities. Consequently, cities and counties in California have the power to levy a transient occupancy tax (TOT) on accommodations rented out for 30 days or less, and many of them do so.

Operators of short-term rentals in California might need to register with local tax authorities, collect TOT from guests, and file TOT returns. The exact requirements vary depending on the city or county. Some vacation rental marketplaces collect local TOT on behalf of operators when a listing is booked, but they don't collect all lodging taxes in all locations. Therefore, operators are responsible for ensuring they comply with local lodging tax requirements.

Access the latest compliance requirement for your local jurisdictions below


Lodge compliance is not a licensed tax or financial advisor. Therefore nothing in the above article should be construed as tax, legal, or financial advice. Contact your local tax office for information regarding your personal circumstance.

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