In 2015, I worked with the former Mayor’s office to cosponsor an item legalizing and regulating short-term rentals in Berkeley. Information and regulations are available here and here https://www.cityofberkeley.info/str/
Short-Term Rental Registration and Taxes
Beginning September 1, 2017, Berkeley residents who host short-term rentals (STRs) must begin paying a 12% Transient Occupancy Tax, a 2% enforcement fee, and a $225.50 non-refundable annual application fee. If you currently host short-term rentals, you must register with the City by October 31, 2017. Regardless of when the registration is completed, you are still responsible for the tax on all rentals beginning September 1st.
What is a short-term rental?
The short-term rental tax, registration, eligibility requirements apply to anyone renting out all or part of their home for less than 14 consecutive days. This covers units rented through hosting platforms such as Airbnb, HomeAway, and VRBO, as well as informal rentals.
Is my unit eligible?
To use a unit as a short-term rental, it must be:
- your primary residence
- approved for this purpose by the property owner (you or your landlord)
- covered by liability insurance of $1,000,000
- located in one of the following zones: R-1, R-1A, R-2, R-2A, R-3, R-4, R-5, R-S, R-SMU, C-DMU, C-1, C-NS, C-SA, C-T, C-W, MUR (use our parcel information lookup tool to learn what zone you are in)
You cannot use a unit as a short-term rental if it:
- is a Below Market Rate unit
- has had a no-fault eviction within the last five years
- is an accessory dwelling unit that:
- was built after April 1, 2017
- has been used as a long term rental since April 1, 2007
How to Register
- To register your short-term rental, fill out the online application and pay the non-refundable $225.50 application fee.
- For help completing the online application, follow the instructions in our user guide.
- You may also submit your application in person at the Permit Service Center Zoning Counter.
What you'll need
Make sure you have these documents ready before you apply.
- Proof of ownership or property owner approval:
- property tax bill, or
- signed property owner agreement form
- Three proof of residency documents:
- California driver's license or ID
- credit card bill
- property tax bill
- voter registration
- bank statement
- utility bill
- Proof of liability insurance
If you are renting out an accessory dwelling unit, you'll also need to provide a copy of your deed restriction demonstrating the unit is legal.
Paying your Taxes
You can file your returns and pay your taxes online through our secure vendor. You will need to provide your temporary zoning certificate number to log in.
The short term rental tax must be paid monthly.
Requirements for Hosts
Once your application is approved, you will receive a zoning certificate that allows you to use your home for short-term rentals. You must list your zoning certificate number on all advertisements for your rental.
Additionally, you must:
- Pay the 12% Transient Occupancy Tax and 2% enforcement fee monthly
- Notify residents of all adjacent properties that you are leasing your home as a short term rental
- Provide all guests with a copy of this letter on both booking and arrival
If you are not present while guests are there, you may only rent out your home as a short-term rental for 90 days each calendar year.
Visit the City's Frequently Asked Questions about Short-Term Rentals for more information.
For complaints about unpermitted short-term rentals or nuisance problems, contact:
- 24 hour STR Compliance Line
- (833) 300-0787
For questions regarding unit eligibility or the application process, contact:
- Planning Department Land Use Division
- E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Phone: (510) 981-7410
For questions regarding taxes and fees, contact:
- Finance Department Revenue Development Division
- E-mail: email@example.com
- Phone: (510) 981-7318