This website is a work in progress. If you'd like to give website feedback you can fill out our public survey here.

About

Currently, neither the Oakland Municipal Code or Oakland Planning Code specifically address Short-Term Residential Rentals (STRRs). Below are the current requirements regarding Short-Term Residential Rentals.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for Short Term Residential Rentals (STRR)

Existing Regulations as of 12/5/2018 (updated after code changes adopted by City Council on 12/4/18)

1.Q: What are the current City of Oakland regulations for Short-Term Residential Rentals, such as Airbnb, VRBO,HomeAway, Flipkey, etc. for single-family home, duplex, apartment/condo, live/work unit, or room? (see FAQ #2 below for Secondary Unit, i.e. Accessory Dwelling Unit/in-law unit requirements)

A: Current planning regulations prohibit any rental of a single-family home, duplex, apartment/condo, live/work unit, or room for less than thirty (30) days, based on the City’s definition of “Permanent Residential Activities”, which are defined as the occupancy of living accommodations on a thirty (30) days or longer basis, with none of the living units under the same ownership or management on the same lot being occupied on a shorter basis. If you are renting your single-family home, duplex, apartment/condo, live/work unit, or room for less than thirty (30) days, the Oakland Planning Code defines the activity as “Transient Habitation” (or essentially a hotel). Most residential and commercial zones in the City of Oakland do not allow Transient Habitation, with the exception of designated zones in downtown, along the waterfront, near the airport, along the I-880 freeway, and in Specific Plan areas. All of the zones that do allow Transient Habitation still require a major Conditional Use Permit (CUP) for that activity. The only current exceptions to the Transient Habitation activity restrictions is if the facility is classified as either a “Bed and Breakfast” or a “Semi-Transient Residential Activity.” (Please see the answer to #5 below for more detailed requirements).

2.Q: What are the current City of Oakland regulations for Short-Term Residential Rentals, such as Airbnb, VRBO, HomeAway, Flipkey, etc. in a Secondary Unit (accessory dwelling unit, or in-law unit)?

A: Oakland’s Secondary Unit regulations were updated in May 2017 to require: “occupancy of a Secondary Unit shall be on a thirty (30) days or longer basis only.” Therefore, rental of a Secondary Unit for less than thirty (30) consecutive days is not allowed, per Planning Code Section 17.103.080(A)(2).

3.Q: Am I required to pay business taxes to the City of Oakland for my rental unit or room rental?

A: Yes. All persons who conduct business in the City of Oakland and owners of rental property (residential, commercial and industrial) are required to file and pay an annual business tax. Every person engaged in the business of conducting or operating an apartment house, lodging house, and every person engaged in the business of conducting or letting rooms, and/or any building structure, for dwelling, sleeping or lodging, including, and limited to, a single‐family house, duplex, townhouse, condominium or co‐operative, is required to pay a business tax. For more information about business taxes, please click here to see the City of Oakland’s, Finance Departments webpage.

4.Q: Am I required to collect and remit Transient Occupancy Taxes (TOT)?

A: Yes. Every person occupying any hotel/motel, lodge or B&B (bed & breakfast) within the City of Oakland for any period up to thirty (30) consecutive days is required to pay the Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT) to the operator at the time the rent for occupancy is paid. The current rate is 14% of the rent charged, as stipulated in Chapter 4.24 of the Oakland Municipal Code. Every hotel, motel, lodge and B&B operator is responsible for collecting and remitting TOT to the Tax Administrator. The amount of tax shall be reported separately from the amount of rent charged. It is unlawful for any hotel operator to advertise or state in any manner (directly or indirectly) that the tax or any part thereof will be assumed or absorbed by the operator, or that it will not be added to the rent, or that, if added, any part will be refunded. For more information about Transient Occupancy Taxes (TOT), please click here to see the City of Oakland’s, Finance Department webpage on TOT.

5.Q: What are the different Activities that Short-Term Residential Rentals could fall under in the Oakland Planning Code (OPC) under today’s regulations?

A: The City of Oakland’s Planning Code (Title 17), regulates activities that occur in different zones throughout the City of Oakland. Since there is currently no one activity category for Short-Term Residential Rentals, rentals of all kinds fall under one of the following activity types in OPC Chapter 17.10 Part 1 - Residential Activity Types:

OPC Section 17.10.110 – Permanent Residential Activities: Includes the occupancy of living accommodations on a thirty (30) days or longer basis only. Therefore; rental of a single-family home, duplex, apartment/condo, live/work unit, or room; for instance, for less than thirty (30) consecutive nights is not considered a Permanent Residential Activity and falls under OPC Section 17.10.125 – Bed and Breakfast Residential Activities or OPC Section 17.10.440 – Transient Habitation Commercial Activities listed below.

OPC Section 17.10.120 – Semi-Transient Residential Activities: Includes the occupancy of living accommodations partly on a thirty (30) days or longer basis and partly for a shorter time period, but with less than thirty percent (30%) of the living units under the same ownership or management on the same lot being occupied on a less-than-thirty (30) day basis; but exclude institutional living arrangements involving the provision of a special kind of care or forced residence, such as in nursing homes, orphanages, asylums, and prisons.

Semi-Transient Residential Activities generally require a Conditional Use Permit and are not allowed at all in most residential zoning districts.

OPC Section 17.10.125 – Bed and Breakfast Residential Activities: The provision of lodging services to transient guest on a less-than-thirty (30) day basis and have each of the following characteristics: A. The activity occupies a One-Family Dwelling Residential Facility, One-Family Dwelling with Secondary Unit Residential Facility, or a Two-Family Dwelling Residential Facility; B. The activity allows no more than twelve (12) adult paying guests at any time and contains no more than six (6) guest units; C. The activity is located in a facility that is owner occupied; D. The activity is located in a facility on a property with an existing or contingency historic rating of "A", "B", "C", or "D", or is a Landmark according to the City of Oakland Office of Historic Preservation; E. The facility includes incidental eating and drinking services for lodgers only that are provided from a single kitchen per bed and breakfast establishment.

Bed and Breakfast Residential Activities generally require a Conditional Use Permit and are not allowed at all in some zoning districts.

OPC Section 17.10.440 – Transient Habitation Commercial Activities: Includes the provision of lodging services to transient guests on a less-than-thirty (30) day basis. Therefore, all rentals in the City of Oakland of less than thirty (30) consecutive nights that are not approved as either a Bed and Breakfast or Semi-Transit Residential Activity fall under this classification.