Currently, neither the Oakland Municipal Code or Oakland Planning Code specifically address Short-Term Residential Rentals (STRRs). Like many municipalities across the United States, Oakland’s laws and codes are insufficient to address the rapid expansion and use of Transient Residential Hosting Platforms (TRHPs) such as Airbnb, FlipKey, and VRBO to rent spaces in their homes on a short-term basis.
On July 19, 2016, the Oakland City Council directed the Planning and Building Department in C.M.S. 86298 to obtain stakeholder input and bring forward policy options to the City Council to regulate Short Term Residential Rental Housing and Transient Residential Hosting Platforms, that takes into consideration the advantages and disadvantages of the following objectives:
- Clearly define and distinguish Short Term Residential Rentals as separate from commercial hotels, hostels, and other transient habitation activities.
- Collect the Transient Occupancy Tax from all Transient Residential Hosting Platforms.
- Identify a monitoring and enforcement system that is able to ensure that proprietors obtain a business license, pay applicable taxes and fees, and conform to applicable laws and regulations. This may include such policies as: a. A requirement that THRPs provide sufficient data regarding their scope of operations in Oakland to determine accuracy in taxes owed and paid. b. A registry of all legal Short Term Residential Rentals and requirement that legal Short Term Residential Rentals obtain a permit and post their registry certificate number. c. Penalties for proprietors of Short Term Residential Rental that do not obtain a business license. d. Proactive, randomized inspections of Short Term Residential Rentals to ensure compliance with health and safety codes. e. A requirement of each TRHP that they post the short-term rental registration number on each and every listing or advertisement of the property. f. Setting caps on the number of rental nights per year for both Hosted and Un-Hosted Short Term Residential Rentals.
- Prevent the loss of long term rental housing by limiting Short Term Residential Rentals to (a) primary residences and (b) in the case of a property with a Secondary Unit, one unit must be occupied by the owner.
- Prevent the deterioration of the quality of life to residents of neighborhoods that may be caused by the impact of Short Term Residential Rentals' on noise, parking, traffic and security through adequate monitoring and enforcement of laws.