Short Term Rentals

 

News and Announcements

The Marin County Board of Supervisors first adopted short term rental (STR) regulations in 2018, requiring operators to obtain both a Business License and Transient Occupancy Tax Certificate, and establishing “Good Neighbor” Policies to alleviate the impacts of Short Term Rentals on surrounding communities.

However, with housing supply, community workforce, and public safety as motivators, the Board adopted a two year moratorium, ending May 23, 2024, on new STRs in the West Main Area (also known as the Measure W Tax Area). Specifically, the moratorium area includes unincorporated central and western Marin, from Dillon Beach/Tomales to the North, San Geronimo Valley and Nicasio in central Marin, and the communities of Muir Beach, Stinson Beach, and Bolinas to the south. Find out if a property is subject to the current moratorium.

Over the next two years, County staff will work to update the County’s Short Term Rental Ordinance to improve the availability of middle- and lower-income housing in the West Marin Area, while maintaining existing coastal access. Please subscribe to this webpage (in the upper right corner) to receive updates on this process.

Operators within the West Marin area, with a valid business license and Transient Occupancy Tax Certificate, and those in the unincorporated communities outside West Marin, may continue to operate STRs in accordance with the County’s standards.

For questions regarding this matter, please contact our office.

 

 

Rental Owner Information

What is a Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT)?

TOT, also known as a "hotel tax," is authorized under State Revenue and Taxation Code Section 7280.  TOT is levied at 10% in the unincorporated Marin County for the privilege of occupying a room(s) or another living space in a hotel, inn, motel, vacation home, house or other lodging for a period of thirty days or less.  TOT is collected by the operator, but the tax is imposed on the guest. For additional information please visit: the Transient Occupancy Tax website.

What is an operator?

An operator is any person, corporation, authorized agent, management company, entity, property owner, or partnership which is a proprietor of short-term rental property.

What is the registration process?

Within thirty days after commencing business, each operator of any transient occupancy accommodation must register for two types of license with the Department of Finance:

Notification Requirements

Identification of a local contact person.

This contact person may be the property owner or a representative of the owner, such as a property manager, that will be available on short notice to address concerns that arise from the short term rental. Contact information for this person must be made available and he or she should be responsive to complaints from neighbors.

Public notification of the rental.

The main purpose of the public notification of the rental is to provide the neighbors with the contact information for the local contact person and the County short term rental hotline. There are two acceptable ways to provide this contact information to the neighbors: (1) Post a sign on the short term rental property; or (2) Post a door hanger or send a letter to surrounding properties. Before property owners obtain a new business license or renew an existing business license for a short term rental, they will need to choose one of these options, which are discussed in more detail below.

No matter which option the property owners choose, the following information is required:

  • Name of Local Contact Person (person available to respond to issues)
  • Phone number and email address of Local Contact Person
  • Street Address of Short Term Rental
  • Phone number and web address of the Marin County Short Term Rental Hotline
    • Phone Number: (415) 300-4445
    • Website

Signage

Those property owners that choose to post a sign for their short term rental will obtain the sign from the Marin County Department of Finance when applying for or renewing their business license. If they do not like the way the sign looks, then they can use a sign they design themselves as long as its size and font are no smaller than those of the sign provided by the Department of Finance and the sign is made of at least as durable a material.

At a minimum, the sign needs to be posted while the unit is being used as a short term rental. The sign needs to be securely placed in front of the property or unit, at a height of three to five feet above the ground or floor, in a way that it is readily visible to the public. The most appropriate location will depend on the property, but some examples are provided below.

Situation Best Location
House near a street with a sidewalk Sign mounted on front porch or garage door
House set back from street with a fence in front Sign mounted on picket fence by gate
House set far back from street on a large lot Sign mounted on post by driveway entrance

Door Hangers or Letters

Those property owners that choose to contact their neighbors directly instead of posting a sign may do so with either a door hanger or letter. The door hangers or letters must contain all of the required information and must be delivered to all properties within 300 feet of the property with the short term rental. When a property owner applies for a new business license or a business license renewal, they will need to provide an affidavit to the Department of Finance indicating that they have notified the neighbors. If they do not provide this affidavit, then they are required to post a sign.

Questions?

Any general questions about the County’s Short Term Rental Program should be emailed to our staff.

Report an Issue Information

If you have a complaint about a Short Term Rental within the unincorporated areas of the County, you may contact our Short Term Rental Hotline at (415) 300-4445. You may also submit a complaint by filling out an online form.

At a minimum, you must have the address of the Short Term Rental when making a complaint.

Please note that this 24-hour Hotline is operated by Host Compliance, a third-party contractor that provides Short Term Rental compliance and monitoring services to the County. Your complaint will be logged by Host Compliance, and if you select the option to inform the person listed as the Local Contact of the complaint, Host Compliance will contact the Local Contact Person to inform them of the issue.

Any complaint received by the Hotline will be logged and provided to County staff for review during regular office hours. Staff may follow up with you or the Short Term Rental operator, as necessary.

If you have a non-emergency complaint associated with noise, parties, trespassing, and/or traffic/parking related issues, please contact the Marin County Sheriff’s Office at (415) 473-7250. If you feel that the safety of you or others within your community is at risk, please contact 911.

Short-Term Rental Registration Requirements

All Short Term Rental (STR) operators must register for both a business License and a Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT) Certificate to operate in compliance with the County’s STR standards. The following section explains how to register for these required licenses.

Please note, the Marin County Board of Supervisors will consider a moratorium on new STRs in the West Marin Measure W Tax Area on May 24, 2022. To operate in compliance with this moratorium, one must register for both a Business License and TOT Certificate prior to the close of business on May 24, 2022.

Required: Section I-III must be complete for full compliance.

Section I: Registration — complete both registrations:

During your Business license registration you will be asked to enter a Standard Industrial Classification code: (SIC Code): For short-term rentals, use: 7021005 - Rental Of Furnished Rooms.

Section II: Report Transient Occupancy Tax — (report outstanding TOT for back years, if applicable).

Section III: Remittance of Transient Occupancy Tax — payment in full of all outstanding TOT balance.

Section IV: Report and Pay Monthly Transient Occupancy tax www.marincounty.org/tot1.

Section V: Notify neighbors of Short-Term rental operations: see provisions in County of Marin Ordinance 3695.

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