Short-Term Rentals

Urgency Ordinance 19-08

On November 19, 2019, the City Council adopted Urgency Ordinance 19-08 which became effective immediately. It includes the following requirements:

  • The host must fully comply with the short-term rental registration requirements described in Orinda Municipal Code section 17.3.12;
  • The short-term rental takes place on property owned by the host and containing the host’s primary residence;
  • The host personally lives on the property when it is used for short-term rentals;
  • The host is physically present to monitor and regulate activity during the short-term rental, including by meeting guests upon arrival;
  • The duration of the short-term rental is at least two nights;
  • Any on-line listings and/or advertisements authorized by the host for the short-term rental specify that the host will be present on the property and/or share the dwelling unit used for short-term rental; and
  • Any on-line listings and/or advertisements authorized by the host clearly identify the property used for short-term rental in a manner that allows the City to readily confirm that the host has registered with the City as required by Orinda Municipal Code Section 17.3.12.

Currently registered and new STRs must complete either the STR Supplemental Form or the STR Withdrawal Form:

  • STR Supplemental Form - If registered STRs plan to continue operation of their STR, the supplemental form shall be completed and returned to the Planning Department. All new STR registrants must submit a supplemental form in addition to the registration form.
  • STR Withdrawal Form - If registered STRs will be or have already ceased operation of their STR, the withdrawal form shall be completed and returned to the Planning Department.

The urgency ordinance is an interim basis while the City considers more permanent amendments to the existing short-term rental regulations. An urgency ordinance is effective for 45 days and may be extended up to two years. On December 19, 2019, the City Council extended the urgency ordinance for 10 months and 15 days.

Short-Term Rental Requirements (17.3.12)

  • The maximum occupancy when a property is being used for short-term rental is limited to two (2) people per bedroom plus three (3) people, calculated based on the total number of bedrooms on the property.
  • Only one short-term rental can take place on a single property at any given time.
  • The property owner and operator are jointly responsible for ensuring the short-term rental complies with all local, state, and federal health and safety requirements.
  • The property owner and operator are jointly responsible for compliance with all City regulations including those regarding noise, parking, and occupancy. 
  • While rented, the short-term rental shall not be used for any use or event that would require a Temporary Event Permit pursuant to Chapter 17.37.
  •  The short-term rental registration is non-transferable. 

Transient Occupancy Tax

Short-Term Rental property owners must pay a quarterly transient occupancy tax (TOT). The quarterly tax return form will be provided by the Finance Department upon issuance of a TOT registration certificate. The TOT registration form is included in the Short-term Rental Registration Form. 

The Transient Occupancy Tax Return, including tax remittance, is due quarterly, on the last day of the month following the quarter (Calendar is provided on the TOT Quarterly form). If the tax return is late, the penalty and interest section is provided to assist in the calculations.

Registration Process (City Council Ordinance 17-04)

  • Complete the Short-term Rental Registration Form (PDF) and STR Supplemental Form (PDF).
  • Registration can be submitted by mail or in person during the Planning Department counter hours.
  • Registration is valid for one year from date of issuance and must be renewed annually along with a renewal fee of $150. Tax Certificate does not require renewal.