When deciding whether to become an Airbnb Host, it's important for you to understand the laws in your city. As a platform and marketplace we do not provide legal advice, but we want to provide some useful links that may help you better understand laws and regulations in Sunnyvale, CA. The information in this article isn’t exhaustive, but it should give you a good start in understanding your local laws. We’ll continue to update this information as more becomes available. If you have questions, you can visit the Sunnyvale Short Term Rental Information Page, contact the City’s Community Development Department, or consult a local lawyer or tax professional. Read the final ordinance.
Short-term rental regulations
Hosts in Sunnyvale are required to obtain a permit to host short-term stays (30 consecutive calendar days or less). A few listing types are exempt from registering as short-term rentals:
- Hotels and motels: “Short-term rental” does not include transient lodging in city-approved hotels and motels
- Long-term stay listings: Do not need a permit if you only host for 30+ nights at a time
Step 1: Check your eligibility
- The City of Sunnyvale only allows short-term rentals of 30 days or less where the Host resides on site throughout the lodgers’ stay. To reside on site means that the property used as a short-term rental is the Host’s primary residence and the Host uses the property for purposes of eating, sleeping, and other activities of daily living during the time periods that lodgers are present.
- Lodgers may also stay in one dwelling unit of a two-family dwelling if the Host resides in the other dwelling unit.
Step 2: Register and pay for monthly transient occupancy tax
- Hosts must register with the City to collect and remit the City’s monthly transient occupancy tax:
- Registration and payment can be made online.
- Transient Occupancy Tax rate for the City of Sunnyvale is 12.5%.
- Effective Aug. 1, 2018, if you're hosting through Airbnb, the company will collect and pay TOT on your behalf. Hosts must still pay TOT for non-Airbnb bookings.
Step 3: Register as a short-term rental host
- Register above to pay TOT
- Fill out the short-term rental application
- Bring your completed short-term rental application to the One-Stop Permit Center for approval and pay a one-time registration fee
You are legally required to:
- Reside on-site throughout your guests’ (lodgers') stay
- Limit guests to a maximum of four adult guests per night
- Register as a Host with the City
- Learn about your legal requirements: City Municipal Code, Sec. 19.76
Other contracts and rules
As a Host, you need to understand and abide by other contracts or rules that bind you, including leases, co-op rules, HOA rules, or other rules established by tenant organizations. You should be able to find out more by contacting your housing authority (such as a community council) or landlord. Your lease (or other contract) might also have specific details.
Our commitment to your community
We are committed to working with local officials to help them understand how Airbnb benefits our community. Where needed, we will continue to advocate for changes that will allow regular people to rent out their own homes.
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