Call Tara at 707-799-2004 to help you navigate the purchase of
short term rental eligible properties in Sonoma County.
BUYING A WINE COUNTRY VACATION RENTAL
As a worldwide tourist destination, Sonoma County is the newest hot spot to purchase a home, and offset the costs with vacation rental income. If you are considering a real estate purchase in Sonoma County that you can use in conjunction with AirBnB, VRBO, HomeAway or Flipkey, there are a few things you should know:
Each city in Sonoma County has its own set of rules, regulations, and ordinances regarding issuing permits for short term rentals (less than 30 days)
A Permit is required to rent most properties for less than 30 days at a time.
TOT taxes and other fees may apply.
If a property is not located within City limits, the County of Sonoma also has rules and regulations, and excludes some parcels for being used as short term rentals.
From PRMD website
(Permit and Resource Management Department, Sonoma County)
UPDATED MARCH 2023
MAY 2023 Unincorporated Sonoma County (not including the coastal zone)
Moratorium in unincorporated Sonoma County is finally over! Applications are being accepted and processed currently.
On May 16, 2023 - Board of Supervisors passed the business license ordinance for vacation rentals. All vacation rental permit holders will have one year from June 16, 2023 to apply for their business license to continue operating their short term rental. All new permits with applications received on or after May 10, 2023 will have to wait for their business license to be issued before they can list their property for rent on a short term basis (less than 30 days).
Link to map of vacation rentals, cap areas and exclusion zones (Most R1 parcels are highlighted as they are no longer allowed for short term rentals)
Zoning codes that are allowed for short term rentals are RR, AR, LEA, DA and RRD (as long as the parcel is not under a Williamson Act Contract)
City of Santa Rosa – 6.6.23 – city council is tentatively scheduled to discuss short term rental regulations and potentially lift the current moratorium on permits
Town of Windsor – 6.7.23 – town council is scheduled to discuss short term rentals for the fourth time with half of the council looking to ban short term rentals in all residential districts
UPDATED MAY 2022 County Vacation Rental Moratorium- Unincorporated Areas
AUGUST 2020 Press Democrat Summary of new rules
THURSDAY, JANUARY 20 2022 @ 1:00PM (VIRTUAL)
On Thursday, the Planning Commission will consider vacation rental regulation revisions, establishing a new business license and operational standards, and potentially, enhanced limits on location, frequency, vacancy, etc. As our housing supply crisis has deepened, sweeping restrictions on existing homes have been adopted, resulting in avoidable consequences for homeowners – while the crisis persists. Limiting uses on <1% of our housing stock makes little progress at great cost; and zone-by-zone bans are ineffective and can lead to issues with zone equity/distribution, concentration, and premature sale of a property due to loss of income, etc. The County can and should support the health and safety of local neighborhoods without depreciating existing housing or compromising economic vitality.
Updated December, 2020 Board extends the ordinance capping the number of vacation rentals in specific areas to the number of valid permits issued in each area as limited by Ordinance 6321 and 6326. Return to the Board in June of 2021 with additional data and a recommended approach for refinement of the ordinance.
Updated August, 2020 The Board of Supervisors decided to put a cap on the number of vacation rental permits issued for Sonoma County. There is now a moratorium on new vacation rental permits while the Board of Supervisors determines what the new cap for permits will be. While they do that they have finally begun accepting vacation rental permit applications again to get homeowners on a waiting list! No date yet on when they will start issuing permits but they will be addressing this subject again at their August 18th meeting.
AUG 18,2020- Vacation Rental Cap voted in. More info: PRESS DEMOCRAT ARTICLE
The ordinance does not affect existing vacation rental and hosted rental permits that have been approved and issued.
Coastal Zone properties (e.g., properties located in The Sea Ranch, Jenner, Bodega Bay, Duncan Mills, etc.) are exempt from the 45 day moratorium approved by the Board of Supervisors on October 24, 2017. Coastal Zone vacation rental properties are required to be registered with the Transient Occupancy Tax Program.
Help Fire Evacuees
If you are interested in providing your home to fire evacuees, you may contact our housing email at: HousingResources@sonoma-county.org
For further questions relating to vacation rentals, you may contact the Vacation Rental Hotline at (707) 565-1932 or email PRMD-VacationRentals@sonoma-county.org