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 any property 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. 

Call Tara at 707-799-2004 to help you navigate the purchase of
short term rental eligible properties in Sonoma County. 

From PRMD website

(Permit and Resource Management Department, Sonoma County)

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


Updated January 23, 2018

The Board of Supervisors voted on Tuesday, January 23, 2018 to not extend the moratorium on new vacation rental permit applications. Therefore on Monday, February 5, 2018, the moratorium ended and Permit Sonoma is accepting Vacation Rental permit applications again.

The Board also directed staff to develop a vacation rental unit exclusion zone for the burn zone, which will be brought to the  Planning Commission.

Updated Ordinance December 5, 2017

Note: The information below has been superseded by the above Board of Supervisors action on January 23, 2018.

  • Moratorium on permit issuance extended for 60 days from the date of adoption (beginning December 5, 2017).

  • Moratorium does not include vacation rental permits in the Russian River Planning Area (Planning Area 4).

  • Moratorium does not include  hosted rentals.

View Updated Ordinance (PDF: 80 kB)

October 24, 2017 Ordinance

Note: The information below has been superseded by the above Board of Supervisors action on January 23, 2018.

On October 24, 2017, the County of Sonoma Board of Supervisors adopted an Urgency Ordinance  Urgency Ordinance (PDF: 143 kB) to enact a 45-day moratorium on the issuance of any new vacation rental or hosted rentalpermits to facilitate emergency housing for persons displaced by the Sonoma Complex Fire. The moratorium is subject to extension for periods of up to two years.

The ordinance is intended to temporarily preserve the County’s existing single-family residences and accessory dwellings for permanent residential and long-term rental uses. The ordinance finds that conversion of these dwellings to vacation rentals or hosted rental permits would contribute to the existing housing emergency.

For this reason, the Vacation Rental customer service desk located at Permit Sonoma will be temporarily closed. 

Please remember that a vacation rental or hosted rental is defined as a rental of 30 days or less and is subject to Transient Occupancy Tax. If you are interested in renting your home for 31 days or more, you may do so without the issuance of a permit and are not subject to Transient Occupancy Tax.

View Urgency Ordinance (PDF: 143 kB)

Existing Permits

The ordinance does not affect existing vacation rental and hosted rental permits that have been approved and issued.

Coastal Zone

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:


For further questions relating to vacation rentals, you may contact the Vacation Rental Hotline at (707) 565-1932 or email

All questions related to  Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT) should be directed to the TOT Program at (707) 565-7133 or