Short Term Rentals

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New Regulations

The City Council adopted new regulations for short term rentals in Redwood City. In addition to the following regulations, City Council adopted a resolution dedicating Transient Occupancy Tax funds received from short term rentals to support affordable housing programs and administration.


  • Primary Residence.  A primary residence is a dwelling unit where a person has been physically present and that the person regards as home  A person may only have one primary residence at any given time.
  • Annual Limit for Unhosted Rentals. A primary residence may be occupied as a short-term rental for no more than 120 days per calendar year where no host is present. 
  • No Limit for Hosted Rentals. There shall be no limit on the number of days a primary residence may be occupied as a short-term rental where the host is present. 
  • Local Contact Person. Hosts shall identify a local contact person to be available during the term of an unhosted stay. This person shall respond to complaints. 
  • Parking. Existing on-site spaces shall be made available to short-term renters. 
  • Special Events. Special events such as weddings and corporate retreats are prohibited. 
  • Registration. Registration and payment of Transient Occupancy Tax are required.

New regulations do not apply to properties in unincorporated Redwood City.


To register for Short-Term Rentals, click on the icon below. All properties must register by May 1, 2019.



Timeline for Compliance

Property owners will need to bring their properties into compliance by May 1, 2019.

What are Short Term Rentals?

Short term rentals are generally defined as lodging or overnight stays lasting less than 30 consecutive days in a residential dwelling. Common examples include renting a house or an apartment for a week or weekend for a short stay or for several weeks associated with business travel or longer vacations. Short term rentals are most commonly offered and rented through online hosting platforms such as Airbnb, VRBO and HomeAway. 

What are the Laws Regarding Other Types of Rentals?

Rentals for 30 or more consecutive nights (by the same visitors) are not subject to short-term rental regulations or subject to hotel (transient occupancy) taxes. In addition, rental/tenant protections and rent control provisions may apply to stays of 30 or more days.

If rentals are offered for 30 days or more nights per guest stay (for those dwelling units not authorized to offer short-term rentals by the Office of Short-Term Rentals), ensure that booking calendars and advertisements for all online listings clearly indicate a 30-day minimum stay.

Why is the City Proposing Regulations?

The short term rental industry has experienced tremendous growth in the last five years. While short term rentals can provide needed income to residents and broader lodging options than the existing hotel market, there can be downsides to these uses. The popularity and profitability of short term rentals has spurred an industry where dwellings are bought and used exclusively for short-term rentals, removing available housing stock. A rotating series of renters in residential neighborhoods can create traffic, noise, parking, and safety concerns for neighborhoods. Short term rentals can also introduce a commercial use into previously residential areas, as larger homes are now commonly rented for "corporate retreats" and other types of traditionally commercial and business uses. 


  1. Allow limited short term rental uses while preventing the loss of housing stock. 
  2. Preserve residential character and establish operating standards to reduce potential noise, parking, traffic, property maintenance and safety impacts on adjacent neighbors. 
  3. Provide a registration mechanism for the City to track and enforce these requirements as needed and ensure appropriate collection of transient occupancy taxes (TOT). 

The transient occupancy taxes collected from short-term rentals would be dedicated towards construction and preservation of affordable housing. 

Upcoming Meetings


Past Meetings

Monday, March 26, 2018 (2nd Reading) - City Council Meeting

Monday, January 8, 2018 - City Council Meeting

Tuesday, November 21, 2017 - Planning Commission Meeting

Environmental Review

The proposed amendment is exempt from CEQA as it can be seen with certainty that there is no possibility for causing a significant effect on the environment (Section 15061(b)(3)) and the activity is not considered a project as defined in Section 15378 (Section 15060(c)(3)). The action will not cause a direct or reasonably foreseeable indirect change in the environment, as the use of short-term rental would be limited to existing primary residences and no additional structures or construction is required to comply with the regulations.



Planning & Housing  
(650) 780-7234