San Diego, CA

This page is only designed to give you an overview of the local requirements, but it is the host duty to know the legislation and to comply with the local laws. misterb&b is not a legal adviser : you should have a look at the relevant laws and contact the local authorities or a local professional for further understanding.


Rental Categories

The City of San Diego has no clear regulations designed for short-term rentals, but this use may fit in one of the different use categories prescribed in the Chapters 11 to 14 of the San Diego Municipal Code

The closest to short-term rentals is the bed and breakfast use category, defined by Section §141.0603 of the San Diego Municipal Code as “visitor accommodations within a residential structure where breakfast is typically provided for guests” (§141.0603). Bed and breakfast establishments are subjected to different use requirements, according to the zones they are located in (consult Chapter 13 Division 4 and 5, and Chapter 15 of the SD Municipal Code).

Short-term rentals may also be considered as a “boarder and lodger accommodation”. Use requirements may change according to the zone they are located in (consult Chapter 13 Division 4 and 5 of the SD Municipal Code, and Chapter 15, of the SD Municipal Code).

To check the compliance of a short-term rental activity with requirements of the relevant zone, a Host can contact the Development Services Department and the City Administration before starting renting out a unit. 


Housing standards

The unit must comply with the buildings, health, occupancy and safety standards enshrined in the Municipal Code, specially Chapters 9, 12, 13 and 14.


Rental Unit Business Tax

All businesses operating in the City of San Diego are required to obtain a Business Tax Certificate prior the beginning of any activities. Rental Unit Business Tax is imposed annually upon anyone who owns, operates, or manages the rental of residential real estate located within the City of San Diego. It is possible to apply for a Business Tax Certificate online

For more information about Rental Unit Business Tax, visit this page on the official website of the City of San Diego City and have a look at Section §31.0301 of the San Diego Municipal Code.


Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT)

Rentals of less than one month are subjected to the Transient Occupancy Tax. Hosts collect it from their Guests and remit it to the City : it requires to apply for a Transient Occupancy Registration Certificate (online or by sending this form at The tax must be remitted monthly.

If you rent to transients for less than one month, you are responsible for collecting and remitting the Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT) to the City and therefore need a Transient Occupancy Registration Certificate. 

Since September 1, 2016 lodging business of less than 70 rooms are not subjected to the Tourism Marketing District (TMD) assessment anymore.

For further information, contact the TOT/TMD administration at (619) 615-1530 or and consult this page about TOT general information on the official website of the City of San Diego City.