San Diego, CA


DISCLAIMER. This page is only designed to give you some help in understanding the regulations you should comply with. We do not pretend the information provided here are to be exhaustive neither current. It is your duty to know and abide by the law.

We highly recommend you to have a look at the San Diego Municipal Code (SDMC) as some Chapters may apply to your rental activity / your accommodation. Please visit this page about short-term residential occupancy on the San Diego official website.


Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT)

Any guests staying in the City of San Diego for less than a month, as defined by the San Diego Municipal Code section 35.0102, are subject to the Transient Occupancy Tax (10.5% of the rent). Please read SDMC Chap. 03 Art. 5 “Transient Occupancy Tax”.

  • Month period. SDMC 35.0102 defines a month as the period of consecutive days from the first calendar day of Occupancy in any month to the same calendar day in the next month following, or the last day of the next month following if no corresponding day exists. This is not necessarily 30 days.
  • Beginning April 1, 2019, misterb&b collects TOT directly from the Guests at time of booking payment. We take care of TOT collection for you, and remit TOT to the City Treasurer on your behalf. 
  • Host TOT duties. However, as a Host, you still must complete registration for a Transient Occupancy Registration Certificate (see online application here). Do not forget to post this Certificate in a conspicuous place in your accommodation! Also it is the Hosts responsibility to maintain financial and accounting record.

For more information, you can visit this official page about TOT in San Diego.


Rental Unit Business Tax and Business Tax Certificate

  • Rental Unit Business Tax. City of San Diego property owners who rent their residential real estate, or portion thereof, for greater than six (6) days in a calendar year are required to pay an annual Rental Unit Business Tax.  This includes property advertised or otherwise held out for lease during the year.
  • Business Tax Certificate. Business Tax requirements may also apply for individuals subleasing property.

For questions, contact (619) 615-1549 or email


Use and zoning

  • At the moment (February 2019), the City of San Diego has no regulations specifically addressing  short-term rentals. For information related to the Use and Zoning requirements please visit this official website.
  • Using your accommodation for short-term rental may fit in one of the different use categories prescribed in Chapter 11 to 14 of the Municipal Code.
  • Bed & Breakfast. The closest to short-term rental use is the bed & breakfast category. SDMC §141.0603 defines this category as “visitor accommodations within a residential structure where breakfast is typically provided for guests”. Please note this use category is not permitted in every neighborhood (see SDMC Chapter 13) and is subject to conditions (see SDMC §141.0603).
  • Boarder and lodger accommodation. Short-term rental use may also fit in the category of boarder and lodger accommodation. If so, please note different requirements may apply according to the zone your accommodation is located in (see SDMC Ch. 13 Div. 4 and 5, and Ch. 15).

You may check compliance of short-term rental activity with the relevant zone requirements by contacting the Development Services Department and the City Administration.


Standards and regulations

The unit in which you host your Guests must also respect all municipal regulations and standards, including without limitation, regarding buildings, health, occupancy and safety. Please review the Municipal Code, especially Chapters 4, 9, and 14.

Short-term rental units  must also respect all State regulations, including without limitations California Building Code.