This page is designed only to give you some help with understanding the regulations you should comply with. We do not pretend the informations provided here are exhaustive and actual. It is you duty to know and abide by the law.
We highly recommend you to have a look to the Short-Term Rentals Ordinance (Administrative Code Chapter 41.A). You should visit the website of the Office of Short-Term Rentals. You can reach them at email@example.com / 415.575.9179.
Hosts conditions in San Francisco
- You must be the permanent resident (owner or tenant) of the unit you wish to rent. It means you must live in the unit for at least 275 nights per year.
- You can rent your residence only 90 days per year in your absence (“unhosted rentals”). There is no limit on the number of “hosted rentals” per year.
- Check that no lease agreements, homeowners’ association bylaws, covenants, conditions & restrictions (CC&Rs) or other prohibit the use of your unit as a STR.
- You cannot rent a unit located in The Presidio, Fort Mason or Treasure Island or that is a single-room-occupancy (SRO), a dormitory, a below-market-rate (BMR) or a Public Housing unit.
- You cannot rent a unit that has any unresolved building, housing or planning code complaints. You can check by searching for your property here.
Registration to the Office of Short Term Rentals
Hosts in San Francisco must register to the OSTR before listing their units and display the registration number on the listings. From September 15, 2017, we have the duty not to publish any listing lacking a valid registration number. To learn more, read this starter kit on STRs
- Registration with TTX: to be able to register to OSTR, you must obtain a business registration certificate from the Office of the Treasurer & Tax Collector first. It is free for short-term rentals. When you obtain your business certificate, you must display it conspicuously in your unit. You can apply online for business certificate online here, for more information, click here.
- Registration with OSTR: you can apply online here. You can also download the application here and schedule an appointment here (go to Step 4) or mail it completed to: Office of Short-Term Rentals, 1650 Mission Street, Suite 400, San Francisco, CA 94103.
When a certified Host, you have to enter your registration number of your listing. As from September 15, 2017, we will check validity of the number before publishing the listing.
- Property liability insurance: you must maintain one of at least $500,000.
- Quarterly reports: every registered Host must report all short-term stays at the end of each quarter. You can report online here.
- Rent-controlled unit: your monthly revenue from hosting cannot exceed your monthly rent payment.
- Renew the certificates: business certificate must is due every May 31st. The OSTR certificate must be renewed every 2 years.
- Housing Code occupancy provisions: your unit should meet every safety and health standards, including without limitations, having a board on the inside front door indicating where to find the fire extinguishers, gas shut-off valves, emergency exists and fire pull stations. Review the San Francisco Codes here.
Mind that you must keep tracks of your compliance with short-term rentals laws (dates of occupancy, dates of rentals, insurance, etc) and make it available at the request of OSTR.
- Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT): anyone in San Francisco who receives rent for a stay of fewer than 30 days must collect a 14% tax on the amount that they earn from their guests. See FAQs on the Treasurer and Tax Collector website to know how to proceed. You can also check the end of this page.
- Business Personal Property Tax: Hosts are required to report an inventory of their Business Personal Property and potentially pay a tax on that property annually. Hosts are required submit Form 571-STR with the City of San Francisco Assessors Office. Please visit the Office of the Assessor-Recorder website.