Short-Term Rentals

A short-term rental (STR) is defined in the Orinda Municipal Code as a dwelling that is leased or rented in full or in part for the purpose of overnight lodging for less than thirty (30) consecutive day terms. Effective October 5, 2017, any person who operates a short-term rental must first register their rental with the City.

Short-Term Rental Requirements (Section 17.3.12)

  1. The maximum occupancy of the dwelling containing the short-term rental is limited two (2) people per bedroom plus three (3) people. 
  2. Only one short-term rental can take place on a single property at any given time.
  3. The host is responsible for ensuring the short-term rental complies with all local, state, and federal health and safety requirements, including those regarding smoke detectors, fire alarms, and fire extinguishers.
  4. The host is responsible for compliance with all City regulations including those regarding noise, parking, and occupancy. Compliance with those requirements shall be included in any written agreement used for the short-term rental. 
  5. While rented, the short-term rental shall not be used for any use or event that would require a Temporary Event Permit pursuant to Chapter 17.37.
  6. The short-term rental registration is non-transferable.

Hosted Stay Requirement

"Host" means the person or people identified as the owner on a short-term rental registration form submitted to the City. 

  1. The short-term rental must take place on property owned by the host and containing the host's primary residence.
  2. The host personally lives on the property when it is used for short-term rentals. A host will only be considered to live at the property used for a short-term rental if they are physically and personally present at the time of the short-term rental. Such physical presence must include sleeping overnight. A host will not be considered to live at the property used for a short-term rental if they are away from the property overnight, including on vacation.
  3. The host must be physically present to monitor and regulate activity during the short-term rental, including by meeting guests upon arrival.
  4. The duration of the short-term rental is at least two nights.
  5. Any on-line listings and/or other advertisement authorized by the host for the short-term rental specify that the host will be present and/or share the dwelling unit used for the short-term rental.
  6. Any on-line listings and/or other advertisements authorized by the host clearly identify the short-term rental registration number provided by the City.

Transient Occupancy Tax

In addition to registration, all short-term rentals must pay a transient occupancy tax (TOT). The Transient Occupancy Tax Return, including tax remittance, is due quarterly, on the last day of the month following the quarter. A schedule indicating the TOT deadline is included in the quarterly form. The Finance Department will issue a TOT registration certificate when you register your short-term rental.

Registration Process

  • Complete the online Short-term Rental Registration Form.
  • A registration fee of $283 will be due. Staff will email you an invoice with payment instructions once your application has been submitted and reviewed.
  • Registration is valid for one year from date of issuance and must be renewed annually.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  • How do I register for a short-term rental? Complete the online registration form here.  
  • What are the fees? There is a registration fee of $283 and an annual renewal fee of $168.
  • How long is my registration valid for? Registration is valid for one year from date of issuance and must be renewed annually.
  • How do I renew my registration? A registration is renewed by paying the renewal fee to the Planning Department. There is no renewal form.
  • Do I need to renew my Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT) certificate? No, your tax certificate does not need to be renewed.
  • What is my registration's expiration date? The expiration date is noted on your approved registration. If you have misplaced your registration, you can contact the Planning Department to obtain a copy of your approval and to verify your expiration date.
  • Are there any limitations to which part of my property I can rent for a short-term rental? There are no limitations to what portion of your property you are renting for short-term rental use, unless it is a streamlined ADU. Per ADU state law, streamlined ADUs approved after January 1, 2020 are not permitted to be used for short-term rentals. See the ADU page to determine if your ADU is a streamlined ADU.
  • Is my short-term rental registration transferrable to a new property owner? No, the new owner must apply for a new short-term rental registration. 
  • What if I am no longer operating a short-term rental? Registrants who will no longer operating a short-term rental must remove all active listings and submit a completed STR Withdrawal Form
  • Do I need to register my rental if it has a minimum 30 day stay? No, rentals that require a minimum 30 days are long-term rentals that the City does not currently regulate.
  • Did my neighbor register their short-term rental? Planning staff can verify whether a property has a registered short-term rental. If staff verifies that someone is operating a short-term rental without a valid registration, we will begin code enforcement.