Redwood City (CA)
This article provides information about local laws that apply to people who host their homes in Redwood City. It’s your responsibility to verify and comply with any obligations that apply to you as a host. This article can serve as a starting point or place you can come back to if you have questions but it isn’t exhaustive and it doesn’t constitute legal or tax advice. Check to make sure laws and procedures that apply to your situation are current.
Some of the laws that might affect you are complicated. Contact Redwood City’s Community Development Department directly or consult a local advisor, such as an attorney or tax professional, if you have questions.
The information in this article only applies to Redwood City. If you live elsewhere, contact your local city administrator or planning department for more information.
Short-term rental regulations
Redwood City has rules for short-term accommodation rentals that hosts must comply with by May 1, 2019. The amendment prohibits short-term rentals of secondary homes, but you can apply for a license that allows you to rent your primary home to guests for less than 30 consecutive calendar days Additionally, the amendment makes a distinction between hosted rentals and unhosted rentals.
Hosted rentals are short-term rentals that take place while the host resides on the property for the duration of the stay. Basically, you can host your primary home as many nights as you want while you’re present.
Unhosted rentals are short-term rentals that take place while the host is not present on the property, you may rent out your entire space while you are absent for up to 120 nights per year. Additionally, Redwood City requires unhosted rentals to list a local point of contact in case of complaints.
Check the City’s site for more information about rules for short-term rentals.
Long-term rental regulations
If you don’t have permission to offer short-term rentals, you can set your listing to only accept bookings for 30 nights or more. In this case, it’s important to make sure your booking calendars and advertisements for all online listings clearly indicate the 30 night minimum stay.
Stays of 30 consecutive nights or more by the same guests aren’t subject to short-term rental regulations, hotel taxes, or transient occupancy taxes (TOT), but the listing might also be subject to other rules like tenant protections and rent control provisions, for example.
We have an agreement with Redwood City to collect and pay the City’s transient occupancy tax on overnight stays on behalf of hosts. We list occupancy tax as a separate line item on invoices.
Beyond city regulations, there may be other contracts or rules that you need to follow. You can usually find more information about community rules that apply to short-term rentals from your written lease, condo board, co-op, homeowner’s association (HOA), other tenant association guidelines, or landlord.
Our commitment to your community
We’re committed to working with local officials to clarify how local rules impact the short-term rental community. We will continue to advocate for changes that will enable people to rent out their homes.