Short-Term Rental (STR) Housing

In December 2018, the City Council adopted new regulations for short-term rentals (STRs) in Mountain View.  The Short Term Rental Ordinance sets operating standards for STRs and clarifies that STRs are subject to the same transient occupancy tax (TOT) as hotel stays.

Registration

Download the STR FACT SHEET AND CHECKLIST

  • Registration - All properties being used or advertised as STRs must register with the City.




STEPS TO REGISTER YOUR STR: 

  1. Complete the following three forms necessary for a business license:
    [ ] Business License Application Form 
    • Use NAICS Code: 531110
    • Use Mountain View Business Code: 6800
    • The State Sales Tax Number and Federal Tax ID are not necessary
    [ ] Self-certification Affidavit Form for Short-Term Rentals  
      [ ] Transient Occupancy Tax Registration
  2. Submit all three forms to the City:
    In person, at the Community Development Department on the 1st Floor of City Hall at 500 Castro Street.
    (Note: City Hall is currently closed due to COVID-19.)

      OR
    By mail, addressed to:
    Attn: Business License City of Mountain View, Finance & Admin Services Department
    PO Box 7540
    Mountain View, CA 94039
    OR 
    By email, to BusinessLicense@mountainview.gov

  3.  Wait for the City to process your business license application. The Community Development Department will review your application and contact you if additional information is needed. Once approved, the Finance Department will either request payment before issuing your business license certificate or provide you with an exemption letter.

  4. Submit an online STR application via the STR Registration Portal. (You will need to upload copies of your business license certificate or exemption letter and of your Self-Certification Affidavit Form for Short-Term Rentals. You will also be directed to pay the applicable registration fee.)
  5. ONGOING  EACH QUARTER: Complete a Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT) Return and mail it with your payment to:
    Attn: Business License City of Mountain View, Finance & Admin Services Department
    PO Box 7540
    Mountain View, CA 94039


    Or, if no payment is owed for the quarter, you may also email your completed TOT Return to
    BusinessLicense@mountainview.gov.

TRANSIENT OCCUPANCY TAX (TOT) NOTE: In order to offset the impacts visitors have on City resources and infrastructure during their stay, the City imposes a 10 percent tax on rent charged for a short-term rental or hotel stay, in accordance with Chapter 33 of the Mountain View City Code. Some hosting platforms collect this tax during booking, but all operators are still responsible for submitting quarterly tax returnsSee the TOT information page for tax return forms, quarterly periods and due dates, late payment penalties, and exemption information.

STR Registration Fees and fines

The schedule of fees and fines for short-term rentals may be viewed and downloaded here

Operations Standards

  • No Special Events - weddings, parties, corporate gatherings and other similar events which have the potential to cause traffic, parking, noise, trash or other impacts in the neighborhood are allowed at the short-term rental property during the short-term rental.
  • 10 Person Occupancy Limit - STRs are considered congregate residences and must have 10 or fewer occupants (California Building Code, Chapter 3, Section 310.5 – Use and Occupancy Classifications).
  • Unhosted Rentals:
    • If the STR operator is not present on the property, a rental unit may be occupied a maximum of 60 days per year. 
    • Operators of unhosted rentals must also provide the City and neighbors in adjacent properties with local contact information of someone who can respond to concerns and complaints within 60 minutes.
  • Hosted Rentals:
    • If the STR operator is present on the property throughout the stay, there is no yearly limit on the number of times a unit may be rented.
    • Short-term rentals in Accessory Dwelling Units may be considered hosted if the operator is onsite in the primary dwelling.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is a Short-Term Rental (STR)?
An STR is any room or accessory dwelling unit on a residential property that is offered for rental stays of 30 or fewer consecutive calendar days. 

Why does Mountain View regulate STRs?
Regulation is intended to preserve local housing stock and the residential character of neighborhoods. It also enables the City to apply a Transient Occupancy Tax, equivalent to the rate applied for hotel stays.

Who can operate an STR? 
A property owner or their lessee (pursuant to a written agreement) may offer a room or unit for short-term rental.
 

Are STRs subject to the Community Stabilization Fair Rent Act (CSFRA)? 
By definition, STRs are rentals of 30 or fewer days. Such rentals are not subject to CSFRA. 

How can I report a suspected unauthorized rental or a non-emergency issue caused by short-term rental guests in my neighborhood?

Operated by Host Compliance, the following hotline is intended to offer neighbors a simple, anonymous alternative to calling law enforcement to report non-emergency issues like noise or parking problems caused by short-term rental guests.

The hotline phone number is 530-448-8003. Complaints may also be submitted online here

What if I would like to take down my STR listing?
Please see the following guides for assistance:

further Questions?

For more information or for registration assistance, please e-mail ShortTermRentals@mountainview.gov.



 
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