When deciding whether to become an Airbnb host, it's important for you to understand the laws in your city. As a platform and marketplace we do not provide legal advice, but we want to provide some useful links that may help you better understand laws and regulations in Oakland. This list is not exhaustive, but it should give you a good start in understanding your local laws. If you have questions, contact the Zoning Office or other city agencies directly, or consult a local lawyer or tax professional.
- Planning Code. The Oakland Planning Code regulates uses in Oakland neighborhoods. You should consult the Planning Code to see if your listing implicates any zoning requirements or use definitions. Important terms include "permanent residential activities," "accessory activities," "semi-transient residential activities," "bed and breakfast residential activities," and "transient habitation commercial activities." The code also regulates converting some dwelling units to a different use.
- Rent Control. Oakland has a complicated rent control program. If you live in or own a rent-controlled property, you should review Oakland's rent control rules and regulations carefully. More information is available here.
- Business Registration. All residential rental properties in the City need to apply for and obtain a business tax certificate. Some hosts may also need to obtain a business permit. More information is available here.
- New Rental Registration. Oakland requires new residential rental properties to register with the City. You should consult this process to see if it applies to your listing.
- Transient Occupancy Tax. Oakland assesses transient occupancy tax on hotels, motels, and other short-term rentals. A "short-term rental" is defined as a guest stay of 30 days or less. More information about the transient occupancy tax is available at the City's FAQ page. Airbnb collects and remits the transient occupancy tax in Oakland; more information about that process is available here.
- Other Rules. It's also important to understand and abide by other contracts or rules that bind you, such as leases, condo board or co-op rules, HOA rules, or rules established by tenant organizations. Please read your lease agreement and check with your landlord if applicable.
We are committed to working with local officials to help them understand how Airbnb benefits our community. Where needed, we will continue to advocate for changes that will allow regular people to rent out their own homes.
Last updated: July 22, 2015
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