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City to Begin Active Enforcement of Short-Term Rentals

Post Date:03/22/2019 5:30 PM
In April 2019, the City of Sausalito will begin notifying Sausalito property owners associated with short-term rentals that short-term rental activity must stop in order to avoid increasingly steep fines from the City. A short-term rental is defined as the rental of a dwelling unit, an accessory unit, or a room or rooms of a dwelling unit for a period of less than 30 days. Short-term rentals are banned in Sausalito, and on January 8, 2019, the City Council directed City staff to prioritize code enforcement related to short-term rentals.

To help enforce the ban on short-term rentals, the City of Sausalito has contracted with Host Compliance, a leading provider of short-term rental enforcement solutions for local governments. Host Compliance monitors short-term rental websites for properties that are not complying with local ordinances. The company also provides a mechanism for people to report suspected illegal short-term rental activity. Reports can be made by calling the Host Compliance hotline at (415) 942-8181 or by filling out an online form. Reports may also be made directly to the City of Sausalito by printing, signing, and submitting a Code Complaint Form.

In the coming weeks, property owners associated with short-term rental activity will receive a courtesy notice or a compliance order indicating that they are operating illegally. If it is subsequently found that a property owner who has received notification is not complying with the City's ban on short-term rentals, the owner will be issued compliance orders and/or citations. Violations will be fined at $1,000 for the first offense, $2,000 for the second offense, and $5,000 for the third and subsequent offenses, per Sausalito Municipal Code section 1.10.110.B. Fines are cumulative and citations may be issued each day the violation exists.

Operators of short-term rentals in Sausalito are urged to cease short-term rental activity immediately. The City will be collecting transient occupancy tax for all illegal short-term rental activity occurring on or after January 8, 2019. All violators will be fined unless they comply with compliance orders and pay any outstanding transient occupancy tax. Issuance of an administrative citation does not alter any obligation to comply fully with a compliance order.

Any questions about short-term rentals may be directed to Community Development Director Lilly Whalen at or (415) 289-4133.

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