What Is a Short-Term Rental?
A short-term rental is defined as the rental of a dwelling unit, accessory unit, a room, or rooms of a dwelling unit for a period of less than 30 days. Airbnb, VRBO, and HomeAway are among the most popular short-term rental services.
Short-Term Rentals Are Prohibited in Sausalito
Sausalito Municipal Code, section 10.22.030 lists the allowable land uses in all of the Residential Zoning Districts. Transient Occupancy, which is defined in chapter 10.88 as occupancy of residential structures, hotel rooms, or dwelling units on a temporary period of less than thirty (30) days, is not listed as an allowed use; therefore, short-term rentals are not allowed. Renting is allowed for long-term occupancy, which is 30 days or greater.
Reporting a Short-Term Rental Violation
On January 8, 2019, the Council directed staff to prioritize code enforcement with respect to short-term rentals. The City of Sausalito is working with Host Compliance, a leading provider of short-term rental compliance monitoring and enforcement solutions for local governments to identify and cite short-term rentals in Sausalito. Host Compliance offers two ways you can report addresses that are potentially in violation:
- A short term rental telephone hotline at (415) 942-8181
- An online form to submit your complaint
Both reporting options are available 24 hours a day/seven days a week for neighbors to report non-emergency problems related to short-term rental properties. Once reported, Host Compliance transmits the report to the City of Sausalito Code Enforcement Officer to investigate.
Reports may also be made directly to the City of Sausalito by printing, signing, and submitting a Code Complaint Form.
Violations can be fined $1,000 for the first offense, $2,000 for the second offense, and $5,000 for the third and subsequent offenses (Sausalito Municipal Code Section 1.10.110.B).
The Past and Future of Regulating Short-Term Rentals
At the meeting of the Sausalito City Council on January 8, 2019, the Council voted unanimously to maintain the current ban on short-term rentals of less than 30 days. A one-year pilot program allowing short-term rentals under limited conditions had been under consideration. The proposed pilot program generated a significant negative response in the community, including a petition opposing short-term rentals in Sausalito that was signed by 631 people.
The motion approved by the City Council on January 8 provided the following direction:
- The City will continue its prohibition on short-term rentals of less than 30 days
- City staff will prioritize code enforcement with respect to short-term rentals
- The Council will delay for a year any consideration of a pilot program allowing short-term rentals under limited conditions
- Mayor Joe Burns will appoint a stakeholder group that, among other responsibilities, will help the Council establish indicators to gauge the City's success in enforcing the current ban on short-term rentals
- City staff will generate and present quarterly reports on the effectiveness of the ban on short-term rentals
- City staff will conduct a new community survey on short-term rentals
Articles from Sausalito Currents
- January 24, 2020: Update on Short-Term Rental Enforcement
- November 15, 2019: Steep Decline in Short-Term Rentals
- June 21, 2019: Update on Short-Term Rental Enforcement
- March 22, 2019: City to Begin Active Enforcement of Short-Term Rentals
- January 25, 2019: City Moving Forward with Short-Term Rental Enforcement
- January 11, 2019: City Council Votes to Maintain Ban on Short-Term Rentals
- January 4, 2019: City Council to Discuss Short-Term Rentals at January 8 Meeting
- November 30, 2018: City Council Beefs Up Code Enforcement
- November 2, 2018: Council Delays Discussion of Regulations on Short-Term Rentals
- October 26, 2018: Council to Discuss Draft Regulations on Short-Term Rentals
- October 12, 2018: Council Takes Steps Toward Short-Term Rental Pilot Program
- October 5, 2018: City Council to Discuss Short-Term Rentals at October 9 Meeting
- February 23, 2018: Short-Term Rentals in Sausalito
- March 3, 2017: City Council Disbands Short-Term Rental Task Force
- September 20, 2016: City Council Forms Task Force on Short-Term Rentals
- July 1, 2016: What's Your Opinion on Short-Term Rentals in Sausalito?
- June 24, 2016: Make Your Voice Heard on Short-Term Rentals
- June 10, 2016: Community Forums on the Future of Short-Term Rentals
- June 3, 2016: Community Forum on Short-Term Rentals
City Council Meeting Archives
- November 12, 2019: Community Development Department Short Term Rental Enforcement Quarterly Report: July-September 2019 (consent calendar item)
- June 18, 2019: Community Development Department Short Term Rental Enforcement Quarterly Report: February-May 2019
- January 8, 2019: Short-Term Rental Pilot Program Discussion
- November 27, 2018: Appropriate Funds to Increase Contract Code Enforcement Services and Contract with a Vendor for Short-Term Rental Monitoring and Compliance
- October 30, 2018: Short Term Rental Pilot Program Discussion (Continued from October 9, 2018)
- October 9, 2018: Short Term Rental Pilot Program Discussion
- February 28, 2017: Short Term Rental (STR) Task Force Recommendations
- November 29, 2016: Update on the Short Term Rental (STR) Task Force
- September 27, 2016: Short Term Rental Task Force/Working Group Appointment Process
- July 26, 2016: Update on Community Forums on Short Term Rentals
- January 26, 2016: Airbnb - Update on Short Term Vacation Rentals: Code Enforcement Program
- June 30, 2015: Short Term Vacation Rentals - Code Enforcement Program
- March 17, 2015: Short Term Vacation Rentals - Provide Direction to Staff re: Next Steps