Short-Term Rental Rules Adopted by Board
Supervisors require neighbors to be notified of rentals in unincorporated areas
San Rafael, CA – Under a new ordinance, notification of a short-term rental property in unincorporated Marin County must be provided to people occupying neighboring properties before the short-term rental owner can obtain or renew a business license.
On August 7, the Marin County Board of Supervisors passed the ordinance brought forth by the Community Development Agency staff following a public hearing.
Short-term rentals through companies such as Airbnb and VRBO have become popular places for visitors to stay in Marin, especially in coastal communities. Not all residents have been happy about that, citing that vacationers create problems with traffic, parking, and noise for the year-around residents. Now, to encourage neighborhood harmony and ease concerns, notification will be required either by an on-site sign or by letters or door hangers to surrounding properties. The signage would identify a local contact, a complaint hotline phone number, and other information.
In addition, the owners of short-term rentals will be required to inform tenants of how to meet existing requirements of the Marin County Code related to noise, parking, vehicular access, and trash. A hired vendor will provide and monitor a complaint hotline, document incidents for the County and notify the rental's contact person of problems. The ordinance will sunset after two years unless it is extended by the Board.
In the past, online short-term rental companies have been reluctant to provide addresses of rental properties to public agencies, making it hard to create a statistical analysis and recognize trends. In 2017, County staff hired a consultant to research short-term rentals and how they were regulated outside of Marin, and the results of those findings helped formulate the draft ordinance along with public feedback.