What do I need to know about vacation rental regulations?

When you list your home on TripAdvisor Vacation Rentals it's important to familiarize yourself with the local laws and regulations that apply in the area where you rent out your property. We've provided some information here, but please check with your city, county or state government for the latest information.

Chicago
Portland
San Francisco

Palo Alto
Santa Monica
Philadelphia
Rhode Island


 

Chicago

Chicago has adopted new regulations relating to short-term rentals, requiring us to collect and pay the hotel accommodations tax on your behalf. We automatically collect and remit your City of Chicago hotel accommodations tax.


What does this mean for you?

We’ll calculate a 9.5% tax based on your rental rate and all fees, if applicable, for stays of 29 days or less.

We'll calculate a 1.0% tax based on your rental rate and all fees, if applicable, for stays of 30 days or more.

The tax will be included automatically in TripAdvisor Vacation Rentals payments made by your guests. You’ll see this charge as a Required tax in Taxes and Fees. Instead of sending you this tax money, we will pay it directly to the proper authority for you.

Important: you will be temporarily unable to collect a booking deposit upfront and the balance at a later date as we update our site to accommodate this regulatory change. Your guest will need to pay the full balance upfront.

 

What about the state of Illinois tax?

We do not collect or remit the state of Illinois tax. You, the homeowner, are liable for collecting and remitting this tax (charged at 11.9%) directly to the state government.

If you are listing a unit located in the City of Chicago, you may be required to obtain a City of Chicago Vacation Rental License. For more information about the Vacation Rental License, please contact:


The City of Chicago Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection

121 North Lasalle, Room 800

Chicago, IL 60602

312-74-GOBIZ

cityofchicago.org

 

Portland

Portland has adopted new regulations for short-term rentals, requiring us to collect and pay local taxes on your behalf. From February 21, 2015, we will automatically collect your transient lodging taxes for the city of Portland, Multnomah county, and the state of Oregon for stays of 30 nights or less.

What does this mean for you?

As of February 21, 2015, we will calculate a 12.5% tax based on your rental price and any extra fees (e.g. cleaning fee) .

The tax will be included automatically in TripAdvisor Vacation Rentals payments made by your guests. You’ll see this 12.5% charge as a Required tax in Taxes and Fees. Instead of sending you this tax money, we pay it directly to the property authority on your behalf.

Important: you will be temporarily unable to collect a booking deposit up front and the balance at a later date as we update our site to accommodate this regulatory change. Your guest will need to pay the full balance upfront.


Want to learn more?

While we cannot provide legal advice, we’ve included some useful links below to help you understand the new regulations for short-term rentals in Portland. While not exhaustive, this list should give you a good start in understanding your local laws. If you have questions, contact the Bureau of Development Services, the Revenue Bureau, or other city agencies directly, or consult a local lawyer or tax professional.


Zoning Laws. In 2014, the Portland City Council changed the zoning code to specifically allow short-term rentals, but placed some restrictions on the activity. Most importantly, you must obtain a permit from Portland's Bureau of Development Services. There are two levels of permits, depending on the number of bedrooms you make available for rent. If you will rent out two or fewer bedrooms, you must occupy the property for at least 270 days each year, your neighbours must be notified in writing that you will be obtaining a permit, and each bedroom must have a smoke detector and may require a carbon monoxide detector. Once you send your permit application, the city will contact you for an inspection. If you intend to make more than two bedrooms available, many of the same requirements apply, plus some additional criteria, and you will have to go through a lengthier conditional use process. Additional information is available on the city of Portland's website. Failing to register could result in penalties.


Business License & Registration. You may have to register with the city and obtain a business license. Further information is available here.


Taxes. For Portland rentals, we will calculate the following taxes, charge the guest, and remit the taxes on your behalf:

  • Oregon Transient Lodging Tax: 1% of the rental fee, including any cleaning fees, for stays of 30 nights or less. 1% is the state-imposed tax rate only. For detailed information: visit Oregon.gov.

  • Multnomah County Transient Lodging Tax: 5.5% of the rental fee, including any cleaning fees, for stays of 30 nights or less. For detailed information, visit PortlandOregon.gov.

  • Portland Transient Lodging Tax: 6% of the rental fee, including any cleaning fees, for stays of 30 nights or less.

More information about the transient lodging tax is available at the county’s FAQ page and the state's FAQ page.

 

San Francisco

San Francisco has passed new legislation, effective 1 February 2015, for short-term rentals of properties located within the city and county of San Francisco. San Francisco Administrative Code Chapters 37 and 41A regulate short-term rental of residential units; the requirements for permanent residency and registration of the unit with the department; and the transient occupancy tax obligations to the city.


What does this mean for you?

As of 1 February 2015, we’ll calculate a 14% tax based on your rental price and any extra fees (e.g. cleaning fee).

We include the tax automatically in TripAdvisor Vacation Rentals payments made by your guests, and you'll see this 14% charge as a Required local tax in Taxes and Fees. Instead of sending you this tax money, we pay it directly to the City of San Francisco on your behalf.

Please note: if a guest books to stay at your rental for 30 days or more the tax will not apply. Although the tax will always show on the listing, it will not be included when the transaction is being processed.

Important: you will be temporarily unable to collect a booking deposit up front and the balance at a later date as we update our site to accommodate this regulatory change. Your guest will need to pay the full balance upfront.

 

Want to learn more?

While we cannot provide legal advice, we’ve included some useful links below to help you understand the new regulations in San Francisco. If you have questions, please contact the Planning Department, Building Department or other city agencies directly, or consult with your lawyer or tax adviser.

Business Licensing. The San Francisco Business and Tax Regulations Code requires businesses to obtain a licence. Please take a look to see if you need a licence.

Apartment Conversion Ordinance. The San Francisco Administrative Code, Section 41.A.5, prohibits the offering of a "residential unit" for rent for "tourist or transient" use. The definitions of "residential unit" and "tourist or transient" are found at Section 41.A.4.

Rent Control. The Administrative Code, Chapter 37, sets out rules for rent control properties. If you are renting a property subject to rent control, you should review these rules carefully.

Taxes. For more detailed information about the 14% transient occupancy tax, please see TOT Filing Instructions for a Website Company or Merchant of Record.


 

Palo Alto

Palo Alto, CA has passed new legislation for short-term rentals of properties. Travelers who book a vacation rental through TripAdvisor’s network of sites will pay a 14% Transient Occupancy tax.


What does this mean for you?

As of November 1, we’ll calculate a 14% tax based on your rental rates and any extra fees (e.g. cleaning fee).

We include the tax automatically in TripAdvisor Vacation Rentals payments made by your guests, and you'll see this 14% charge as a Required local tax in Taxes and Fees. Instead of sending you this tax money, we pay it directly to the City of Palo Alto on your behalf.

Please note: if a guest books to stay at your rental for 30 days or more the tax will not apply. Although the tax will always show on the listing, it will not be included when the transaction is being processed.

Important: you will be temporarily unable to collect a booking deposit up front and the balance at a later date as we update our site to accommodate this regulatory change. Your guest will need to pay the full balance upfront.


Want to learn more?

While we cannot provide legal advice, please visit the City of Palo Alto site to read more on the new regulations. If you have questions, please contact the Planning Department, Building Department or other city agencies directly, or consult with your lawyer or tax adviser.


 

Santa Monica

Santa Monica, CA has passed new legislation for short-term rentals of properties. Travelers who book a vacation rental through TripAdvisor’s network of sites will pay a 14% Transient Occupancy tax + $4.50/night Santa Monica Tourism Marketing District Tax.


What does this mean for you?

Starting on December 15, we’ll calculate $4.50/night plus a 14% tax for stays under 31 nights based on your rental rates and any extra fees (e.g. cleaning fee).

We include the tax automatically in TripAdvisor Vacation Rentals payments made by your guests, and you'll see this 14% +$4.50/night charge as a Required local tax in Taxes and Fees. Instead of sending you this tax money, we pay it directly to the City of Santa Monica on your behalf.

Please note: if a guest books to stay at your rental for 30 days or more the tax will not apply. Although the tax will always show on the listing, it will not be included when the transaction is being processed.

Important: you will be temporarily unable to collect a booking deposit up front and the balance at a later date as we update our site to accommodate this regulatory change. Your guest will need to pay the full balance upfront.


Want to learn more?

While we cannot provide legal advice, please visit the City of Santa Monica site to read more on the new regulations. If you have questions, please contact the Planning Department, Building Department or other city agencies directly, or consult with your lawyer or tax adviser.


 

Philadelphia

Philadelphia, PA has passed new legislation for short-term rentals of properties. Travelers who book a vacation rental through TripAdvisor’s network of sites will pay an up to 16.5% Transient Occupancy tax.


What does this mean for you?

From December 15, we’ll calculate a tax of 16.5% for all stays under 30 consecutive days or 8.5% for stays 30 days or longer.

We include the tax automatically in TripAdvisor Vacation Rentals payments made by your guests, and you'll see this charge as a Required local tax in Taxes and Fees. Instead of sending you this tax money, we pay it directly to the City and County of Philadelphia on your behalf.

Please note: if a guest books to stay at your rental for 30 days or more the tax will not apply. Although the tax will always show on the listing, it will not be included when the transaction is being processed.

Important: you will be temporarily unable to collect a booking deposit up front and the balance at a later date as we update our site to accommodate this regulatory change. Your guest will need to pay the full balance upfront.


Want to learn more?

While we cannot provide legal advice, please visit the Philadelphia site to read more on the new regulations. If you have questions, please contact the Planning Department, Building Department or other city agencies directly, or consult with your lawyer or tax adviser.


 

Rhode Island

Rhode Island has passed new legislation for short-term rentals of properties. Travelers who book a vacation rental through TripAdvisor’s network of sites will pay the following Transient Occupancy tax:

  • If you rent a room in your Rhode Island vacation rental, the total tax to your renters is 13%  for all rentals less than 30 consecutive days

  • If you rent your entire vacation rental property, the total tax applied to travelers’ bookings will be 8% for all rentals less than 30 consecutive days


What does this mean for you?

From December 15, we’ll calculate the relevant rental tax based on your rental rates and any extra fees (e.g. cleaning fee).

We include the tax automatically in TripAdvisor Vacation Rentals payments made by your guests, and you'll see the charge as a Required local tax in Taxes and Fees. Instead of sending you this tax money, we pay it directly to the Rhode Island authorities on your behalf.

Please note: if a guest books to stay at your rental for 30 days or more the tax will not apply. Although the tax will always show on the listing, it will not be included when the transaction is being processed.

Important: you will be temporarily unable to collect a booking deposit up front and the balance at a later date as we update our site to accommodate this regulatory change. Your guest will need to pay the full balance upfront.


Want to learn more?

While we cannot provide legal advice, please visit the Rhode Island site to read more on the new regulations. If you have questions, please contact the Planning Department, Building Department or other city agencies directly, or consult with your lawyer or tax adviser.

 

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