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Short-term Rentals

What is a short-term rental?

A short-term rental (or vacation rental) is the renting out of your residence, rooms in your residence or an accessory unit (granny flat). Short-term rentals are for a period of 30 consecutive calendar days or less. Such rentals have become a popular option for visitors, and the City has regulations in place to ensure the needs of everyone in the community are balanced.

Am I legally eligible to host a short-term rental?

To legally host a short-term rental, you must adhere to Municipal code 19.76 which requires that you:

  • Reside on-site throughout the guests’ (lodgers') stay
  • Limit guests to a maximum of four adult guests per night
  • Register as a host with the City
  • Collect and pay Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT)

How do I register as a host?

  1. Fill out the short-term rental application
  2. Complete the Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT) Registration form
  3. Bring your completed short-term rental application and TOT registration form to the One-Stop Permit Center for approval and pay a one-time registration fee.

Note: If you have separate listings for three or more spaces or rooms, you are required to obtain a business license.

How to apply for a Business License

How do I pay the Transient Occupancy Tax?

The Transient Occupancy Tax, sometimes called a "hotel tax," requires that any person or business engaged in the renting of any number of rooms for lodging, dwelling, or sleeping purposes, must collect, report and remit this tax to the City on any guest rentals.

The Transient Occupancy Tax rate for the City of Sunnyvale is 12.5%. 

Use the following form to submit the TOT payment each month:

Monthly TOT Remittance Form

Notice: Effective Aug. 1, 2018, Airbnb will collect and remit TOT on behalf of hosts. Hosts must still remit TOT for non-Airbnb bookings.

TOT Exemptions

Some guests may be exempt from paying Transit Occupancy Tax:

  • Federal, California state or foreign government employees
  • Guests who have stayed longer than 30 consecutive days

TOT Exemption Claim Form

Last Updated: Mar 20, 2019
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