Short-Term Rental License & Homestay Permits
On June 6, 2023, City Council adopted an Ordinance (O-2023-003) extending a moratorium on the issuance of short-term rental licenses. The City is currently not accepting applications and no new permits will be issued until further notice.
The use of single-family homes as short-term rentals has become increasingly more common. Chapters 17.09, 17.113, and 5.22 of the Pismo Beach Municipal Code (PBMC) provide a set of standards regulating the renting or leasing of residential properties. The STR Ordinance also ensures that STRs do not become a nuisance to the community. At the City of Pismo Beach, all owners of short-term rental units are required to obtain a business license and Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT) Certificate for the operation of a STR. Hosting platforms such as Airbnb, and VRBO must follow the STR Ordinance.
To report a Short-Term Rental concern or violation, contact the STR hotline at (800) 866-4301. Please make sure you include the full address of the location you are calling about.
Where are Short-Term Rentals (STRs) allowed?
Short-Term Rentals / Homestays may only be permitted in detached single-family homes in the following zones: R-1, RSL, PR, OS, OS-1, and RSM (PBMC 17.113.030, 17.09.030). In addition, detached single-family homes in the R-2 and R-3 zones may also be permitted (PBMC 17.113.030). Duplexes, triplexes, and/or similar attached multi-family developments are ineligible to be used as Short-Term Rentals.
- 2573 Barcelona Street
- 143 Beachcomber Drive
- 402 Bettiga Way
- 262 Boeker
- 109 Capistrano Avenue
- 251 Capistrano Avenue
- 234 Castaic Avenue
- 2501 Coburn Lane
- 311 Cuyama Avenue
- 325 Cuyama Avenue
- 20 El Viento
- 530 Harloe Avenue
- 102 Indio Drive
- 107 Indio Drive @(Model.BulletStyle == CivicPlus.Entities.Modules.Layout.Enums.BulletStyle.Decimal ? "ol" : "ul")>
- 119 Karen Way
- 109 Naomi Avenue
- 116 Naomi Avenue
- 251 Palomar Avenue
- 342 Palomar Avenue
- 281 Reef Court
- 122 Santa Fe Avenue
- 141 Seacliff Drive
- 147 Seacliff Drive
- 960 Tulare Street
- 991 Tulare Street
- 981 Wadsworth Avenue
- 177 Windward Avenue @(Model.BulletStyle == CivicPlus.Entities.Modules.Layout.Enums.BulletStyle.Decimal ? "ol" : "ul")>
How do I get a Short-Term Rental or Homestay Permit?
Follow the steps below. Please note the Required Documents section below. Links to STR regulations and documents are provided at the bottom of this page.
- Confirm that your property is located within one of the zones that allow for Short-Term Rentals / Homestays
- Complete a Short-Term Rental / Homestay Application. Note: Only property owners can apply for an STR permit.
- Community Development to review application and complete inspections. Allow for 2 to 3 weeks to set up an inspection to verify parking, bedrooms, and safety requirements.
- Approval / Denial of permit. If approved: Move to Step 2.
- Please note the Required Documents section below. Those items must be submitted with the Short-Term Rental or Homestay Permit Application.
Step 2: STR Inspection - Code Compliance
Prior to issuance of a STR or homestay license, the City will conduct an inspection of the subject property to confirm:
- Bedroom count
- On-site parking
- The STR meets safety standards outlined in the Inspections Checklist
- *If complaints are received about STR or homestay operations, the City shall have the right to re-inspect the property.
Step 3: Public Courtesy Notice
As part of the licensing process, property owners within 300 feet of the subject licensed property will be notified about the intent to operate said property as an STR or homestay.
- All properties within 300 feet of the short-term rental will be notified
- The notice will include contact information for the property owner and responsible party.
- Community Development to notify applicant to apply for business license online
- Once approved, pay business license fee online
- Each property owner must have a valid business license
- Each property manager must have a valid business license (for the City of Pismo Beach)
- Finance to issue Applicant TOT Certificate of Authority and provide information of submitting TOT/LBID/TMD
- For TOT/LBID/TMD collection, property owner or manager to submit TOT/LBID/TMD form per each business license each month
- If property manager to e-file on behalf of property owner, then property manager shall provide a list of properties on an annual basis (July), with monthly updates as needed.
- For information on reporting TOT / LBID / TMD, please visit our Lodging Business webpage.
The City conducts annual Short-Term Rental monitoring in accordance with Pismo Beach Municipal Code (PBMC) Section 17.113.060 and 17.09.060. Property Owners must submit the following documents to the Community Development Department on an annual basis to confirm proof of primary residency:
- Driver's License or State Issued ID
- Previous year income tax documents
- Vehicle registration
- Voter registration
- Utility Bill (s)
- Tax documentation showing Homeowner's Exemption (if applicable)
Short-Term Rental Application: Required Documents
Applicants will need to supply the following materials as part of their Short-Term Rental or Homestay Permit application. Please note that while these items do not need to be drawn by a professional, they must include the dimensions.
- Application and Good Neighbor Policy
- Application Fee: $415
- Site Plan: This attachment must show the location of all existing buildings on the property, and the location and dimensions of any on-site parking.
- Floor Plan: This attachment must show all rooms within the home, labeled by room type.
- Mailing Service Fee: $207 - Notification to all the properties located within a 300 ft radius of the STR. This fee must be paid in addition to the Application Fee.
- Short Term Rental Regulations - Coastal Zone (PBMC 17.113)
- Short Term Rental Regulations - Outside Coastal Zone (PBMC 17.09)
- Short Term Rental and Vacation Rental Regulations - Administrative (PBMC 5.22.100)
- Inspector’s Checklist
- Application and Good Neighbor Policy
- Short-Term Rental & Homestay Zones Map
- Short-Term Rentals Allowed Map
- Short-Term Rentals Not Allowed Map
- Vacation Rentals Allowed Map
- What is a Short-Term Rental?
A Short-Term Rental (STR) is the rental of a detached single-family residence or accessory dwelling unit for less than 30 consecutive days where the primary residence is not being concurrently occupied by the owner (PBMC 17.113.020, 17.09.020). Existing duplexes or triplexes are not eligible to be used as Short-Term Rentals.
- What is a Homestay Rental?
A Homestay Rental is an owner occupied, detached single-family residence where bedrooms are rented for compensation for less than thirty consecutive days (PBMC 17.113.020, 17.09.020).
- Is there a difference between the application for a Short-Term Rental license and a Homestay license?
No. The application is the same. You will be required to select homestay or STR on the application to distinguish which you are applying for (PBMC 17.113.040, 17.09.040, 5.22.120).
- What is the Good Neighbor Policy?
The City requires that all occupants of STRs adhere to the Good Neighbor Policy. The policy is intended to minimize the impacts on STRs on neighborhoods. An outline if the Good Neighbor Policy can be found in Section D. of the STR Application and Sections 17.113.070 and 17.09.070 of the PBMC.
- How are 'days' counted when regulating STRs versus long-term rentals?
Days are counted in 24-hour periods. If advertising a long-term rental (<30 days), it must be advertised on a listing website (i.e. Airbnb, VRBO) for a minimum of 30 nights.
- Can I rent my ADU as an STR?
No. However, legally permitted ADUs occupied by the property owner may be deemed to be the property owner's primary residence; where the primary residence is used as the STR. If the ADU is attached to the primary unit, you must live in the ADU and a homestay license is required (PBMC 17.117.080, 17.38.155).
- Do I need to live in my STR once it is licensed?
Yes. The residence must be proven to be the property owner's primary residence. Documentation / evidence is required to demonstrate this is listed on the STR License Application (PBMC 17.113.060, 17.09.060, 5.22.100).
- My property is in the correct zone, but I'm in a condominium or planned development, can I rent my home as an STR/Homestay?
Probably not. If the condominiums share a wall or are a part of a common lot, this is not considered 'detached' and only detached residences may be license as STR or Homestay.
- I just bought a new house, when can I apply for an STR license?
You must own the residence for at least 6 months before you are eligible to apply for an STR license. You will be required to demonstrate the property is your primary residence. A list of documentation/evidence is listed on the STR License Application.
- What if my house has an existing, attached ADU, am I eligible for an STR?
No, but you may be eligible for a homestay license. Please be advised, you must live in the ADU full-time in order to use the main residence as a homestay.
- Who enforces the STR Ordinance?
The City is responsible for enforcement of the Short-Term Rental Ordinance (PBMC Chapter 17.113, Chapter 17.09, Chapter 5.22). A 3rd party contractor is used to help identify unlicensed STRs in operation in the City.
- What if I know of an unlicensed STR/Homestay in my neighborhood?
To report an STR concern or violation, call the City's STR hotline (800) 866-4301. Please make sure you include the full address of the location you are calling about.
- I am renting my home on a month-to-month basis, am I subject to the standards and provisions of this ordinance?
No, the City does not regulate long-term lease of property.
- What are the fines if a residence is operating as an unlicensed STR?
Violations of the STR Ordinance may be punished as administrative violations where initial fines shall be, at a minimum, $750 and $1,000 for each subsequent violation. Each separate day or rental night in which a violation exists may be considered a separate violation. Soliciting the residence on a listing website (Airbnb, VRBO) is a considered a violation and any attempt to rent an unlicensed residence as a STR or homestay by advertising said property for short-term rental purposed is subject to the same administrative fines.
- Do I need a Business License for my STR?
Yes. Please visit www.pismobeach.org/finance to complete a Business License application following submittal and approval of a STR Application through the Planning Division.
- What can I expect at the STR / Homestay inspection?
The City will conduct the inspection to confirm the bedroom count, on-site parking, and applicable safety standards. If complaints are received about an STR or homestay, the City shall have the right to re-inspect the property (PBMC 17.113.070, 17.09.070).
- What is the difference between a Vacation Rental and Short-Term Rental?
A Vacation Rental is a rental permitted within C-1, RR,R-4,CD,CD-C, CD-M, and CD-V zones that does not require the owner to live in the rental at any point of the year, whereas Short-Term Rentals are rentals for less than 30 consecutive days permitted within R-1, R-2, R-3, RSL, RSM, PR, OS-1 and OS zones.