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Hosted Rental Permit
Vacation Rentals & Hosted Rentals Service Availability
Short-term Rental Limitations Health Order
For the latest information on short-term rental limitations, visit the sites below:
Hosted rentals are the rental of a single room or sleeping area within a single-family dwelling, where the property owner remains in residence. Hosted rentals do not include vacation rentals permitted in accordance with the Sonoma County Code for vacation rentals, or occasional home exchanges that are not otherwise subject to Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT). Hosted rentals must meet Performance Standards (below) to ensure compatibility with surrounding residential uses.
Only one hosted rental per property is allowed per parcel, and a whole-house vacation rental is not a hosted rental, even if the property owner resides in another dwelling unit on the same property.
Vacation Rentals vs. Hosted Rentals
Find out which situation applies to your property.
Where are Hosted Rentals Allowed?
Hosted rentals may be allowed (with permit) in:
- Homes in single-family residential zoning districts (AR, RR, and R1)
- Homes in agricultural and resource zones (DA, LEA, LIA, and RRD)
- The Vacation Rental Exclusion (X) Combining District
Hosted rentals are not allowed in:
- Higher-density residential districts (R2 and R3)
- Accessory dwelling units
- Accessory structures (unless legally permitted guest houses)
- Farm Family, Agricultural Employee, or Farmworker housing units, or on lands under Williamson Act contract
- Affordable housing units
- Non-habitable structures
- Structures intended for temporary occupancy (i.e., recreational vehicles, tents)
If you are unsure of what your zoning is, please consult Permit Sonoma's Official Zoning Database.
Permit Type Required
A Zoning Permit is required for all hosted rentals. Hosted rentals of not more than one room or sleeping area that meet the standards of the Sonoma County Code are allowed as provided by the underlying zone, subject to issuance of a Zoning Permit. See application requirements, below.
- Transient Occupancy Tax. The property owner shall maintain a transient occupancy tax (TOT) certificate and remain current on all required reports and payments. Owner must ensure that the TOT certificate number is included on all contracts or rental agreements, and in any advertisements, websites or internet listings.
- Food service. Food Service, if provided, is limited to breakfast served to inn guests only, and is subject to the approval of the Sonoma County Department of Health Services.
- Events Prohibited. No weddings, lawn parties or similar activities are permitted.
- Vehicles. A limit of one vehicle may be permitted for the hosted rental.
- Noise Limits. Outdoor amplified sound is prohibited. All activities associated with the transient use must meet the general plan noise standards. Quiet hours are from 10:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m. The property owner must ensure that the quiet hours are included in rental agreements and in all online advertisements and listings.
- Pets. Pets, if allowed by the owner, must be secured on the property at all times. Continual nuisance barking by unattended pets is prohibited.
- Outdoor Fire Areas. Outdoor fire areas, when not prohibited by state or local fire bans, may be allowed but are limited to 3 feet in diameter, must be located on a non-combustible surface, must be covered by a fire screen, and must be extinguished as soon as the fire is no longer in use or by 10:00 pm, whichever is earlier. No fire or fire area can be located within 25 feet of a structure or combustible material.
- Septic Systems and Sewer Connections. The owner must maintain a properly functioning septic system or sewer connection.
Apply for a Hosted Rental Permit
Hosted Rental Application Forms
A complete application shall include the following items. Incomplete applications will not be accepted. All forms listed must be filled out completely (no blank spaces).
Note: All documents must be submitted electronically. Permit Sonoma staff may, upon request, provide some assistance with electronic submittal if required.
- Application Forms:
- PJR-001 Planning Application (PDF: 180 kB), signed by the applicant and property owner(s).
- PJR-011 Indemnification Agreement (PDF: 132 kB), signed by owner or agent with owner’s written authorization. A separate indemnification agreement must be signed by each property owner.
- PJR-120 Hosted Rental Application and Affidavit (PDF: 166 kB)
- Site plan meeting the requirements of PJR-129, Site Plan Requirements for Planning Applications, and clearly identifying all structures on the property and their uses; the access to the property (public road, private road, driveway); the proposed parking; and any outdoor areas that will be made available as part of the Vacation Rental (pool, spa, etc.).
- Floor plan, identifying all rooms in the home or structures, including the number and location of guest rooms to be used as a part of the Hosted Rental. Exits must be clearly shown.
- If vacation rental to be served by a septic system, provide proof of septic capacity. Applicants may need to see visit the Permit Sonoma Records Division for this documentation.
- Transit Occupancy Tax (TOT) Registration Form (choose appropriate one):
- Filing fee. See the current Permit Sonoma Project Review Fee Schedule. Fees will be determined once the full scope of a project is evaluated by Permit Sonoma staff at the time of application submittal. If paying by check, please do not fill in amounts on checks prior to application acceptance.
Cessation of Hosted Rental Use
Vacation Rental Zoning Permits and Hosted Rental Zoning Permits expire automatically upon the sale or transfer of a vacation rental or hosted rental property. Property owners who have sold their property should also let Permit Sonoma know as soon as possible in order to not be held liable for any vacation rental or hosted rental use of the property once it has been sold.
This form should be completed and submitted in all cases where the home is no longer being used as a vacation rental or hosted rental.
Fill out the Affidavit of Cessation of Vacation Rental or Hosted Rental Use (PDF: 158 kB) and follow the instructions on the form for submission.