Maintain Your Certified Host StatusReturn to Office of Short-Term Rentals
Once you are certified to host it’s important to follow the guidelines to remain compliant.
1. Report your Short-Term Rental Stays Quarterly
If you have an approved application and certificate number (e.g. STR-0001234): you will need to report all short-term stays which have occurred during each three-month reporting period (Jan-Mar, Apr-Jun, Jul-Sep, Oct-Dec). This report is accessed online and should be submitted online to the Office of Short-Term Rentals no later than one month after the end of each reporting period.
If you only have a pending application or an application under review: you do not need to submit Quarterly Reports.
2. Renew your Business Certificate Annually
Renew your business registration certificate every year with the Treasurer & Tax Collector. Renewals are due every May 31st and can be submitted online.
3. Pay your Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT)
Anyone in San Francisco who receives rent for a stay of fewer than 30 days must collect a 14% tax on the amount that they earn from their guests. This is called the “Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT)”.
NOTE: Currently, the only hosting platform that is a Qualified Website Company is Airbnb. If you ONLY list your residence on Airbnb you do not need to collect TOT or obtain a Certificate of Authority. If you list your residence on Airbnb and other hosting platforms, you must still follow the guidelines above to fulfill your tax obligations on earnings from non-Airbnb hosting platforms.
If you have any questions specifically about taxes, please refer to the Treasurer & Tax Collector’s website, or call 311.
For hosts that use a platform other than or in addition to Airbnb, please refer to our FAQ section to learn more about calculating TOT.
4. File and pay your Business Personal Property Tax
Hosts are required to report their Business Personal Property to the Assessor-Recorder’s Office as requested and pay property taxes on that property annually. Taxable business personal property includes property used by your guests in your rental, such as furniture, kitchen appliances, supplies, and equipment. For more information about these personal property taxes, review the Assessor-Recorder’s Short Term Rental FAQ.
To report this business personal property, hosts file a Form 571-STR with the San Francisco Assessor-Recorder’s Office. Look for your annual notice from the Assessor’s Office (sent each year in February) that lists your filing requirements; if you are required to file, visit the Assessor-Recorder’s SMART Community Portal to submit your 571-STR Form by May 7th annually. To get help filing your Form 571-STR, you can reference the Assessor-Recorder’s Taxpayer Help Pages or contact their office at email@example.com
If you have previously filed a Form 571-STR for your hosting services, you may not need to file again. Review your annual notice from the Assessor-Recorder’s Office to determine whether you must file. You can visit the Assessors website (www.sfassessor.org) for more information.
5. Renewing your Certificate and Reapplying for a Certificate with the Office of Short-Term Rentals every 2 Years
Once certified, you must continue to comply with the law. Visit the Office of Short-Term Rentals website to read the ongoing requirements for all short-term rental hosts. Within one month of the expiration of your certificate, OSTR will notify you via email about the renewal / reapplication process. This email will be sent to the address you provided during the application process.
After you get a short-term rental certificate
- Remain the permanent resident at the dwelling where you host short-term rentals. If you sell your dwelling unit, the certificate cannot be transferred to the new owner or a different dwelling unit. Only one Permanent Resident may be associated with a Residential Unit on the Registry, and it shall be unlawful for any other person, even if that person meets the qualifications of a "Permanent Resident," to offer a Residential Unit for Short-Term Residential Rental.
- Stay under the limits: "Unhosted" stays (when you are not home overnight) are limited to 90 total nights per year. "Hosted" stays (when you are home overnight) are not limited. You may not offer more than 4 individual short-term rental reservations within your dwelling unit (i.e. offer no more than 4 individual beds as separate, bookable listings).
- Report all of your stays at the end of each quarter to the Office of Short-Term Rentals (see below).
- Pay your hotel taxes: Transient occupancy taxes ("hotel taxes") apply to short-term rentals. If the hosting platform you are using does not automatically remit taxes to the Office of the Treasurer & Tax Collector, you will need to ensure that taxes are remitted. Please be aware that additional State and Federal income taxes may also apply. Please contact SF311 (311 on your phone) for questions regarding hotel taxes.
- Report and pay your business personal property taxes: Hosts are required to report their Business Personal Property to the Assessor-Recorder’s Office as requested and pay property taxes on that property annually. To report this business personal property, hosts file a Form 571-STR with the San Francisco Assessor-Recorder’s Office. Look for your annual notice from the Assessor’s Office (sent each year in February) that lists your filing requirements; if you are required to file, visit the Assessor-Recorder’s SMART Community Portal to submit your 571-STR Form by May 7th annually. You can also view your current account and assessment information on the Assessor-Recorder’s SMART Community Portal. To get help filing your Form 571-STR, you can reference the Assessor-Recorder’s Taxpayer Help Pages or contact their office at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Renew your business registration certificate with the Office of the Treasure & Tax Collector yearly.
- Renew your registration with the Office of Short Term Rentals every two years.
- Ensure your property (including other dwellings if your unit is within a tenancy in common [TIC] building) remains free of violations of Building, Housing, Planning, and all other City codes. No exterior signage is allowed as short-term rentals are intended to remain incident to the residential nature of the dwelling unit. In addition, a certificate can be revoked due to ongoing noise/event/party complaints.
Fines and penalties for illegal short-term rental hosting
Violations of the City’s short-term rental laws are subject to penalties of at least $484 per day for each dwelling unit in violation. These daily penalties begin on the day that a Notice of Violation is issued by the Office of Short-Term Rentals, and continue to accrue until the violation is fully abated. Repeat violations may be subject to escalated penalties and referral to the City’s Attorney’s Office for additional civil and/or criminal penalties.
To maintain good standing as a certified short-term rental host, you must submit a quarterly report to the Office of Short-Term Rentals. The quarters begin on January 1, April 1, July 1, and October 1 of each year. At the end of each quarter, you have 30 days to report the number of nights you have rented your unit (hosted and unhosted) as a short-term rental. This requirement applies no matter which hosting platform/website you use. Registered hosts must still report no stays if no short-term rentals occurred within the quarterly reporting period.
How to stop hosting
- Remove all (online) listings that advertise your short-term rental, and cancel pending short-term rental reservations for stays of less than 30 days.
- Hosts may also choose to close their (separate) business registration certificate, by filling out this form with the Office of the Treasurer & Tax Collector to declare that you are no longer hosting.
- Notify the Assessor-Recorder’s Office of your business closure online or print, complete, and mail a paper Request for Business Closure form and mail it to the Office of the Assessor-Recorder. Depending on the date of your business closure, you may still need to declare business personal property taxes for the current year. Business personal property taxes are separate from hotel taxes (transient occupancy taxes).
- Email the Office of Short-Term Rentals with the following information:
- Your STR certificate number
- Your street address
- Your full name
- A statement that you no longer intend to host short-term rentals