Breaking News
More () »

Application deadline nears for City of San Diego Short-Term Rental Licenses

Application period closes Nov. 30, at 5 p.m. for short-term residential occupancy Tier 3 and Tier 4 license types.

SAN DIEGO — The City of San Diego encourages hosts seeking to rent an entire home as a Short-Term Residential Occupancy (STRO), also referred to as short-term vacation rental, for more than 20 days to apply for an STRO license before the application period closes on Wednesday, Nov. 30, at 5 p.m.  

Starting May 1 next year, rental hosts must have a license to use properties within the City as short-term rentals. Tier 1 and Tier 2 licenses can be obtained any time, while the application period for Tier 3 and Tier 4 licenses closes this month. There are four different STRO licenses: 

  • Tier 1 licenses for short-term rentals totaling 20 or fewer days per year. 
  • Tier 2 licenses for renting a room or rooms in the home more than 20 days per year so long as the owner or permanent resident resides onsite. 
  • Tier 3 licenses for whole-home rentals outside Mission Beach exceeding 20 days in a year where the owner or permanent resident does not reside on site. 
  • Tier 4 licenses for whole-home rentals within Mission Beach exceeding 20 days in a year where the owner or permanent resident does not reside on site.  

The STRO Ordinance, approved by the San Diego City Council and California Coastal Commission, provides guidelines for short-term rentals of less than one month. These guidelines include a requirement for hosts to obtain a license and establish a cap on the number of licenses granted for whole-home rentals operating more than 20 days per year. 

“Don’t delay; the City has staff available to support applicants. The Tier 3 and Tier 4 license application period closes this month, you won’t be able to get a license next year and non-complying properties will be subject to strict enforcement,” said Development Services Department Director Elyse W. Lowe.   

To ensure compliance, enforcement measures may include Administrative Citation Warnings, Administrative Citations of up to $1,000 and Civil Penalties of up to $10,000 per violation. Unpaid penalties or continuing violations may also result in a property lien with the County of San Diego.  

Before beginning the application process for any of the four licenses, hosts must possess an active Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT) certificate and ensure all Rental Unit Business Taxes are in active paid status. 

For more information, to view a license application video and review frequently asked questions about STRO, click here.

At CBS 8, we are always Working for You and our San Diego community. If there is something you would like us to investigate, please share your idea here or email us at workingforyou@cbs8.com.

WATCH RELATED: Lottery process opens for short-term vacation rental licenses (October 2022)

Before You Leave, Check This Out