Lake Tahoe Short Term Rental Guide

Lake Tahoe is one of the most beautiful places in the entire world and for that reason, Lake Tahoe is also known as one of the most popular vacation destinations in North America. It comes as no surprise that short-term rental properties on AirBnB, VRBO, Home Away, etc. have gained in popularity here in the Lake Tahoe region. Whether you're a second home homebuyer, an investor, or just wanting to take some longer vacations and rent out your Lake Tahoe property on a short-term basis, these short-term rental restrictions will be extremely applicable to you and may change your perspective on buying a home in Lake Tahoe.

The short-term rental investment strategy has been rapidly gaining in popularity due to demand of rental income potential. Often times, short-term rental incomes can far exceed long-term rental incomes; especially in top travel destinations such as Lake Tahoe. For this reason, short-term rental properties in Lake Tahoe are one of the best choices for investors looking for reliable short-term rental cash flow.

However, due to many investors and second homeowners turning their properties into short-term rentals, impacts on the local residents and the local economies are starting to occur, both positively and negatively. Lake Tahoe and Truckee are comprised of two states and five different counties, and each of these counties have now enacted their own policy and legislation restricting or governing short-term rentals in some capacity or another. 

In order of most lenient regulation to most strict regulation, I rank areas as:

  1. Incline Village & Crystal Bay, NV
  2. Tie (Placer County, CA & Douglas County, NV)
  3. Truckee, CA (Nevada County, CA)
  4. El Dorado County, CA (Outside of South lake Tahoe, CA)
  5. South Lake Tahoe, CA (Areas Subject to Measure T)

Short-term rental properties in Lake Tahoe can create you and your family a supplemental income and even replace your income! However, if purchasing a short-term rental property in Lake Tahoe is something that you are considering, you need to be aware of local policy and legislation regarding these properties. 

In this blog post below, I have outlined each of the five Lake Tahoe and Truckee counties and each of their latest policies and legislation surrounding short-term rental restrictions. 

INCLINE VILLAGE

Incline Village is a very affluent incorporated district of Washoe County located along the northeastern shore of Lake Tahoe.

The Incline Village General Improvement District (IVGID) nor Washoe county have placed rental restrictions on properties in Incline Village. However, in order to operate a legal short term rental, there are rental regulations and a short term rental (STR) permit must be obtained from the county.

Many home owner's associations (HOAs) have placed restrictions on properties within their communities on short term rentals.

Obtain a Short Term Rental Permit in Incline Village

NORTH LAKE TAHOE

(KINGS BEACH, TAHOE VISTA, CARNELIAN BAY, AGATE BAY, CEDAR FLAT, DOLLAR POINT, TAHOE CITY, PALISADES TAHOE)

On January 25, 2022, the Placer County Board of Supervisors introduced an ordinance to repeal and replace the existing short-term rental ordinance, Chapter 9, Article 9.42 of the Placer County Code. The ordinance was adopted on February 8, 2022 and will take effect March 11, 2022.

The total number of short term rental permits has been capped at 3,900.

Registration for permits is currently open and will be granted in this order:

  • 1st priority - Given to those owners who need permits renewed.
  • 2nd priority - Given to those who were exempt before this ordinance in Olympic Valley (Palisades Tahoe) and various other unique situations (Buyers who purchased property during the moratorium time period, where the property had a valid rental permit that could've been transferred from Seller to Buyer).
  • 3rd priority - Given to those who applied for an STR permit after the moratorium, or new applications.

New STR permit applications, that are received prior to reaching a total cap inventory, will be processed on a first come first serve basis. When the total cap inventory is reached, any and all outstanding permit applications, will be placed on a waitlist.

The County will maintain the overall cap inventory as permits are not renewed or revoked and on a quarterly basis commencing on July 1, 2022 will open up the application process to those on the waitlist. Applications will be processed based on the date of receipt of the application, starting with the oldest date. 

Condo Hotels are exempt from these short term rental regulations - Contact Cole for a full list of Condo Hotel properties.

Learn More - Placer County Short Term Rentals

EAST SHORE, NV 

(GLENBROOK, ZEPHYR COVE, ROUND HILL, STATELINE, KINGSBURY - ALL DOUGLAS COUNTY, NV)

Douglas county has also instituted a 600 permit cap on STR permits within county limits, effective July 15, 2021. Any remaining applicants will be placed on a waitlist The waitlist applications will be accepted on a first come - first serve basis during July 1 - 31 only.

Vacation Home Rentals are only allowed in the Tahoe Township area of Douglas County with a permit. Effective July 15, 2021, the owners of any property being advertised and/or operated as an un-permitted vacation home rental located anywhere within Douglas County is in violation Douglas County Code and the Nevada Revised Statutes shall be subject to a $20,000 civil penalty.

* In order to be granted a permit, a subject property will have to pass a fire safety inspection.

Douglas County STR Permit Guidebook

Apply for the Waitlist

Read the Ordinance Here

TRUCKEE

On Tuesday March 22, 2022, staff presented to Town Council the recommended Short-Term Rental (STR) Ordinance Amendments. The first ordinance reading was adopted unanimously by Town Council ushering forward the following ordinance modifications:

  • Registration Certificate Cap of 1,255.
  • Phase out STRs in Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) and Multi-Family Dwelling Units: Units with an existing registration certificate will be permitted to renew their registration certificates, if not renewed then the homeowner will be unable to reapply. No new registration certificates will be issued for these property types.
  • 365-Day Waiting Period after a home sale before the new owner may register as an STR.
  • Increase Penalties for Violation of the ordinance up to:
    • $1,500 per day for the first violation
    • $3,000 per day for the second violation
    • $5,000 per day for each additional violation
  • Inspections Fees may be charged for an STR.
  • December 31st Deadline for Registration Renewal
  • Waitlist Application Process
  • Create an STR Registration Certificate-based Workforce Housing Advancement Program

The second reading of the STR Ordinance will take place on April 12, 2022, and if adopted Ordinance 2022-02 will go into effect after thirty days, on May 12, 2022.

Sign Up to Receive Further Information 

EL DORADO COUNTY, CA

(Tahoma)

Vacation rentals permits in El Dorado County have been capped at 900 and all permits have currently been spoken for. 

*Properties that have an active permit when a house changes ownership do not transfer. When the house sells, the permit becomes null and void.

* If you are looking to purchase a property in El Dorado County, please be sure to check the buffering map first. If it is in a 500 foot buffer zone of a permitted property, it is not eligible for a VHR permit. 

Vacation Rental Waitlist Application

Learn more.

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, CA

What is Measure T?

Measure T is a citizen-initiated ballot measure that amended City regulations on vacation home rentals (VHRs) in South Lake Tahoe.

Can I keep my VHR permit if my property is in the Tourist Core?

Measure T does not affect existing or future VHR permits in non-residential areas[1] (i.e., tourist core, commercial, and recreation zones) of South Lake Tahoe, except for multi-family properties where VHR permits are no longer allowed anywhere in the City. New VHR permits, in compliance with City regulations, will continue to be issued in non-residential areas. 

Are there any alternative options to rent my entire home? 

Yes, Measure T allows for properties within a residential zone, whose owner is a permanent resident of the City of South Lake Tahoe, to vacation rent the entire dwelling for up to 30 (consecutive or non-consecutive) days total per one-year permit period. A Qualified Vacation Home Rental Permit application and proof of a primary residence property tax exemption is required.

Can I rent just a portion of my home?

On November 17, 2020, the South Lake Tahoe City Council adopted a hosted rental ordinance establishing regulations allowing a qualified homeowner or tenant to rent a portion of their home. For more information, please visit www.cityofslt.us/1089/Hosted-Rentals.com or use the below contact information.

Learn More About the Tourist Core

If you have a desire to purchase a short-term rental property in Lake Tahoe, please reach out to me directly at 775-225-2549. I look forward to guiding you in the complex process or purchasing your short-term rental property in Lake Tahoe!


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Cole’s mission is to elevate the real estate experience for his clients. He is a long-time Lake Tahoe resident and luxury home expert who has developed innovative strategies to provide his clients with an unmatched, bespoke level of service, attention, and support.