Short-term rental regulations are in a constant state of change. The below resource is updated when possible, but it should not be taken as legal advice. It is critical that you consult with your local lawyer to ensure you are taking the necessary steps to keep your business safe and legal.
Introduction to short-term rental regulations in Oregon
Short-term rental regulations in Oregon can be hard to find and understand. Below is a comprehensive look at the proposed or legislated rules in Oregon for short-term rentals to help property managers and vacation rental owners better run and ultimately scale their businesses.
Oregon laws related to short-term rentals
The state of Oregon requires short term rental providers—known as “transient lodging providers” and “transient lodging intermediaries”-collect and submit lodging taxes by filing revenue returns on a quarterly basis. The funds collected through the lodging tax is placed towards Oregon tourism programs. Under this tax law, whoever collects payment from lodging customers for fewer than 30 nights, whether it is a whole house or a room, must collect and submit the taxes and is considered a Transient Lodging Provider (owner) or Intermediary (owners agent).
The Oregon lodging tax is 1.8% of the rent charged to the customer, this will drop to 1.5% on July 1, 2020. Registering your short term rental with the state is kept simple and is automatically recorded in conjunction with your first filing of taxes. Local city and county room taxes may still apply and rates vary by individual cities, the complete list is found here. Here are some things to keep in mind when filing state taxes:
Returns must be filed on a quarterly basis and all “Property Info” must be completely filled out every quarter.
You are not responsible for filing multiple returns for each property but will need to submit additional Property Info page reports and receipts for every property you own or manage.
Quarterly returns are due the last day of April, July, October, and January.
You can withhold 5% of the state lodging taxes you collect to cover additional admin costs associated with quarterly filings.
Note: Even if you do not collect taxes on a particular property, you must still submit a zero-earning report on that property every quarter.
Filing is free.
Proposed legislation for short-term rentals in Oregon
Senate Bill 621 was released in spring 2019, which calls to prohibit local governments from restricting the use of lawful dwellings for vacation occupancy. While the bill is active with the Senate committee, no meetings to call for a vote have been scheduled. The bill is met with much criticism from local city governments citing careful regulations have been enacted (as applicable) to balance the needs of a growing tourism economy and long term housing/community needs.
The bill sets to regulate the industry statewide and calls for registration at the state and local level. It is argued that this will fill gaps where some towns have no regulations in place and allow personal property rights of owners who may rely on the additional income to maintain their lifestyle.
Cities in Oregon with Short-Term Rental Regulations
The city of Eugene Oregon allows short term rentals for fewer than 30 nights per guest, with the proper registration through the city and by adhering to the following regulations:
Transient Room Tax - on top of the state Transient lodging tax, you must register your rental with the city, collect and remit 4.5% transient room tax.
Occupancy Limits - a family of any number or up to 5 unrelated guests are permitted per property. For example, a family of 3 can rent a bedroom to two unrelated guests. There are no limitations for persons related to the long-term resident.
Overnight camping is permitted on residential properties in a camper, tent, trailer or vehicle so long as it is parked in the driveway.
You cannot collect rent on overnight stays that are considering “camping”, so you can not rent vehicles or structures that fall into this category on your property.
The city of Bend, Oregon requires any short term rental operator to apply for a Land Use Permit and an Initial Operating License. Whole home rentals are permitted once the operator obtains the required license, permit and collects and remits transient lodging taxes.
Bend Development Code Standards for Short Term Rentals (Section 3.6.500)
The use of a property for short term rental occupancy is permitted in all residential, commercial and mixed-use districts with a Land Use Application (with adjoining fee), permitting the following operational standards are met:
Concentration Limits - There must be at least 250 feet of separation between residential zoned properties or properties within the MR zone outside of the Old Mill District boundary with a permitted Short Term Rental, measured radially from the property boundary. This concentration limit does not apply to Infrequent Short Term Rentals (rented less than 30 days per year) or Owner-Occupied Short Term Rentals within these zones.
Occupancy - Two persons per bedroom with two additional persons permitted. As an example, a three bedroom property is permitted no more than 8 persons.
Parking - One parking space per bedroom.
Active Operating License & Land Use Permits
There is one exception to needing the permit and license and that is if the property is located within Mt. Bachelor Village, The Courtyards at Broken Top (Lots 1-8 and 21-32) or Deschutes Landing. For a full list of approved zoning locations, please refer to the Interactive Short Term Rental Eligibility Map.
STR Land Use Permits
When completing the application for an STR Land Use Permit, you will need to be prepared with the following documentation and it must be submitted electronically.
Must be to scale and show appropriate measurements.
Show all structures
Outline existing and proposed parking plan
Floor Plan - show entire floor plan including the garage. Pictures of the garage are required if part of the parking plan.
Authorization of prospective buyer as the applicant - an application can be submitted with the owner and the prospective buyer as long as they co-sign and provide a written request to do so.
Proof of Residency (for Type I - Owner Occupied) - will need to provide at least two of the following:
Oregon drivers license
Federal income tax return from the most recent tax year.
The initial application fee is $275 with annual renewals costing $200.00. Expect a 2-3 week approval process.
New Short Term Rental Permit holders will have 60 days after being issued their permit to apply for the STR
Operating License and there are late fees involved if you do not meet this deadline
Operating Licenses are only granted to property owners, new property owners are unable to be passed over the license and must submit a new application within 60 days of the sale of the property.
The city of Portland, Oregon allows Accessory Short-Term Rentals. The term accessory emphasizes that the primary use of the property (or rental) is a long term occupancy, and only part of the property is used for renting.
The regulation allows for partial home rentals lasting fewer than 30 days, or in other buildings on the land where the long term occupant resides. Whole home rentals are not permitted. The owner must reside permanently on the property for at least 270 days of the year and they are permitted to rent through an agent or property management company. The owner must apply for a permit and will need this approved permit number when registering for the state Transient Lodging Tax. There are differing permitting processes based on the number of bedrooms for rent.
Type A (1-2 bedrooms) - a rental in a long term property is permitted for up to two bedrooms for overnight guests. A Type A Short Term Rental permit is required and you will need to submit to an inspection to ensure the home meets all safety and building codes. You must also take part in a neighborhood notification process.
Long term occupancy
The owner (or resident) of the short term rental must live on site for at least 9 months of the year. During times when the long term occupant is away, the property may be rented, though no more than 2 bedrooms can be rented.
Any owner or owners agent must register their business with the City or Portland Revenue Bureau and collect and remit Transient Lodging Taxes.
Bureau of Development Services Inspection
Permit fees are $178.08 initially and include the cost of the inspection. Renewals are $62.00.
Permit renewals are every two years and owners or owner agents can self-certify compliance with smoke and carbon monoxide detectors during the renewal process. Bureau of Development Services (or BDS) will perform a site inspection initially and every 6 years after.
BDS will ensure all building codes and detectors are in compliance.
A smoke detector must be present in the bedroom for rent and be interconnected with a smoke detector in an adjacent hallway, a connected room or living area.
The bedrooms for rent must be located on a floor with a functional carbon monoxide detector. The carbon monoxide detector must be located in the rented room or within 15 feet outside of each bedroom door.
All owners and owners agents must submit a Neighborhood Notice form to the Neighborhood Association & District Coalition of Neighborhoods associated with the neighborhood the accessory short term rental is located. This same form must be sent to all property owners with properties abutting, diagonally and across the street from the rental.
Advertising and Posted Notices
The assigned Accessory Short Term Rental permit id must be present in any and all advertising of the rental unit.
Owners and operators must post their Accessory Short Term Rental permit and applicable house rules that promote a quiet and peaceful stay and to be courteous of neighboring residents.
Food and alcohol information
The guests and visitors may be served food and alcohol permitting all relevant laws are adhered to, however, a paid vendor is not permitted onsite to serve food and beverages to guests. This ordinance was enacted to sway large parties or get-togethers. Large functions, parties, fundraising events are not permitted in Type A short term properties.
Occupancy limits & tracking
All zoning enforcement must be adhered to when setting occupancy for renting. No more than 5 guests allowed at any one time (for two rooms).
Owners or owners agents are expected to keep a guest log book with all guests names, addresses, contact information, license plate numbers for those using vehicles and their assigned room. This information must be kept up to date as best possible and made available to BDS should they require it.
Type B (3-5 bedrooms)
A Type B Accessory Short Term Rental permit allows the owner or owners agent to rent 3-5 bedrooms in a long-term occupied property (at least 270 days of the year) and they must consent to a Conditional Use Review by BDS.
You must submit a proposal to include the number of bedrooms you are looking to rent, the frequency of rentals and any code violations you are aware of at the time of application.
Scaled site and floor plans are required with your application packet. The scaled site plan should identify the location of the dwelling unit, onsite parking, detached structures present on the property, fencing and landscaping details.
Floor plans should designate the rooms intended for rent and clearly show the rooms occupied by long-term occupants.
It is recommended to include site and building photos with your application packet.
The narrative is an overview of the project and should demonstrate how the property included with the application is in compliance and will adhere to any and all ordinances, zoning laws and the intent to collect applicable transient lodging taxes.
Information such as a set of house rules and a required transportation analysis impact study will help your inspector determine eligibility.
Things to consider
Neighborhood feedback - you are strongly encouraged to notify any neighboring owners within 150 feet of your property. Should there be any neighbor concerns, it is best to address them prior to the inspector arriving.
Conditions of approval - these special use approvals usually come with conditions, so be prepared to work with and supply as much information as your inspector requires through this process. They typically will ask for a contact person should there be maintenance or any noise complaints.
Required alterations - It is common for the inspector to require certain conditions be met in order to obtain approval, things such as landscape screening, lighting, and fencing are a few things that may require attention prior to the release of any approvals.
No guarantee of approval - not all applicants will be able to meet the requirements as designated by the inspector and by law.
Right to appeal - The conditional review is a discretionary review process. The applicant, neighbors or neighborhood associations can appeal the inspector's decision with the City Hearings Officer. This officer will hold a public hearing and accept testimony and any evidence prior to making a final decision.