San Francisco defines a short-term rental as a unit that is rented out in periods of 30 days or less.  Hosts must be permanent residents of the property (minimum 275 days) and be present when rented. However, hosts are allowed up to 90 “unhosted” nights per year.  On top of that, short-term rentals can only be operated in buildings in residential areas.

To operate a vacation rental, hosts must apply for a Business Registration Certificate from the Office of the Treasurer & Tax Collector.  They will receive a certificate from the Office of Short-Term Rentals, and the certificate number must be posted on all listings advertising a short-term rental.  Hosts must also report all short-term rentals quarterly with the Office of Short-Term Rentals.

Hosts in San Francisco can consult the short-term rental code.  The Office of Short-Term rentals also offers information in an easy-to-understand format.