Owning a home in North Lake Tahoe comes with an abundance of rewards, from mountain and lake adventures to reconnecting with yourself and the natural world. It’s no wonder that Lake Tahoe and Truckee are hotspots for second homes. For property owners who need a little extra income to pay for their Tahoe home or just want a return on their investment, short-term rental (STR) opportunities help make that possible.

It’s no secret that a vast majority of properties in Truckee and Lake Tahoe are second homes, with property owners renting out their properties on booking sites like Vacasa and AirBnB as short-term rentals. According to the Mountain Housing Council White Paper (March 2019) concerning Truckee’s STRs, of 13,368 homes in Truckee, 52% are second homes, and almost 13% are rented out short-term (less than 30 consecutive days).

I’ve had many parties express interest in renting out their Tahoe vacation home as an STR, either for extra income, or to help pay for their vacation property. Perhaps you are one of them! If so, there are new Lake Tahoe STR rules you need to know about.

In response to local pressure to update STR policies, the Town of Truckee and Placer County revised their short-term rental guidelines and requirements for 2021. Placer County and Truckee have similar STR ordinance rules which I’ve listed out below. Permitting and fees are slightly different.

Placer County STR Permitting and Fees

All Lake Tahoe short-term rentals in Placer County are required to secure a Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT) certificate. The cost of a Placer County STR permit depends on whether your property is managed privately or professionally. STR permits for professionally managed properties cost $105 plus a $95.18 fee for a fire inspection. Privately managed properties pay $179 for an STR permit and $158.13 for a fire inspection.

Additionally, a quarterly TOT tax is required with rates depending on the location of your rental. The “North Lake Tahoe Area, Eastern Slope” TOT rate is 10% while the “Western Slope” is 8%. Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows properties are required to pay an additional 1% on their assessment. To find out which area your current or future property lies click here.

Find all Placer County STR information here.

Truckee STR Permitting and Fees

Truckee STR rules require homeowners to apply for an annual transient occupancy registration certificate, pay an annual fee of $400, and submit quarterly Transient Occupancy Taxes. 

The total Transient Occupancy Tax for Truckee is 13.25% which includes a 12% TOT (raised from 10% when voters passed local Measure K) and a Tourism Fee (TTBID) of 1.25% (a decrease from the prior 2%). 

STR Ordinance for Truckee + Placer County: A Snapshot

This is just a brief guide; access Truckee short-term rental rules here and Placer County, Tahoe short-term rental rules here.
  • NOISE: Quiet hours are from 10pm-7am.
  • ACCESS TO INFORMATION: Rentals must have a contact person’s phone number, evacuation information, occupancy limits, trash disposal and parking requirements, and violations fines posted.
  • PARKING: Rentals must have parking available on-site or a plan for off-site parking.
  • TRASH: Trash accumulation is prohibited. After October 31, 2021, Truckee rentals must have a bear box and two-bin garbage service.
  • CONTACT PERSON: A 24/7 helpline and local contact person must be available for conflict resolution.
  • FIRE SAFETY: Rentals are required to have a fire safety self-certification in addition to possible Truckee Fire District Inspections every three years.
  • FINES: Homeowners can be fined up to $500 a day for the first violation and up to $1,000 per day for subsequent violations. Certificates may also be revoked for continued non-compliance.
    Outdoor Fires: Charcoal grills, wood-burning pits, bonfires and campfires are prohibited.
  • SPECIAL EVENTS: Large events are prohibited in Truckee unless they comply with all STR requirements. In Placer County, homeowners must submit a county permit.
  • ADS: In all STR advertisements, homeowners are required to include the registration certification number, max number of occupancy and parking spaces. 

North Lake Tahoe STR Resources

Find information for your North Lake Tahoe short-term rental with links to required permits, self-certification forms, specific ordinances, and more. Tahoe Donner short-term rental rules are similar, but may have their own special requirements.

Need Help Managing Tahoe STR Logistics?

I have to let you know about a new local company that was created to help homeowners navigate and maintain the forms, permitting, and local contact person for their Lake Tahoe vacation rental. Meghan and Steve at ManageHome have put together affordable packages so that you can rest assured that your home is always in compliance. Their main objective is to help you avoid unnecessary fees and headaches. In fact, you can get away with paying the lesser registration fees in Placer County if you work with ManageHome. 

With four packages available and a robust website packed full of helpful information, ManageHome is a valuable resource for every Tahoe homeowner who has an STR. Learn more about ManageHome here. 

If you’re in the market for a new Lake Tahoe home, get in touch! I’d love to help you understand the area, various neighborhoods, and current market. Reach out now.

Work With Samantha

Samantha understands the disclosures, homeowner commitments, and governing bodies that a buyer or seller may encounter across the region’s diverse collection of communities.


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