I am looking to purchase property in Oakland and considering what are my options to house hack. I have a few questions for anyone who is currently AirBnBing in Oakland. Noticed that there are a lot of listings even in spots not zoned for any type of commercial activity at all. I'd be willing to take answers offline too if you don't want your name and possible strategy to be indexed by google/public.
- Do you have a business license?
- Literally Oaklands website says 2 oposite things. From the planning committee, its code is pretty strict on STRs, but the biz tax website (http://www2.oaklandnet.com/w/OAK055544) is all about collecting STR #.
- Are you zoned in a place where you can conduct airbnb?
- Since Airbnb pays the Transient Occupancy Tax, do they also give Oakland your address and income numbers?
Basically, can I AirBnB in Oakland? Does anyone on here do it?
Hi Kevin, I have rented in Oakland and SF using the short-term section on CL. I did not want to put the listings on AirBnB. I claimed the income on my taxes but paid no additional taxes. Hope that helps.
I have years of experience professionally managing over 50 listings on AirBnB for others, I founded 5 hostels which reached Super Host status on AirBnB within 1.5 months of starting up, and now I offer design and management for co-living homes as well, so I have plenty of insight to offer.
Firstly, here's a technical run down:
Oakland residents who host short-term rentals must register their properties with the city and submit a 12% Transient Occupancy Tax for every reservation for fewer than 7 nights. In addition to the 12% tax, hosts must pay a 2% enforcement fee and a $220.00 non-refundable annual application fee to register their property.
Properties qualify for short-term rental so long as:
1. Short-term use is approved for this purpose by the property owner / landlord
2. It's covered by liability insurance of $1,000,000 (AirBnB provides this through their Host Protection Insurance)
3. Located in one of the following zones: R-1, R-1A, R-2, R-2A, R-3, R-4, R-5, R-S,
R-SMU, CDMU, C-1, C-NS, C-SA, C-T, C-W, MUR - Including any of these
zones with an H overlay
The following properties CANNOT be used for short-term rentals:
1. Is a Below Market Rate unit
2. Has had a no-fault eviction within the last five years
3. Is an accessory dwelling unit that:
a. Was built after April 1, 2017
b. Has been used as a long term rental since April 1, 2007
AirBnB collects and remits the 12% transient occupancy tax and 2% enforcement fee
directly from the guest during booking and pays this to the city. For example: If a guest reserves a listing for 5 nights at $100 per night for a total of $500, the guest will be charged an additional $70 (14% of $500) to cover the transient
occupancy tax and enforcement fee, which will be collected and paid to the city by AirBnB on your behalf.
Obtain the proper business license if you plan to operate your property as a short-term rental for the majority of the year and register your property as well, which is very easy to do. The next thing you have to think about is designing an AirBnB space that will lead to satisfied guests AND satisfied neighbors. The last thing you want is to upset your neighbors and have a complaint filed against your property. Check-in should be seamless, so guests don't go knocking on doors. You should take into consideration security. How will you handle keys? Physical keys inevitably lead to security issues that will cause you headaches. Some electronic lock systems are not remotely programmable, so if there is a security issue and you need to re-code the lock, you will still have to visit the lock in person. There are ways to automate messaging so that your guests are updated with important information, such as "How is your stay so far?" messages that allow you to gauge if guests need anything, "Check-out instructions" messages so that turnover is smooth, and so on and so forth. House Rules should also be created and displayed digitally and in-person at the property.
I would love to chat sometime and share more... Typing is not my favorite!
Hey @Raquel Pea ,
Thank you for the long post, this is exactly what I was looking for. I actually purchased and closed on my first property in January, sorry for not getting back to you sooner just been doing first time home owner stuff. The home I bought is located in the RM-2 zone, can I do short term rental in this zone? I also sent you an email too.
@Raquel Pea - this is a great summary. Quick question about the "cannot" be used for a rental point: "Has been used as a long term rental since April 1, 2007"
Does this also apply if you buy a single family home which previously was rented, move into it, but then convert a small part of that unit into an airBNB suite? Doing all this while you maintain owner-occupier status. I've only recently come across a property that fits this profile, but I do know there are plenty of rented SFHs in Oakland, some with lots of space, and some with owners that are looking to cash out.
Just curious if you have dealt with this kind of situation.
@Kevin Gomes in case you also are interested
Very very informative post!