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A short-term rental (also called an STR) is a furnished, self-contained single–family residence, apartment, or room rented for a short period (up to 30 consecutive days) as opposed to month to month or annually. Short-Term Rentals are also known as vacation rentals, transient rentals, short-term vacation rentals, resort dwelling units, and are typically found through companies such as Airbnb™, HomeToGo™, FlipKey™, Vrbo™, Tripping.com™, and other vacation rental websites. For a more complete overview, read the Short-Term Rental Ordinance in the Milpitas Zoning Code Section 13.
A host is either the property owner or resident of the property where the STR is located.
You may only offer short-term rentals once you have obtained a Home Occupation Business License for your property from the Milpitas Business License Center and then received a permit from the Planning Department. The permit number must be posted on all listings advertising a short-term rental.
Yes. Prior to 2020, all short-term residential rentals (stays of less than 30 days) were illegal in Milpitas (per the City’s Planning Code). This included rentals for the entire home, or just a portion (e.g. private room listings). However, beginning in July 2020, hosts were eligible to register, with the Planning Department, in order to host limited short-term rentals; and only in eligible homes where the host also lives at least 275 nights per year. Short-term rental hosts are required to register with the Planning Department.
Certain types of properties are never eligible for short-term rental. Please email Short Term Rentals if you are not sure how your property is classified.
Fees include the cost of a business license ($100) to be renewed annually, a Short-Term Rental permit ($509) also to be renewed annually, and monthly occupancy tax payments.
Rentals Longer than 30 Nights: Renter Rights and Rent Control
Rentals for more than 30 consecutive nights (by the same visitors) are not subject to short-term rental regulations or subject to hotel (transient occupancy) taxes. Business personal property taxes may still apply (administered by the Santa Clara Assessor-Recorder).
In addition, rental/tenant protections and rent control provisions may apply to stays of 30 days or more. The Planning Department cannot provide advice on tenant protection or rent control rules and laws. Contact the Housing Department for more information.
If rentals are offered for more than 30 nights per guest stay (for those dwelling units not authorized to offer short-term rentals by the Planning Department) ensure that booking calendars and advertisements for all online listings clearly indicate a 30-day minimum stay.
Renting Your Home for Meetings and Events
Some hosts use online platforms to rent out portions of their home for daytime events such as work space usage by individuals booking short time segments; or for ceremonies, conferences or meetings. This type of activity generally violates Planning Code rules if the space being used is intended for residential use.
Short-Term Rentals in Commercial and Industrial Buildings
Short-term rentals may only be hosted in areas that are permitted for residential use. For example, short-term rentals may not be held in a institutional, commercial or industrial building, unless a specific portion of the building is authorized (per the Department of Building Inspection) as a residential dwelling unit. In addition, vehicles (including RVs and Camper Vans) and temporary structures (such as tents, sheds, tree houses, etc.) may not be used for short-term rentals. Short-term rentals can be hosted in residential portions of live-work units; if the host is a permanent resident. However, the short-term rental activity is not considered a qualifying business activity in those specific live-work units where a notice of special restrictions (NSR), recorded on the property, requires a business activity/registration for the "work" area. Also see: "Ineligible Properties."
What is the basis for the City of Milpitas to create regulations for short-term rentals?
The Milpitas Charter references it'ss authority as a charter city to make and enforce all local laws and regulations that are not in conflict with general state laws per the California Constitution, Article XI, Section 7.