Short-Term Rental Requirements

Effective July 1, 2021

The City of San Mateo adopted short-term rental regulations (Chapter 5.66) on February 1, 2021 to regulate short-term rentals and mitigate their impacts on surrounding neighborhoods. The City hired a consultant, HdL Companies, to administer the short-term rental program on behalf of the City.

The short-term rental regulations requires anyone interested in operating a short-term rental at their property to apply to for a short-term rental registration permit, obtain a business license, complete a transient occupancy tax certification form, and follow operating standards to ensure compliance with the Municipal Code. 

Steps to obtain and maintain a Short-Term Rental Permit: 

  1. Apply for a Business License
  2. Submit a Short-Term Rental permit application by using the online portal
  3. Comply with all operating standards listed below
  4. Pay the Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT) on an ongoing basis

Annual Short-Term Rental Permit and Fee:

The annual Short-Term Rental Permit Fee is $250 per year and is due July 1st each year.

Operating Standards: 

All short-term rentals within the City of San Mateo are expected to follow the regulations listed below. Failure to follow these standards may result in the revocation of the short-term rental permit and potentially administrative citations and related fines.

  • Short-Term Rentals may only occur within legal dwelling units, such as a single-family dwelling, part of a single-family dwelling, multi-family unit, condo. Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) cannot be used for short-term rentals and cannot apply for a short-term rental permit.
  • Provide a local contact person who is available respond within 60 minutes to neighborhood issues or complaints.
  • Properties cannot be rented for more than 120 days a year when hosts are not present on-site.
  • Parties or other special events on the property are prohibited.
  • Properties with three or fewer bedrooms must provide at least one off-street parking space. Properties with four or more bedrooms must provide at least two off-street parking spaces.
  • Occupancy is limited to two people per bedroom or ten people per property, whichever is less.

Short-Term Rental Resources: 

Complaints: 

To report complaints, issues or concerns about short-term rentals, please contact the Code Enforcement Hotline at (650) 522-7150.  For noise disturbances please contact the Police Department at (650) 522-7700 (24 hours, non-emergency).

Permit Information Contact: 

Questions on short-term rental permit application or Transient Occupancy Tax? Please contact the City’s short-term rental consultant, HdL Companies, by telephone or email.

Telephone Number: (650) 443-9056

Email Address: sanmateoTOT@hdlgov.com