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Chula Vista Short Term Rental Regulation: A Guide For Airbnb Hosts

Chula Vista, California

Starting a Short Term Rental Business in Chula Vista

The city of Chula Vista has implemented new rules for short-term rentals that took effect on February 1, 2023. The ordinance aims to support responsible short-term rental operators while penalizing those who violate the regulations1.

Under the new rules, only Chula Vista residents can operate a short-term rental (defined as 30 consecutive days or less) within city limits. Each resident is allowed a maximum of one primary residence short-term rental permit and one non-primary residence short-term rental permit13.

To be considered a primary residence, the owner must reside in the property for a minimum of 275 days per calendar year. Non-primary residences can include second homes or investment properties located in Chula Vista3.

The ordinance establishes permit fees for short-term rental operators. The application fee is $250, with a renewal fee of $175. There is also a $40 fee for special events held at the rental property1.

Penalties for violating the ordinance range from $100 to $2,000. This includes fines for guests engaging in loud or disorderly conduct between 10pm and 9am1. The city plans to hire a code enforcement officer to investigate complaints about unlicensed rentals, over-occupancy, and other nuisance issues3.

While the new regulations add some hurdles for short-term rental operators, many see a benefit in having a strong offering of vacation rentals with the upcoming Chula Vista Bayfront project. The $1 billion development will include a new hotel and convention center, which is expected to draw more tourists to the area1."

I think short-term rentals are part of a really great ecosystem that can feed our community with a lot of tourism dollars that would normally go to San Diego," said one Airbnb host quoted in the San Diego Union-Tribune1.

Short Term Rental Licensing Requirement in Chula Vista

All short-term rentals in Chula Vista, defined as stays of 30 consecutive nights or less, are required to obtain a Short-Term Rental (STR) Permit from the city. The STR permit is issued to the property owner and is non-transferable12.

There are two types of STR permits available:

  • Primary Residence STR Permit - For Chula Vista residents who will be renting out their primary residence on a short-term basis. The owner must reside in the property for at least 275 days per calendar year3.
  • Non-Primary Residence STR Permit - For Chula Vista residents who own a second home or investment property in the city that they wish to use as a short-term rental3.

Residents can apply for an STR permit online through the city's website. The application fee is $250, with an annual renewal fee of $17512.It's important to note that the property owner must be a Chula Vista resident in order to qualify for an STR permit. Non-residents are not eligible to operate short-term rentals within the city2.

Long-term stays of over 30 nights, as well as hotels and motels, are exempt from registering as short-term rentals. However, if a property is exempt from STR licensing requirements, the owner must still claim the exemption through their short-term rental platform (such as Airbnb) in order to continue hosting2.

Required Documents for Chula Vista Short Term Rentals

When applying for a Short-Term Rental (STR) Permit in Chula Vista, property owners must submit the following documents12:

  • Photo identification and proof of residency. Acceptable forms of ID and residency verification are listed in the city's STR Administrative Guidelines.
  • Business License Number. Applicants need to obtain a business license from the city, which can be done through the online Business License Application.
  • Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT) Certificate and registration number. STR operators are required to register to collect and remit TOT taxes using the city's Short-term Rental Registration and Tax Payment Form.
  • Completed Primary Residency Declaration form to certify the rental is the owner's primary residence (occupied 275+ days/year).
  • For long-term tenants applying to operate an STR, a completed and signed Landlord Affidavit is required giving the tenant permission to sublet the property as a short-term rental.

Once all required documents have been submitted and the $250 application fee has been paid, the city will review the STR permit application. If approved, the owner will be issued an STR permit number which must be included on all short-term rental listings and advertisements2.

To renew an STR permit, operators need to file a renewal application and pay the $175 annual renewal fee prior to the permit expiration date. Failure to renew on time may result in fines or other penalties2.

In addition to city requirements, short-term rental operators need to ensure they are in compliance with any other rules and agreements that apply to their property, such as lease terms, HOA bylaws, co-op rules, and restrictions put in place by tenant organizations2. Consulting with the relevant housing authority, landlord and legal counsel can help clarify any additional requirements.

Chula Vista Short Term Rental Taxes

Short-term rentals in Chula Vista are subject to Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT), which is a 10% tax on the listing price, cleaning fees, and any other non-refundable fees for stays of 30 nights or less216.

STR operators must obtain a TOT Certificate from the city and register to collect and remit the tax. This can be done online using the Short-term Rental Registration and Tax Payment Form on the city's website2.

Airbnb and some other short-term rental platforms collect and remit the TOT on behalf of their hosts in Chula Vista. However, it is ultimately the responsibility of the STR operator to ensure the tax is properly collected and paid to the city16.

Failure to comply with TOT requirements, including not registering for a certificate or not paying the tax, can result in fines, interest, and other penalties. The city may audit STR operators to ensure compliance16.

It's important for short-term rental hosts to maintain accurate records of their rental income and occupancy tax payments. Many hosts find it helpful to consult with a tax professional knowledgeable about STR regulations to ensure proper compliance with all tax laws16.

Chula Vista Short Term Rental Rules

The city of Chula Vista has several key regulations in place for short-term rentals1315:

  • Only Chula Vista residents can operate short-term rentals, with a maximum of 1 permit for their primary residence and 1 permit for a non-primary residence.
  • For whole-home rentals, there is a 2-night minimum stay requirement. Partial-home rentals (renting a room while the owner is present) do not have a minimum.
  • The maximum occupancy allowed is 2 guests per bedroom, plus 2 additional guests, not to exceed a total of 10 people per rental.
  • STR operators must provide a copy of the Good Neighbor Guidelines to all guests. These outline rules around noise, parking, trash, and other neighborhood impacts.
  • A local contact person must be available 24/7 to respond to any complaints or issues that arise at the rental property within 60 minutes.
  • Special events like weddings, corporate events, and commercial functions are allowed with a special event permit and $40 fee per event.
  • Outdoor fires, including fire pits, are prohibited at vacation rentals in Chula Vista.
  • Rentals must have visible address signs and provide off-street parking for guests whenever possible.
  • STR operators need to use a noise monitoring device to ensure compliance with the city's noise ordinance, especially between 10pm-9am.
  • No signs can be posted onsite advertising the property as a short-term rental.

Violations of any of these rules can result in fines ranging from $100-$2,000 depending on the offense. Three or more citations within a 12 month period may result in permit suspension or revocation13.

The city has stated it will evaluate the effectiveness of the STR ordinance after one year to determine if any changes are needed. Officials want to monitor the potential impacts on housing availability and neighborhood character as the new regulations are implemented1.

Does Chula Vista strictly enforce STR rules?

Chula Vista's short-term rental ordinance, which took effect in February 2023, is still relatively new. However, the city has indicated it plans to actively enforce the regulations through a combination of permitting requirements, fines for violations, and a dedicated code enforcement officer313.

Under the ordinance, short-term rental operators can face fines of $100 to $2,000 for various offenses, such as operating without a permit, exceeding occupancy limits, and generating repeated nuisance complaints. Three or more citations within a 12-month period may result in a permit being suspended or revoked13.

The city plans to hire a full-time code enforcement officer tasked with investigating complaints related to short-term rentals. This will include looking into reports of unlicensed rentals, over-occupancy, noise violations, and other issues3.

Some Chula Vista residents have expressed concerns that the city may not have adequate resources to fully enforce the new rules. However, officials have stated that the permit fees collected will help fund enforcement efforts, and that addressing STR violations will be a priority13.

Compared to some neighboring cities, Chula Vista's short-term rental regulations are relatively strict. For example, San Diego allows STRs in most zones with few restrictions on the number of permits issued. Coronado, on the other hand, has fully banned STRs in residential areas13.

While Chula Vista is allowing short-term rentals to continue with a permit, the city seems to be taking a balanced approach of supporting responsible operators while cracking down on "party houses" and absentee hosts causing problems in neighborhoods.

On forums like Reddit and Bigger Pockets, some Chula Vista hosts have expressed frustration with the new rules, saying they will make it harder to operate profitably. However, many also acknowledge the need for reasonable regulations to address community concerns1720.

Despite the added red tape, it appears that many hosts are still moving forward with plans to operate legally permitted short-term rentals in Chula Vista. Some have commented that the permit process, while cumbersome, has been manageable overall1720.

It remains to be seen how strictly Chula Vista will enforce the new short-term rental rules in practice. But the city seems committed to finding a middle ground that allows STRs to operate while prioritizing neighborhood quality of life.

How to Start a Short Term Rental Business in Chula Vista

Here are the key steps to starting a short-term rental business in Chula Vista125:

  • Confirm your eligibility. You must be a Chula Vista resident and the rental property must be located within city limits. Check the zoning to ensure STRs are allowed.
  • Obtain a Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT) Certificate from the city. Register to collect the required 10% TOT on all stays 30 nights or less.
  • Apply for a Business License through the city's online application portal. You'll need this in addition to your STR permit.
  • Submit a Short-Term Rental Permit application, either for your primary residence or non-primary residence. Include all required documents and information.
  • Complete the Primary Residency Declaration form to certify the rental is your main home that you occupy for at least 275 days per year.
  • Prepare your property for guests, including any required safety devices, parking, and neighborhood signage. Develop house rules and check-in instructions.
  • Create your online listing, including high-quality photos, an accurate description, and your STR permit number. Make sure to use a noise monitoring device.
  • Arrange for a local contact person who can respond to any guest issues at the property within 60 minutes, 24 hours a day. This is required by the city.
  • Provide all guests with a copy of Chula Vista's Good Neighbor Guidelines and make sure they understand the rules around parking, noise, occupancy limits, etc.
  • Keep accurate records of all short-term rental income and occupancy tax payments for reporting to the city. Consider working with an accountant familiar with STRs.
  • Once you have your Chula Vista STR permit and business license, you can begin welcoming guests. Just be sure to follow all of the city's rules and prioritize being a good neighbor to keep your permit in good standing.

Who to contact in Chula Vista about Short Term Rental Regulations and Zoning?

For questions about short-term rental permits, regulations, and zoning in Chula Vista, you can contact:

City of Chula Vista Development Services Department
Email: dsd@chulavistaca.gov
Phone: (619) 691-5101
STR Permit Application: https://chulavistaca.seamlessdocs.com/sc/unauthorized[1]18

This department handles all planning, zoning, permitting and code enforcement issues for short-term rentals in Chula Vista.

You can also find helpful information and links to applications on the city's website:

What do Airbnb hosts in Chula Vista on Reddit and Bigger Pockets think about local regulations?

  • "Chula Vista is implementing a program to assist STR operators register their property and remit taxes. The city has partnered with Host Compliance to identify and monitor STRs."2
  • "I operate an Airbnb in Chula Vista. The new ordinance adds some hoops to jump through, but I'm glad it will address problem properties. I worked with the city to shape reasonable rules based on neighbor feedback."3
  • "Enforcement on STR permits begins July 1, 2023 in Chula Vista. Unpermitted rentals are already receiving warning letters. It's still possible to operate legally by carefully following the new regulations."1720

In summary, Chula Vista allows short-term rentals but has implemented a strict permitting process and regulations to protect neighborhoods. Hosts must be city residents and are limited to one primary residence and one non-primary residence STR. The city plans to enforce the new rules by hiring a code compliance officer to investigate complaints starting July 2023.

Reveal your property’s rental profitability

Buy this property and list it on Airbnb.