Reveal your property’s rental profitability

Buy this property and list it on Airbnb.

Fremont Short Term Rental Regulation: A Guide For Airbnb Hosts

Fremont, California

Starting a Short Term Rental Business in Fremont

The City of Fremont adopted a new Short-Term Rental (STR) ordinance on January 9, 2024, which took effect on February 8, 2024. The ordinance allows STRs to operate in Fremont but adopts regulations to fit the characteristics of the city and preserve community character.

Under the new ordinance, a no-cost STR permit will be required to establish, operate, or maintain a STR in Fremont. City staff is currently developing the STR permit application and process. STR operators will have until the end of 2024 to obtain a permit and operate in accordance with the provisions of the new ordinance.

The ordinance was developed with extensive community feedback gathered through surveys, discussion forums, and virtual community meetings in late 2022. The regulations aim to allow STRs while safeguarding housing availability, maintaining affordable housing, preserving neighborhood character, and establishing a registration system to ensure compliance.

Fremont's STR ordinance is part of a broader trend of cities in the San Francisco Bay Area and across California adopting regulations for short-term rentals. Nearby cities like San Francisco, Oakland, and San Jose have implemented similar permit requirements and rules in recent years.

The rise of platforms like Airbnb and Vrbo has led to a significant growth in short-term rentals, prompting many cities to develop ordinances to manage their impacts. Common goals include preserving long-term rental housing stock, reducing nuisances in residential neighborhoods, and ensuring STRs pay required taxes.

Short Term Rental Licensing Requirement in Fremont

All short-term rental operators in Fremont will be required to obtain a no-cost STR permit from the city's Community Development Department. Existing STRs with a business tax ID number will have until December 31, 2024 to submit their permit applications once the ordinance is approved.

The specific required documents for the STR permit are still being determined, but based on other California cities, hosts will likely need to provide:

  • Property address
  • Property owner authorization if not the applicant
  • Local contact person information
  • Site plan or floor plan
  • Parking information
  • Safety certifications (smoke detectors, fire extinguishers, etc)
  • Guest information materials
  • Proof of liability insurance
  • Transient Occupancy Tax certificate

Hosts will not be able to have more than one STR in Fremont. Only one STR will be allowed at a time per dwelling, with a maximum of two guests per bedroom. The STR must be the host's primary residence, and they must live there for at least 9 months per year.

Permits will be valid for one year and must be renewed annually. The city may conduct inspections before issuing or renewing a permit to ensure compliance with building and safety codes. Permit numbers must be included on all STR listings.

Fremont Short Term Rental Taxes

Short-term rental operators in Fremont will be subject to the city's Transient Occupancy Tax of 10%. This tax applies to stays of 30 nights or less.Hosts are responsible for collecting the tax from guests and remitting it to the city on a monthly basis. They must also obtain a Transient Occupancy Tax certificate as part of the STR permit process.

The current minimum combined sales tax rate in Fremont is 10.25%, which includes state, county and city sales taxes. However, this does not apply to short-term rentals, which are instead subject to the 10% Transient Occupancy Tax.

Fremont-wide Short Term Rental Rules

The new Fremont STR ordinance adopts regulations to fit the characteristics of the city, such as:

  • Requiring a no-cost STR permit
  • Limiting STRs to the operator's primary residence
  • Requiring the host to live in the STR at least 9 months per year
  • Prohibiting STRs in affordable housing units and accessory structures
  • Allowing a maximum of 2 guests per bedroom, with a maximum of 5 bedrooms
  • Requiring a local contact person to be available 24/7
  • Establishing quiet hours of 10pm to 7am
  • Limiting maximum occupancy to 2 people per bedroom plus 2 additional guests, up to 10 guests total
  • Providing a minimum of one off-street parking space per bedroom rented
  • Complying with safety and building codes
  • Providing fire extinguishers, smoke detectors, and carbon monoxide detectors
  • Posting the STR permit number and local contact information in the unit
  • Prohibiting commercial events and non-registered guests
  • Requiring liability insurance of at least $500,000

Violations of the ordinance will result in fines starting at $250 for the first offense, $500 for the second, and $1000 for the third, with possible permit suspension or revocation. If a permit is revoked, the host cannot apply for another STR permit for 2 years.

Does Fremont strictly enforce STR rules?

Based on discussions on forums like Bigger Pockets and Reddit, Fremont seems to be taking a balanced approach to short-term rental regulations compared to some other California cities. The city is allowing STRs to operate with a permit rather than banning them outright.

However, with the new ordinance going into effect, Fremont will likely start enforcing the permit requirement and other rules more strictly than in the past. The city has stated it will actively monitor STR listings and issue violations to non-compliant operators. Fines for operating without a permit will start at $1000.

Some hosts may still attempt to operate without a permit, but this will carry increasing risks of significant fines and penalties if caught. The city has set up a short-term rental enforcement website and hotline for neighbors to report suspected illegal STRs.

Overall, Fremont appears to be somewhat Airbnb-friendly with its measured approach, compared to cities with very restrictive policies or all-out bans. But hosts will need to carefully follow the detailed requirements in the new ordinance to operate legally and avoid violations.

How to Start a Short Term Rental Business in Fremont

  • Review the full text of the City of Fremont's adopted Short-Term Rental (STR) ordinance to understand all the detailed requirements
  • Confirm your property is eligible for STR use under the ordinance and zoning rules
  • Prepare your property to meet all the ordinance standards for parking, occupancy, safety, etc.
  • Obtain a business license and Transient Occupancy Tax certificate from the city
  • Secure liability insurance coverage of at least $500,000
  • Obtain a no-cost STR permit from the city when the application becomes available (by end of 2024)
  • Provide all required documents for the STR permit, including property details, floor plan, parking information, safety certifications, etc.
  • Designate a local contact person to be available to handle any issues 24/7
  • Set up your STR listing on platforms like Airbnb or Vrbo, including your permit number and following their requirements
  • Establish processes for guest screening, check-in, cleaning, maintenance, house rules, etc.
  • Provide required guest information in the STR unit, including permit number, local contact, emergency info, house rules, etc.
  • Begin collecting and remitting the 10% Transient Occupancy Tax from guests
  • Comply with all ordinance rules for occupancy limits, parking, quiet hours, etc.
  • Maintain detailed records of STR activity for tax and permit renewal purposes
  • Renew your STR permit annually and schedule any required city inspections

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

For more information about Fremont's short-term rental regulations, you can contact:

David Wage, Code Enforcement Manager
City of Fremont Community Development Department

Tina Pham, Planning Manager
City of Fremont Community Development Department

You can also:

  • Visit the city's STR program website: https://www.my.fremont.gov/str
  • Email the STR program staff at: str@fremont.gov
  • Sign up for email updates on the STR ordinance implementation on the city website
  • Report suspected STR violations on the city's STR enforcement page or hotline

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

On the Airbnb subreddit, one Fremont host expressed concern about the impact of the new regulations, saying "Fremont City Council adopted the new ordinance, which takes effect on February 8, 2024. I'm worried how this will affect my STR business. The permit process and occupancy limits seem quite restrictive. I may have to sell my rental property if I can't make the numbers work under the new rules."

Another Fremont host on Bigger Pockets said "It looks like Fremont is taking a more balanced approach than some other Bay Area cities by allowing STRs with a permit rather than completely banning them. Hopefully the permit process won't be too onerous. I'm glad they are giving existing hosts until the end of 2024 to comply. The occupancy limits and parking requirements may be challenging for larger houses though."

On a Fremont Nextdoor post about the ordinance, residents shared mixed opinions - some supported allowing STRs with reasonable regulations, while others worried about impacts on housing availability and neighborhood character:"I think the new rules are a good compromise. STRs can bring in visitor spending to boost the local economy, but we need common-sense guardrails to make sure they don't overrun residential areas or eat up too much of our housing stock.""

As a long-time resident, I'm very concerned STRs are eroding neighborhood stability and community. Houses are being bought up by investors just to turn them into mini-hotels. The permit caps and primary residence requirement are a good start but I'd like to see even stronger restrictions."

In a Fremont Airbnb host Facebook group, reactions also varied. Some hosts felt the ordinance was relatively fair and were relieved to have clear rules to follow. Others thought the occupancy limits, parking requirements, and permitting process were overly burdensome, especially compared to more STR-friendly cities.

Several hosts said they would likely have to reduce the number of guests they can accommodate and raise prices to cover the added costs of compliance. A few multi-property hosts said they would probably sell some of their STR properties in Fremont and shift their investments elsewhere in the Bay Area.

Overall, it seems Fremont Airbnb hosts have mixed feelings - some are concerned about the impact of new regulations, while others feel the city's approach is fair compared to stricter policies elsewhere. Hosts will need to carefully evaluate how the ordinance affects their specific property and business model to determine if they can operate profitably under the new rules. The STR permit rollout and enforcement over the coming year will be closely watched by hosts, residents, and neighboring cities.

Reveal your property’s rental profitability

Buy this property and list it on Airbnb.