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Moreno Valley Short Term Rental Regulation: A Guide For Airbnb Hosts

Moreno Valley, California

Starting a Short Term Rental Business in Moreno Valley

Moreno Valley is a city located in Riverside County, California. While Moreno Valley itself does not have specific regulations on short-term rentals (STRs) like Airbnb and VRBO, Riverside County has passed an ordinance requiring STR hosts in unincorporated areas to register their properties and follow certain rules123.

Hosts looking to start an STR business in Moreno Valley should first check if their property is located within city limits or in an unincorporated part of Riverside County. Properties within Moreno Valley are not currently subject to STR-specific regulations, as the city's Municipal Code does not have provisions allowing or governing short-term rentals612. However, all STR operators still need to obtain a standard business license from the city813.

For properties in unincorporated Riverside County, hosts must comply with Ordinance No. 927, which went into effect in 2016. The purpose of the ordinance is to establish rules for the use of residential properties as STRs in order to minimize negative impacts on surrounding neighborhoods15. Key provisions include:

  • Obtaining a short-term rental permit from the county
  • Paying transient occupancy taxes
  • Limiting occupancy based on property size
  • Posting required information inside the rental
  • Having a local contact available 24/7 to respond to issues
  • Not using the property for weddings or events without a separate permit

Short Term Rental Licensing Requirement in Moreno Valley

Since Moreno Valley does not regulate short-term rentals at the city level, there are no STR-specific licensing requirements for properties within city limits612. Hosts simply need to obtain a general business license from the city's Financial & Management Services Department813.

However, hosts operating in unincorporated parts of Riverside County must obtain a short-term rental certificate from the Riverside County Planning Department for stays of fewer than 30 nights14. The initial application fee is $250 for the first year, and the annual renewal fee is $1004. To be eligible, properties must meet certain criteria, such as having sufficient parking, working smoke detectors, and an evacuation map posted inside the unit.

Required Documents for Moreno Valley Short Term Rentals

To apply for a short-term rental certificate in unincorporated Riverside County, hosts need to submit the following documents to the county's Planning Department45:

  • A completed STR certificate application form
  • Proof of a current Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT) certificate from the county
  • For properties managed through Airbnb, an Airbnb Annual Earnings Summary report showing the property was rented for at least 24 days in the past year
  • A site plan and floor plan of the property
  • Proof of property insurance
  • A "good neighbor" policy signed by the host

Within Moreno Valley city limits, hosts simply need to complete the city's standard business license application and provide any additionally requested information8.

Moreno Valley Short Term Rental Taxes

All short-term rental operators in Riverside County, including those within Moreno Valley city limits, are required to collect a 10% Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT) from guests and remit it to the county on a quarterly basis31011.

Hosts must register with the Riverside County Treasurer-Tax Collector's Office to obtain a TOT certificate before they can begin collecting the tax310. Stays over 30 consecutive days by the same guest are exempt from the TOT1011. Failure to register, collect, and remit the tax can result in penalties and interest charges.

Airbnb collects and remits the Riverside County TOT on behalf of its hosts, but hosts using other platforms like Vrbo are responsible for handling the tax themselves16. Hosts should keep detailed records of their rental income and tax payments in case of an audit by the county.

Moreno Valley-wide Short Term Rental Rules

While Moreno Valley does not impose any STR-specific operating rules, hosts in unincorporated Riverside County must follow the regulations laid out in Ordinance No. 927134. These include:

  • Posting required information inside the rental, such as contact info for the operator and local authorities, occupancy limits, parking and trash rules, and copies of the Good Neighbor Brochure and county STR ordinance
  • Having a local contact person available 24/7 to respond to complaints within 60 minutes
  • Not allowing the property to be used for weddings, parties or other special events without a separate permit
  • Maintaining a valid TOT certificate and remaining current on quarterly tax payments to the county
  • Ensuring guests follow "quiet time" rules prohibiting loud noises between 10pm-7am
  • Installing noise monitoring devices outside if the property is under 5 acres
  • Notifying neighbors within 300 feet that the property will be used as a short-term rental

Violations can result in fines of $1,500 to $5,000 depending on the circumstances. Three or more citations within a 12-month period may lead to permit revocation110.

Does Moreno Valley strictly enforce STR rules?

Since Moreno Valley does not have STR-specific regulations on the books, the city does not proactively enforce special rules for short-term rentals612. The city relies on its general business licensing, zoning, and nuisance ordinances to address any issues with STRs operating within its boundaries.

Riverside County appears to take a balanced approach to STR enforcement in unincorporated areas. The county's ordinance sets clear operating rules but still allows compliant rentals to do business13. Officials respond to complaints and can issue fines for violations, but there is no evidence the county is aggressively cracking down on STRs.

Compared to some California cities that have banned or severely restricted short-term rentals, Moreno Valley and Riverside County are relatively Airbnb-friendly1416. Hosts can operate legally by obtaining the proper permits and following applicable rules. Some Airbnb operators report running successful STRs in the area1419.

However, prospective hosts should carefully evaluate their property's eligibility and their ability to comply with county regulations before starting an STR. They should also consider the potential impact on neighbors and be prepared to address any concerns that may arise.

How to Start a Short Term Rental Business in Moreno Valley

Here are the key steps to legally start an STR business in Moreno Valley:

  • Determine if your property is within Moreno Valley city limits or an unincorporated part of Riverside County
  • If in the city, obtain a business license from the Moreno Valley Financial & Management Services Department813
  • If in the county, confirm your property is eligible for an STR permit under Ordinance No. 9274
  • Register with the Riverside County Treasurer-Tax Collector's Office for a Transient Occupancy Tax certificate310
  • For county properties, apply for a short-term rental certificate from the Riverside County Planning Department45
  • Prepare the property in compliance with any applicable safety, posting and occupancy requirements14
  • Create a listing on Airbnb, VRBO or another STR platform and begin welcoming guests
  • Collect and remit the 10% county TOT on a quarterly basis, unless using Airbnb which handles it for hosts1016
  • Respond promptly to any guest issues or neighbor complaints to avoid violations and fines13
  • Renew your business license and STR certificate annually as required48

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

For questions about short-term rentals within Moreno Valley city limits, contact:

  • City of Moreno Valley Financial & Management Services Department (business licensing): 951-413-3080 or [email protected]13
  • City of Moreno Valley Planning Division (zoning): 951-413-320613

For questions about the Riverside County short-term rental ordinance and permits in unincorporated areas:

  • Riverside County Planning Department: 951-955-3200 or [email protected]5

For questions about registering and paying transient occupancy taxes in Riverside County:

  • Riverside County Treasurer-Tax Collector's Office: 951-955-3900310

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

There are relatively few online discussions specifically about Moreno Valley's regulatory environment for short-term rentals. However, some relevant threads provide insights:

  • In a 2018 Bigger Pockets thread, a prospective investor asked about the strength of the long-term and short-term rental markets in Moreno Valley. Respondents offered mixed opinions on the city's investment potential, with some citing concerns about high crime rates and a slow-growing economy14.
  • A 2009 discussion on the City-Data forums debated Moreno Valley's overall desirability, with residents noting the city's affordable housing but also its above-average crime rates at the time16.
  • Recent posts on the Airbnb Hosts Forum mention Riverside County's updated regulations taking effect in 2024, which will impose new caps and zoning restrictions on STRs in unincorporated areas. However, these changes don't appear to impact STRs within Moreno Valley city limits7.
  • One host on the Airbnb subreddit shared their experience successfully operating STRs in the Inland Empire region, which includes Moreno Valley, despite the county's rules. They emphasized the importance of thoroughly researching regulations, keeping detailed records, and maintaining positive relationships with neighbors19.

In summary, while Moreno Valley itself does not heavily regulate short-term rentals, hosts there must still comply with Riverside County's registration, tax collection, and operating rules. The county takes a moderate approach, allowing STRs to operate legally as long as they obtain permits and follow the ordinance.

Prospective STR operators should carefully evaluate the costs and benefits of the business model, given the area's particular characteristics and market conditions. They should also stay informed about any regulatory changes at the city or county level that could impact their ability to operate. With proper due diligence and adherence to the rules, short-term rentals can provide a viable investment opportunity in Moreno Valley.

Reveal your property’s rental profitability

Buy this property and list it on Airbnb.