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Oxnard Short Term Rental Regulation: A Guide For Airbnb Hosts

Oxnard, California

Starting a Short Term Rental Business in Oxnard

The City of Oxnard, located in Ventura County, California, has adopted ordinances regulating short term rentals (STRs) within the city. A short term rental is defined as the rental of any legally permitted dwelling unit, in whole or in part, for occupancy for dwelling, lodging or sleeping purposes for a period of less than thirty (30) consecutive calendar days. Property owners who wish to operate a short term rental in Oxnard must obtain a permit from the city and follow a set of operational standards and property management requirements outlined in the city's short term rental ordinance.

There are two types of short term rental permits available in Oxnard:

  • Grandfathered Short Term Rental Permit: This permit is available for property owners who consistently paid Transient Occupancy Taxes to the city since 2019 and have complied with the city's STR regulations. Grandfathered permits do not expire as long as the permit holder remains in good standing with the city.
  • Temporary Short Term Rental Permit: This permit is available for property owners who operated an STR in Oxnard before March 25, 2019 but were not paying Transient Occupancy Taxes to the city. Temporary permits are non-renewable and expire after one year.

The number of short term rental permits is limited in Oxnard. The city has established permit caps based on a percentage of residential units in each neighborhood, as defined in the City of Oxnard neighborhood map. In most residential areas, the number of vacation rental permits is limited to 5% of total housing units per neighborhood. However, in the beachfront zone, which includes neighborhoods like Oxnard Shores and Hollywood Beach, the number of permits is capped at 10% of residential units.

In addition to the permit caps, new STR properties must also adhere to separation requirements. Short term rentals must be located at least 100 feet away from other permitted STRs in the Residential Beach Front (R-BF) zone and at least 200 feet away in any other residential zone. These density and distance restrictions are intended to prevent the over-concentration of vacation rentals in Oxnard neighborhoods.

To start operating a short term rental in Oxnard, property owners need to follow these steps:

  • Review the city's STR regulations to ensure their property is eligible for a permit based on zoning, permit caps, and separation requirements
  • Apply for a Short Term Rental Permit from the city during the designated application window, submitting all required documents and fees
  • If the permit is approved, register for a City of Oxnard Business License and set up processes to collect and remit Transient Occupancy Tax on a monthly basis
  • Ensure the STR property follows all of the city's operational standards, occupancy limits, parking rules, and other requirements outlined in the ordinance
  • Maintain detailed records of rental activity and be prepared to provide them to the city upon request
  • Renew the Short Term Rental Permit annually and continue to stay in compliance with Oxnard's STR regulations to avoid fines and penalties

Short Term Rental Licensing Requirement in Oxnard

To legally operate a short term rental in Oxnard, property owners must obtain a Short Term Rental Permit from the city. The permit application process requires submitting:

  • A completed Land Use Application form with all associated requirements
  • An Affidavit signed by each property owner agreeing to comply with the city's operational standards and property management requirements for short term rentals
  • Proof of property ownership and primary residency, if applying for a homeshare permit
  • A site plan and floor plan showing the configuration of the rental unit and available parking
  • Proof of insurance with a minimum of $500,000 in liability coverage
  • Permit application fees, business license fees, and fees for required notifications to neighboring property owners

Short term rental permits in Oxnard are valid for one year and must be renewed annually. The renewal process requires submitting updated documents, paying renewal fees, and demonstrating continued compliance with the city's STR regulations.

Permits are specific to the property and operator. If the property is sold or transferred to a new owner, the short term rental permit does not transfer with the property. The new owner must apply for a new permit if they wish to continue operating the property as an STR.

It's important to note that obtaining a short term rental permit in Oxnard can be competitive due to the permit caps in each neighborhood. The city accepts permit applications during designated application periods, typically once per year. Property owners need to submit their applications during this window to be considered for a permit. If the number of applications exceeds the available permits in a neighborhood, the city conducts a lottery to randomly select permit recipients.

Required Documents for Oxnard Short Term Rentals

When applying for a Short Term Rental Permit in Oxnard, property owners need to provide the city with several required documents, including:

  • Short-Term Rental Permit Application: A completed application form signed by all property owners.
  • Short-Term Rental Property Owner Authorization Form: A notarized form signed by all property owners authorizing the short term rental.
  • Short-Term Rental Property Manager Authorization Form: A form designating a local contact person or property manager who is available 24/7 to respond to issues at the STR.
  • Short-Term Rental Safety Inspection Form: A form completed by a certified inspector verifying the property meets safety requirements for fire extinguishers, smoke alarms, carbon monoxide detectors, and emergency exit routes.
  • Short-Term Rental Zoning Consistency Table: A form demonstrating the STR property's compliance with zoning requirements, permit caps, and separation distances from other STRs.
  • Affidavit of Notification to Neighbors: A notarized affidavit confirming that neighbors within 300 feet of the STR property have been notified of the rental.
  • Proof of Insurance: A certificate of insurance showing a minimum of $500,000 in liability coverage for the STR property.
  • Site Plan and Floor Plan: Drawings showing the configuration of the rental unit, including bedrooms, bathrooms, and parking spaces.
  • Transient Occupancy Tax Acknowledgement Form: A signed acknowledgement that the STR operator will collect and remit TOT to the city.
  • Application Fees: Payment of all required permit application fees, business license fees, and notification fees.

The city also requires STR permit applicants to provide a mailing list with the addresses of the owner and all property owners within a 300 foot radius of the short term rental property. The city uses this list to send mailed notifications to neighbors about the proposed STR.

In addition to these documents required for the initial permit application, short term rental operators in Oxnard must keep records of all rental agreements and occupancy for a period of three years. The city may request these records to verify compliance with occupancy limits and other STR regulations.

Oxnard Short Term Rental Taxes

Short term rental operators in Oxnard are required to register for a City of Oxnard Business License and collect Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT) from their guests. The TOT rate in Oxnard is currently 10% of the rent charged to guests.STR hosts must file TOT returns and remit the taxes collected to the city on a monthly basis. Returns are due on or before the last day of the month for the prior month's rental activity. Even if the property was not rented during a particular month, hosts must still file a return showing zero rental income for that period.

Late payments of TOT are subject to penalties and interest. The penalty for delinquent TOT is 10% of the amount due, with an additional 10% penalty if the tax remains unpaid after 30 days. Interest accrues on delinquent TOT at a rate of 1.5% per month.

Some short term rental marketplaces, like Airbnb, have agreements with the City of Oxnard to collect TOT on behalf of hosts. In these cases, the marketplace remits the taxes directly to the city. However, hosts are ultimately responsible for ensuring that taxes are properly collected and paid, even if they use a marketplace that collects TOT.

The city may audit short term rental operators to verify compliance with TOT collection and reporting requirements. Hosts must keep records of all rental agreements, income, and occupancy to provide to the city upon request. Failure to collect and remit TOT can result in fines, penalties, and revocation of an operator's short term rental permit.

Oxnard-wide Short Term Rental Rules

In addition to obtaining a permit and paying taxes, short term rental operators in Oxnard must follow a set of rules and regulations established by the city. These rules apply to all permitted STRs in Oxnard, regardless of their location or permit type. Some of the key requirements include:

  • Occupancy Limits: The maximum overnight occupancy of an STR is limited to 2 people per bedroom, plus 2 additional people, up to a maximum of 10 people total. For example, a 2-bedroom STR could have up to 6 overnight guests (2 per bedroom, plus 2), while a 5-bedroom STR could have up to 10 overnight guests. Daytime occupancy is limited to the overnight occupancy plus 6 additional people.
  • Parking Requirements: All parking for STR guests must be provided on-site, with no use of street parking allowed. The number of required parking spaces depends on the number of bedrooms in the rental unit. Studio and 1-bedroom STRs must provide at least 1 on-site parking space, while STRs with 2 or more bedrooms must provide at least 2 on-site spaces.
  • Noise Restrictions: STR guests must comply with the city's noise ordinance, which prohibits loud and unruly conduct that disturbs the peace and quiet of the neighborhood. Quiet hours are in effect from 10:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m., during which time no outdoor amplified sound is allowed.
  • Trash Management: STRs must have adequate trash collection service to handle all waste generated by guests. Trash containers must be kept out of public view, except when placed at the curb for collection. Trash cannot be left at the property after check-out.
  • Prohibited Activities: STR guests are prohibited from engaging in any illegal activities at the property, including the use or sale of drugs, gambling, and prostitution. The use of the STR for commercial events or gatherings that exceed occupancy limits is also prohibited.
  • Minimum Stay: STRs in Oxnard must be rented for a minimum of 3 consecutive nights. This requirement is intended to discourage "party houses" and ensure that STRs are used for longer-term stays.
  • Annual Rental Cap: STRs in Oxnard are limited to a maximum of 100 rental nights per calendar year. This cap applies to the total number of nights the property is rented, regardless of the number of separate bookings or guests.
  • Posting Requirements: STR operators must post the following information in a conspicuous location inside the rental unit: the name and contact information for the designated local contact person, the maximum occupancy limit, the maximum number of vehicles allowed on-site, the quiet hours, and the trash collection schedule.
  • Advertising Requirements: All advertisements for the STR, including online listings, must include the city-issued permit number and business license number. Advertisements cannot promote any activities that are prohibited by the city's STR ordinance, such as events or gatherings that exceed occupancy limits.

Short term rental operators who violate these rules are subject to fines and other penalties. The city has established a tiered system of fines for STR violations, starting at $1,000 for the first offense and escalating to $5,000 for the third offense within a 12-month period. Operators who continue to violate the rules may have their short term rental permit suspended or revoked by the city.

Does Oxnard strictly enforce STR rules?

Based on discussions among Airbnb hosts on forums like BiggerPockets and Reddit, it appears that the City of Oxnard does actively enforce its short term rental regulations, particularly in beach areas like Oxnard Shores and Hollywood Beach where STRs are most concentrated.

The city has established significant fines for STR permit violations and for operating an STR without a permit. Fines start at $1,000 for the first offense and can escalate to $5,000 for repeat violations. The city also has the authority to suspend or revoke an operator's short term rental permit for repeated violations of the STR ordinance.

To help enforce the rules, the city has set up a hotline and website for neighbors to file complaints about problem STRs. Complaints can be submitted anonymously and are investigated by the city's code compliance officers. The city also proactively monitors short term rental listings and conducts inspections of permitted STRs to ensure compliance with occupancy limits, parking requirements, and other regulations.

Compared to some other California cities, Oxnard has taken a relatively strict approach to regulating short term rentals. The city's STR ordinance includes permit caps, minimum stay requirements, annual rental night limits, and density restrictions that are not found in all jurisdictions. While some hosts may still attempt to operate STRs without permits, doing so carries a significant risk of fines and legal action from the city.

Overall, most hosts on forums like BiggerPockets and Reddit do not consider Oxnard to be a particularly "Airbnb friendly" city, especially compared to markets with more relaxed regulations. The city's STR ordinance attempts to balance the concerns of full-time residents with the growth of vacation rentals, but the permit caps, rental night limits, and other restrictions can make it challenging for hosts to operate STRs profitably in Oxnard.

That said, hosts who are willing to follow the rules and go through the permit process can still successfully operate short term rentals in Oxnard. The key is to thoroughly research the regulations, understand the permit requirements and caps, and be prepared for active enforcement by the city. Hosts should also carefully consider the economics of operating an STR under Oxnard's rules, as the 100-night annual limit and other restrictions may impact revenue potential compared to other markets.

How to Start a Short Term Rental Business in Oxnard

Starting a short term rental business in Oxnard requires careful planning and attention to the city's regulations. Here are the key steps to get started:

  • Research the Regulations: Before purchasing a property or listing an existing property as a short term rental, thoroughly review the City of Oxnard's STR ordinance and permit requirements. Pay particular attention to the zoning restrictions, permit caps, and density limitations for the neighborhood where the property is located.
  • Evaluate the Economics: Assess the revenue potential and expenses of operating an STR in Oxnard, taking into account the 100-night annual rental limit, occupancy restrictions, and other regulations that may impact your bottom line. Compare the expected returns to other investment opportunities to determine if an STR makes financial sense for your goals.
  • Prepare the Property: If you decide to move forward with an STR, prepare the property to meet the city's safety and habitability requirements. This may include installing fire extinguishers, smoke alarms, and carbon monoxide detectors, as well as making any necessary repairs or upgrades to the property.
  • Obtain Required Permits and Licenses: Apply for a Short Term Rental Permit from the city during the designated application window, typically once per year. Submit all required documents, including proof of ownership, a site plan, a neighborhood notification affidavit, and a safety inspection form. If your permit is approved, register for a City of Oxnard Business License.
  • Set Up Tax Collection: Establish a process to collect and remit Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT) to the city on a monthly basis. If you plan to use a short term rental marketplace like Airbnb, check if they have an agreement to collect TOT on your behalf. If not, you will need to collect the tax from your guests and file monthly returns with the city.
  • Establish House Rules and Rental Agreements: Create a set of house rules for your STR that comply with the city's regulations, including occupancy limits, parking requirements, noise restrictions, and prohibited activities. Incorporate these rules into your rental agreement and make sure guests are aware of them before booking.

Who to contact in Oxnard about Short Term Rental Regulations and Zoning

For questions about Oxnard's short term rental regulations, permits, taxes and zoning, the main point of contact is:

City of Oxnard Community Development Department
Planning Division

214 South C Street
Oxnard, CA 93030
Phone: (805) 385-7858
Email: planning@oxnard.org
Website: https://www.oxnard.org/str/

The Planning Division handles short term rental permits and can provide information on the city's STR ordinance, operational standards, and zoning requirements. They process permit applications and renewals.

For business licenses required to operate a short term rental in Oxnard, contact:

City of Oxnard Business Licensing Division
214 South C Street
Oxnard, CA 93030
Phone: (805) 385-7817
Website: https://www.oxnard.org/city-department/department-billing-licensing/business-license/

The Business Licensing Division handles the required business tax certificates for short term rentals. They can assist with registering for a business license and setting up transient occupancy tax collection and remittance.

To report issues or violations related to a short term rental property, Oxnard has set up a hotline and online complaint form:

Oxnard Short Term Rental Hotline: (805) 200-1565
Online Complaint Form: https://www.hostcompliance.com/tips

The city uses a third-party company, Host Compliance, to track short term rental activity and complaints. Residents can report problems like noise, parking, trash, and over-occupancy to the hotline or website. Complaints are forwarded to the city's code compliance officers for investigation.

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

On forums like Reddit and BiggerPockets, Oxnard Airbnb hosts have expressed mixed views about the city's short term rental regulations. Some feel the rules are overly restrictive, while others believe they are necessary to balance the concerns of residents and the growth of vacation rentals.

A common complaint among hosts is the cap on short term rental permits. The city limits permits to 5% of housing units in most neighborhoods and 10% in beach areas. Some hosts argue this unfairly benefits a small group of "grandfathered" permit holders and makes it difficult for new STRs to operate legally. As one host on BiggerPockets wrote:"

The permit caps in Oxnard make it nearly impossible to get an STR permit unless you were one of the lucky ones who got in early. It's frustrating because there is clearly demand for vacation rentals here, but the city has basically handed control of the market to a select few."

The 100-night annual limit on short term rentals is another point of contention. Hosts on Reddit have complained this restriction, unique to beach neighborhoods, makes it hard to turn a profit on their STRs. In the words of one Redditor:"

I understand the city wants to crack down on 'party houses' but the 100-day cap is a blunt instrument. It punishes responsible hosts and guests who want longer stays. A whole-home STR in Oxnard Shores is really only viable in the summer with that limit."Other hosts are more sympathetic to the city's rationale behind the regulations. They point out the rules are an attempt to preserve housing and quality of life for permanent residents. One BiggerPockets member offered this take:"

I've been operating an STR in Oxnard for a few years now and while the permit process is a hassle, I get why the city has put these rules in place. We need to be good neighbors and make sure STRs aren't disruptive. The regulations add costs but they also weed out some of the bad actors."

Despite the frustrations with the regulations, most hosts agree that operating a short term rental legally in Oxnard is still possible if you carefully follow the rules. The key is to understand the permit requirements, zoning restrictions, and operational standards before investing in a property. As a Redditor summed it up:"

It's not the Wild West for STRs in Oxnard like it is in some cities, but you can still make it work as a host if you dot your i's and cross your t's. Just don't expect to fly under the radar or get rich quick. The city is watching."Overall, the sentiment among Oxnard hosts seems to be that the city's STR regulations, while imperfect, are likely here to stay. Those who want to operate vacation rentals will need to adapt and work within the system, even as they advocate for policy changes.

Reveal your property’s rental profitability

Buy this property and list it on Airbnb.