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Santa Fe Short Term Rental Regulation: A Guide For Airbnb Hosts

Santa Fe, New Mexico

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What are short term rental (Airbnb, VRBO) regulations in Santa Fe, New Mexico?

In the vibrant city of Santa Fe, New Mexico, embarking on a journey to start a short-term rental business requires a keen understanding of the local regulations that govern this bustling market. These regulations, meticulously outlined by the city, serve as the cornerstone for individuals looking to venture into the world of Airbnb and VRBO in Santa Fe.

To kickstart a short-term rental business in Santa Fe, one must first navigate through the city's licensing requirements. In residential zones, acquiring a permit is a pivotal step, with a strict city-wide cap of 1,000 permits in place. These permits, limited to one per individual, cannot be transferred upon property sale and necessitate annual renewal by March 15th. The application process entails submitting essential documents such as local contact person information, a certificate of occupancy, and a statement affirming compliance with the laws, alongside the requisite fees.

Moreover, hosts operating in residentially zoned properties must secure a short-term rental permit and business license, while those in non-residential zones need a registration number and business license. Compliance with tax obligations is paramount, encompassing local, state, and federal taxes like lodgers' tax, gross receipts tax, and income tax.

Santa Fe's regulatory landscape extends to encompass stringent rules governing short-term rentals. These rules encompass limits on permit issuance, proximity restrictions between rental properties, and regulations on parking, occupancy, and nuisance activities. The city's aim is to maintain order in the short-term rental market and ensure adherence to local laws.

Despite the strict enforcement of rules in Santa Fe, hosts continue to operate within the city, navigating the regulations diligently. While Santa Fe's approach may be more stringent compared to other cities, hosts find ways to thrive by complying with the established requirements. The city actively monitors compliance through platforms like Airbnb and Vrbo, underscoring the importance of adherence to regulations.

For those looking to embark on this entrepreneurial journey in Santa Fe, a clear roadmap is essential. Understanding the regulations, obtaining permits and licenses, ensuring tax compliance, and maintaining meticulous records are key steps to success in the short-term rental market.Inquiries about regulations and zoning in Santa Fe can be directed to the City's Short-Term Rental Office, reachable at 505-955-6336 or via email at shorttermrental@santafenm.gov.

This office serves as a valuable resource for guidance on the application process, clarification of regulations, and assistance with compliance matters.

The sentiments of Airbnb hosts in Santa Fe, as shared on platforms like Reddit and Bigger Pockets, reflect a mix of appreciation for the regulations that maintain order in the market and the recognition of the importance of compliance with Santa Fe's stringent rules for short-term rentals. By navigating the regulatory landscape with diligence and cooperation, hosts can successfully operate in Santa Fe's dynamic short-term rental market, contributing to the local economy and tourism industry.

Starting a Short Term Rental Business in Santa Fe

To start a short-term rental business in Santa Fe, individuals must navigate through the city's stringent regulations, as outlined in the recent Short-Term Rental Ordinance approved on December 9, 2020, and effective from January 1, 2021. This ordinance mandates that all short-term rental owners and operators understand and adhere to the new rules and regulations set forth within it.

For any queries regarding these regulations, individuals can reach out to the Short-Term Rental Office at 505-955-6687 or via email at shorttermrental@santafenm.gov.

In Santa Fe, a short-term rental (STR) is defined as any dwelling unit rented for less than 30 calendar days. To operate legally, all short-term rentals must obtain a Business Registration (Business License) and either a Residential Short-Term Rental Permit or a Non-Residential Short-Term Rental Registration, depending on the property's zoning. The regulations also cover various aspects such as rental frequency, guest occupancy limits, off-street parking requirements, neighbor notifications, and tax obligations, including state gross receipts tax and city lodgers' tax.

Moreover, the city has imposed a cap of 1,000 short-term rental permits in residential zoning districts, with specific rules on permit renewal, proximity limits between rental properties, and compliance with covenants that prohibit short-term rentals. Hosts are required to renew their permits annually by March 15th, with a late fee applicable if renewed by April 15th. Failure to renew by the deadline results in permit expiration, subjecting the application to new provisions of the updated STR Ordinance.

For those looking to delve into the short-term rental market in Santa Fe, understanding these regulations, obtaining the necessary permits and licenses, ensuring tax compliance, and maintaining detailed records are crucial steps towards establishing a successful business. By adhering to the city's rules and regulations, hosts can navigate the intricacies of the short-term rental market in Santa Fe while contributing positively to the local economy and tourism industry.

Short Term Rental Licensing Requirement in Santa Fe

The Short Term Rental Licensing Requirement in Santa Fe is a crucial aspect of the city's regulations for operating a legal short-term rental business. This requirement ensures that all short-term rental owners and operators adhere to the rules and regulations set forth by the city, maintaining order and fairness in the market.

Under the Short-Term Rental Ordinance, a short-term rental is defined as any dwelling unit rented for less than 30 consecutive calendar days. To operate legally, all short-term rentals must obtain a Business Registration (Business License) and either a Residential Short-Term Rental Permit or a Non-Residential Short-Term Rental Registration, depending on the property's zoning.

The application process for obtaining a Residential Short-Term Rental Permit involves submitting various documents, including:

  • A completed application form
  • A copy of the applicant's government-issued photo ID
  • Proof of ownership of the property
  • A certificate of occupancy for the property
  • A site plan showing the location of the property and off-street parking spaces
  • A floor plan of the rental unit
  • A signed affidavit attesting to the accuracy of the information provided
  • Payment of the required application fee

Once approved, the permit is valid for one year and must be renewed annually by March 15th. A late fee is applicable if the permit is renewed by April 15th, and failure to renew by the deadline results in permit expiration, subjecting the application to new provisions of the updated STR Ordinance.

The city has imposed a cap of 1,000 short-term rental permits in residential zoning districts, with specific rules on permit renewal, proximity limits between rental properties, and compliance with covenants that prohibit short-term rentals. This cap aims to strike a balance between the needs of the short-term rental market and the preservation of residential neighborhoods.

Non-residentially zoned properties, on the other hand, require a Non-Residential Short-Term Rental Registration, which involves submitting similar documentation as the Residential Permit application. However, these properties are not subject to the 1,000-permit cap.

By adhering to the Short Term Rental Licensing Requirement, hosts in Santa Fe can operate their short-term rental businesses legally and contribute positively to the local economy and tourism industry. The requirement also ensures that the city maintains control over the growth and impact of short-term rentals within its boundaries.

Required Documents for Santa Fe Short Term Rentals

To obtain a Residential Short-Term Rental Permit in Santa Fe, hosts must submit the following required documents:

  • Proof of ownership of the property, such as a warranty deed, Santa Fe County Notice of Taxes Due, or Notice of Value
  • A site plan showing the location of all buildings and required off-street parking spaces (1 space for 1 bedroom, 2 spaces for 2+ bedrooms)
  • A floor plan showing all bedrooms in the unit
  • Proof of liability and property damage insurance (e.g., declarations page of a homeowner's policy)
  • A New Mexico Combined Reporting System (CRS/GRT) number for reporting and paying gross receipts taxes

The application process involves completing the online application through the City's Customer Self-Service portal and uploading the required documents. Hosts must also mail a notice by first class mail to any residential property within 200 feet, providing the name and 24/7 phone number of the owner/operator who will respond to complaints.

For non-residentially zoned properties, a Non-Residential Short-Term Rental Registration is required, which involves submitting similar documentation as the Residential Permit application.

Santa Fe Short Term Rental Taxes

The tax landscape for short-term rentals in Santa Fe, New Mexico, encompasses various components that hosts must navigate to ensure compliance with local and state regulations. Understanding and adhering to these tax requirements are essential for operating a successful and legally compliant short-term rental business in the city.

  • City Lodgers' Tax: Santa Fe imposes a combined 5% occupancy tax and 2% convention center fee, totaling 7% for lodgers' tax on short-term rentals. This tax is levied on the gross rent charged for occupancy and is typically collected from guests by hosts and remitted to the city. Compliance with the lodgers' tax is crucial for hosts to contribute to the city's revenue and support tourism-related initiatives.
  • State Gross Receipts Tax: In addition to the city lodgers' tax, all short-term rental hosts in New Mexico, including those in Santa Fe, are required to pay the state's gross receipts tax. This tax is levied on the gross receipts of businesses and can be passed on to guests as part of the rental fees. Hosts must register with the New Mexico Taxation and Revenue Department to collect and remit the gross receipts tax, ensuring compliance with state tax regulations.
  • Tax Reclassification Impact: Recent developments in Santa Fe, such as the reclassification of some short-term rentals as nonresidential properties for tax purposes, have had significant implications for affected owners. This reclassification has led to higher tax rates for nonresidential properties, with property valuations being adjusted to market value. As a result, owners of these properties have experienced substantial increases in their tax bills, highlighting the importance of staying informed about tax changes and implications for short-term rental businesses in Santa Fe.

Navigating the complex tax landscape of short-term rentals in Santa Fe requires hosts to stay informed about local and state tax regulations, collect and remit taxes accurately, and adapt to any changes that may impact their tax obligations. By ensuring compliance with tax requirements, hosts can operate their short-term rental businesses successfully while contributing to the local economy and tourism industry in Santa Fe.

Santa Fe-wide Short Term Rental Rules

Santa Fe has implemented several city-wide rules and regulations governing short-term rentals to maintain order in the market and ensure compliance with local laws.

These rules apply to all short-term rentals, regardless of zoning:

  • Local operator availability: All short-term rental properties must have a local operator available 24/7 to respond to emergencies and complaints within 1 hour.
  • Permit number display: The owner/operator must post the permit or license number on all advertisements for the short-term rental unit, including on host platforms like Airbnb and Vrbo.
  • Occupancy limits: The overnight guest limit is twice the number of bedrooms. For example, a two-bedroom house can have a maximum of 4 guests.
  • Gathering restrictions: Gatherings are limited to twice the number of guests. For example, a two-bedroom short-term rental can have 4 overnight guests and a gathering of 8 people.
  • Nuisance activities: All properties in Santa Fe are subject to local laws related to noise limits, nuisance activities, and criminal activities.
  • Parking requirements: Properties with one or fewer bedrooms must provide one off-street parking spot, while those with two or more bedrooms require two parking spots.
  • Tax compliance: Short-term rentals are required to pay local, state, and federal taxes, including lodgers' tax, gross receipts tax, and income tax.
  • Record keeping: Owner/operators must keep records from the three most recent years, which must be available for review by the City upon request.

These rules aim to strike a balance between the needs of the short-term rental market and the preservation of residential neighborhoods in Santa Fe.

Does Santa Fe strictly enforce STR rules? Is Santa Fe Airbnb friendly?

Santa Fe strictly enforces its short-term rental (STR) rules and regulations, with a focus on compliance and issuing fines for violations. The city has a cap of 1,000 permits for STRs in residential zones and requires hosts to obtain a permit, business license, and display the permit number on all listings. Non-compliance can result in fines and permit revocation.

Compared to other cities, Santa Fe has a more restrictive approach to STRs. The city aims to balance the needs of the STR market with preserving residential neighborhoods. Some key rules include:

  • Requiring a local contact person available 24/7 to respond to issues within 1 hour
  • Limiting overnight guests to twice the number of bedrooms and gatherings to twice the number of guests
  • Mandating off-street parking (1 spot for 1 bedroom, 2 spots for 2+ bedrooms)
  • Collecting lodgers' tax (7%) and enforcing state gross receipts tax compliance

Despite the strict regulations, Santa Fe does have an active STR market, with many hosts operating successfully by adhering to the rules. However, the city actively monitors compliance through platforms like Airbnb and Vrbo, and issues fines for violations.

In summary, while Santa Fe has a thriving tourism industry, the city takes a more restrictive approach to STRs compared to some other destinations. Hosts must be diligent in following the rules to avoid penalties, but many continue to operate in Santa Fe by complying with the regulations.

How to Start a Short Term Rental Business in Santa Fe

To start a short-term rental business in Santa Fe, individuals must follow a structured process outlined by the city's regulations. Here are the steps based on the provided sources:

  • Understand the Regulations: Familiarize yourself with the city's short-term rental regulations, including the requirements for obtaining permits, licensing, and compliance with tax obligations.
  • Obtain Necessary Permits: Depending on the zoning of the property, hosts must obtain a Residential Short-Term Rental Permit or a Non-Residential Short-Term Rental Registration. Ensure all required documentation, such as proof of ownership, site plan, floor plan, insurance proof, and CRS/GRT number, are prepared.
  • Comply with Tax Regulations: Short-term rental hosts in Santa Fe are required to pay local, state, and federal taxes, including lodgers' tax and gross receipts tax. Ensure compliance with tax requirements to operate legally.
  • Maintain Records: Keep detailed records of your short-term rental business, including financial records, permits, and compliance documentation. Records must be available for review by the City upon request.
  • Renew Permits Annually: Short-term rental permits in Santa Fe expire on December 31 each year. Renewal season takes place from January 1 through April 15, with renewal applications accepted during this period. Failure to renew by April 15 may result in permit expiration and subject the application to new provisions of the updated STR Ordinance.
  • Ensure Local Operator Availability: Have a local operator available 24/7 to respond to emergencies and complaints within 1 hour. This is a mandatory requirement for all short-term rental properties in Santa Fe.
  • Advertise with Permit Number: Display the city permit number in all advertising for the short-term rental unit, including online platforms like Airbnb and Vrbo.

By following these steps and adhering to the city's regulations, individuals can successfully start and operate a short-term rental business in Santa Fe, contributing to the local economy and tourism industry while ensuring compliance with all legal requirements.

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

To inquire about Short Term Rental Regulations and Zoning in Santa Fe, individuals can contact the Short-Term Rental Office at the following details:

  • Phone Number: 505-955-6336
  • Email: shorttermrental@santafenm.gov

Additionally, for in-person visits or correspondence, the office is located at Santa Fe City Hall, 200 Lincoln Ave., 1st Floor, Santa Fe, NM 87501. The office operates during the following hours:

  • Office Hours: Monday to Friday, 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM
  • Closed: M-F 12pm-1pm, Saturday, Sunday, and most Federal holidays

For any specific questions or clarifications regarding property permits, registrations, or tax obligations related to short-term rentals in Santa Fe, reaching out to the Short-Term Rental Office is the recommended course of action.

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

Based on the provided search results, there is limited information about specific opinions of Airbnb hosts in Santa Fe on Reddit and Bigger Pockets regarding local regulations. The search results focus more on summarizing the key regulations in Santa Fe rather than providing direct quotes or anecdotes from hosts.

However, a few relevant points can be inferred:

  • Santa Fe has strict regulations for short-term rentals, including a cap of 1,000 permits in residential zones, proximity requirements between rentals, and various rules on occupancy, parking, taxes, and record-keeping. This suggests that hosts may find the regulations burdensome or challenging to comply with.
  • Despite the regulations, many hosts continue to operate short-term rentals in Santa Fe by adhering to the rules. This implies that while the regulations may be strict, hosts are still able to run successful businesses by following the requirements.
  • One Reddit user, u/SantaFeHost, is mentioned as appreciating the regulations for maintaining order in the short-term rental market. This suggests that at least some hosts recognize the need for regulations in Santa Fe.
  • A Bigger Pockets user, NM_RentalPro, highlights the importance of compliance with Santa Fe's strict rules for short-term rentals. This further reinforces the idea that hosts must be diligent in following the regulations to operate successfully in the city.

In summary, while the search results do not provide extensive direct quotes or opinions from Airbnb hosts in Santa Fe, they suggest that the city's strict regulations are challenging but manageable for hosts who are willing to comply with the rules. Some hosts may appreciate the regulations for maintaining order in the market, while others may find them burdensome.


Disclaimer: While we here at BNBCalc strive to keep all of our city regulation guides updated and accurate with all the latest local laws, we still do not suggest using them as your sole or primary source for local regulations. We also do not recommend you rely on the third-party sources we link to or reference, and we are not responsible for any of the information on these third-party sites. These guides are for entertainment purposes only and only provide basic information and should not be considered as legal advice.

We highly recommend directly contacting the responsible parties for each city and hearing what their officials have to say. Ultimately, it's your responsibility as an investor to ensure you fully comply with the local laws, and it's best to speak with professionals before making an investment decision.


⚡️
Reveal your property’s rental profitability

Buy this property and list it on Airbnb.