Truckee Short Term Rental Ordinance

One of the benefits of buying a home in Lake Tahoe is the income that can be generated from short term rentals. Lake Tahoe and Truckee have experienced a huge influx in demand, both in record home sales and vacation rental activity.

As more Bay Area residents are able to work from home, many are choosing the quality of life that can only be found in the mountains of Lake Tahoe.

With this influx of people, the Town of Truckee and its residents have acted to implement regulations to control nuisance issues. On Oct. 13th, the Truckee Town Council voted to adopt a new Short-Term Rental and Noise Ordinance. This measure will address noise, parking, occupancy limits, fire protection and best practices for bear resistant garbage.

If you are currently offering your home for short term rentals, it is important to understand how these new regulations will affect you.

Registration Certificate Required by March 31, 2021

Short term rentals (STR) are usually less than 30 days, and these new rules will address nuisance issues with a framework that requires STR operators and owners to enforce the new regulations. Beginning in 2021, all short-term rentals will require an annual short-term rental registration certificate. While the registration program launches in December 2020, short-term rental operators will have until March 31, 2021 to receive a certificate.

The Town Council has yet to adopt a Fee Schedule for the Short-Term Rental Program, but will do so on November 10, 2020. The annual STR registration certificate and registration fee will be required for all STRs operating in Truckee, beginning Jan. 1. By October 31, 2021, all short term rentals will need to install a bear resistant trash enclosure.

A new town-wide noise regulation includes quiet hours between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m. To ensure compliance with fire codes and defensible space requirements, each short-term rental will also require an annual self-certification and a Truckee Fire Protection District inspection once every three years.

Itemization of New Regulations

  • Registration: An annual short-term rental (STR) registration certificate and registration fee will be required for all STRs operating in Truckee, including those within homeowner associations.
  • Occupancy Limit: No more than two people per bedroom plus two additional people will be permitted, excluding children under thirteen.
  • Accessory Dwelling Units: To comply with State law, the ordinance will prohibit short-term renting of all accessory dwelling units and junior accessory dwelling units (e.g. granny units, or secondary units) for which a building permit was issued on or after January 1, 2020.
  • Parking: On-site parking shall be provided and no parking will be permitted on the street or in an unpaved area. STRs in the Downtown Mixed Use (DMU) zoning district may propose an alternative parking plan designating off-site parking.
  • Noise: Noise regulations, including quiet hours between 10 pm and 7 am will be imposed (applies town-wide, not just to STRs).
  • Garbage: Accumulation of trash and debris outside of a short-term rental at any time is prohibited. A bear resistant trash enclosure will be required at each STR to manage trash and protect wildlife. Operators will have until 10/31/2021 to install a bear resistant trash enclosure.
  • Fire Safety: Working fire extinguishers, smoke alarms, carbon monoxide detectors, and visible address numbers will be required at each short-term rental, and rentals will be prohibited from having outdoor fire pits or charcoal grills. The operator of each short-term rental shall allow Truckee Fire Protection District staff to conduct an inspection once every three years to ensure compliance with these requirements and with Truckee Fire Protection District defensible space requirements.
  • Special Events: Weddings, corporate events, commercial functions, and any other similar events are prohibited from occurring at a short-term rental property, unless such events comply with all requirements of the ordinance and code, including occupancy limits, traffic, parking, and noise.
  • Local Contact Person: Every STR must have a designated contact person to be available by telephone within 30 minutes on a twenty-four-hour basis and to resolve complaints within 60 minutes. If an STR has received 1 or more violations, a local contact person will be required, who must be able to be physically present at the short-term rental within sixty minutes of contact by the Town of Truckee or guest.
  • Interior posting: All STRs will be required to post STR rules, including occupancy, garbage, parking, dog ordinance, and noise restrictions; contact information for the designated local contact person; emergency evacuation information; and notice of financial penalties for violations.
  • Registration Process: The registration certificate requirement will take effect January 1, 2021, provided that operators without a certificate will not be in violation of STR certificate requirement until April 1, 2021.
  • Compliance: An administrative penalty of up to $500 per day may be imposed for each violation for a first administrative citation, and up to $1,000 per day for each violation contained in a second or subsequent administrative citation. A short-term rental certificate will be revoked if a unit receives three citations within a 12-month period, and a new certificate shall not be issued for a period of 12 months.

The Town plans to establish a Short-Term Rental Helpline for the public to report and resolve violations. An administrative penalty of up to $500 per day may be imposed for each violation of the ordinance and up to $1,000 per day for each subsequent violation.

The Town may issue fines to the STR owner or guests, if the guests are deemed to have committed the violation. The Town may deny or suspend a STR registration certificate, and if three citations have been issued for violations within a 12-month period as one property, the Town will revoke a registration certificate for a 12-month period.

You can read more information at

There is a small-town feel to life in Truckee, where residents come together to clear trails, protect the local environment and to ensure fairness and wellness for all residents. These new regulations will require landlords and property managers to keep a better eye on how renters plan to use their properties. In the long run, visitors and residents of Truckee, and even the bears will be able to co-exist in a more peaceful way.

Whether you are interested in purchasing a home in Lake Tahoe or Truckee for your personal enjoyment, or as a source of rental income, I can help you navigate the many ordinances that protect this area. Contact me today for a list of available homes for sale, or for a free property analysis of your current home.