Short Term Rental Rules around Lake Tahoe
Will your Lake Tahoe property be a vacation rental?
(Updated on February 7th, 2024)
Many people dream about owning a second home in Lake Tahoe. But for many, having a home sitting empty when they are not using it, is not a good option. When buyers look to purchase a property in Lake Tahoe, they don't want just a second home, they are simultaneously looking for an investment. They wish to rent the property when they are not using it in order to offset some costs. So why not purchase a home and turn it into a VHR (Vacation Home Rental) by renting it out through websites like AirBnB and VRBO? If you, like many other buyers, ever had this thought, please be sure to do your home work very well. Because there are five different counties around the Lake, and every county has a different regulation when it comes to STR (Short Term Rentals). Almost everyday we receive questions like "Is this property located in an area that allows short term rentals?". That's why we decided to put together this information about vacation rental rules all around the Lake.
South Shore California
- South Lake Tahoe (City neighborhoods) - In November 2018, Measure T was implemented and since then, vacation rentals have been banned from the city of South Lake Tahoe. Measure T also says that current permit holders won't be allowed to renew their permits in 2021. So every homeowner who previously had a vacation rental permit, lost their permit by the end of 2021. To know what area vacation rentals have been banned, see below a map of the city of South Lake Tahoe. Vacation rentals have been banned within the area that's outlined in red.
- Tourist Core (South Lake Tahoe) - The tourist core area is located within the city limits of South Lake Tahoe, but the area is zoned for commercial and tourism. Vacation rentals are still allowed in the Tourist Core area. There's only a handful of single-family homes in that area and they rarely come up for sale. Besides that there are a few condo complexes that are located in the Tourist Core and therefore exempt from Measure T (such as Lakeland Village, Sierra Shores, Tahoe Woods and Zalanta). *Please contact us for an updated list of properties currently for sale in the Tourist Core ([email protected])
- South Lake Tahoe (County neighborhoods) - Go back to the map of South Lake Tahoe city at the top... All the South Lake Tahoe neighborhoods outside of the area highlighted in red are considered county neighborhoods. Vacation rentals are still allowed in the county, but there are some restrictions. They have a 900 permit cap, and last time we checked, there are some permits still available under the cap. But always check first because it can change. If you are looking to purchase a property in El Dorado County, please be sure to check the buffering map first. If your property is in a 500 foot buffer zone of a permitted property, it is not eligible for a VHR permit. You would then be added to a waitlist, until there's no properties within 500ft from your parcelt that holds an active permit. It's also important to know that rental permits are not transferable.
South Shore Nevada
Lake Tahoe Nevada (within Douglas County) - This is the area that incorporates neighborhoods such as Stateline, Zephyr Cove and Glenbrook. No more than 600 permits may be issued in the Tahoe Township. There is also a limit on density, (the total percentage of VHRs that may be permitted) per neighborhood area.
Douglas County is accepting new permit applications for unconstrained neighborhoods ONLY as of June 15, 2023 until the total permit cap of 600 is reached. In the event the total permit cap is reached, any new permit applications already in the review process will then have to be placed on the waitlist.
Effective June 15, 2023, Douglas County is using a waitlist process. Neighborhoods with available permits will not have to follow this waitlist process. Full neighborhoods where no permits are available, the waitlist is administered first come first serve.
Full Neighborhoods as of February 6, 2024 are:
Cave Rock Cove
Cave Rock - Multi Family
Kingsbury Heights/ Palisades
Tahoe Beach Club
Upper Kingsbury - Single Family
Upper Kingsbury - Multi Family
Zephyr Heights/ Knolls
Please click here to learn more about rental regulations in Douglas County.
Incline Village Nevada (East Shore)
Incline Village Nevada (aka East Shore) is part of Washoe County. There are currently no rental restrictions in Incline Village. Although there are rental regulations and a rental permit must be obtained from the county. Please keep in mind that for condos and townhouses, most of the homeowner's associations in the area do not allow short term rentals. *Please contact us for an updated list of properties currently for sale in Incline Village ([email protected])
North Shore/West Shore CA
The North Shore area (Tahoe City, Tahoe Vista, Kings Beach, Carnelian Bay, Squaw Valley and Northstar) and some areas on the West Shore (Homewood and part of Tahoma) are located in the Placer County.
The board in Placer County has made adjustments to the ordinance and there will be a cap at 3900 in the amount of rental permits. A change of ownership of property with a permitted STR unit shall result in the automatic termination of the STR permit. The new owner may apply for a new STR permit. The Agency will continually maintain the overall cap inventory as permits are not renewed or revoked and on a quarterly basis. As of December 8th, 2023 the cap has not been reached yet and there are approximately 600 permits still available. You may still have time to buy a property in North Lake Tahoe this year and get a rental permit. *Please contact us for an updated list of properties currently for sale in North Lake Tahoe ([email protected])
Truckee is part of Nevada County. On Tuesday April 12, 2022, the Town Council waived the second reading and adopted Ordinance 2022-02 amending Chapter 5.02 of the Town of Truckee Municipal Code regarding regulation of Short-Term Rentals (STR). On Tuesday April 26, 2022, the Town Council adopted Resolution 2022-16 approving updates and additions to the Short-Term Rental Fee Schedule.
The STR Ordinance modifications include:
- Registration Certificate Cap of 1,255 (Cap has already been reached)
- Phase out STRs in Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) and Multi-Family Dwelling Units
- 365-Day Waiting Period after a home sale before the new owner may register as an STR
- Increase Penalties for Violation of the ordinance
- Two-part Waitlist Application Process including a $100 non-refundable deposit
To recap, STR's are not allowed in South Lake Tahoe city neighborhoods, except on properties located in the Touristic Core. STR's are allowed in South Lake Tahoe county neighborhoods and part or West Shore (El Dorado County) but permits are subjected to the 500 foot buffering rule.
STR's are allowed in South Shore Nevada (Douglas County), Douglas County is using a waitlist process. Neighborhoods with available permits will not have to follow this waitlist process. Full neighborhoods where no permits are available, the waitlist is administered first come first serve.
STR's are still allowed in Incline Village Nevada (East Shore - Washoe County). Although if you're looking at a condo, most HOA's have restrictions on short term rentals.
STR's are allowed in North Lake Tahoe and part of West Shore (in Placer County) but permit applications are subjected to a cap of 3,900 permits. As of December 8th, 2023 the cap has not been reached yet and there are approximately 600 permits still available. You may still have time to buy a property in North Lake Tahoe this year and get a rental permit.
STR's are allowed in Truckee CA (Nevada County), however they have 365-Day Waiting Period after a home sale before the new owner may register for a STR permit and a cap of 1,255 permits, which has already been reached.
Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions about Lake Tahoe Real Estate or local regulations. We would love to have the opportunity of guiding you through the process of purchasing your Lake Tahoe Home.