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Santa Barbara, CA

When deciding whether to become an Airbnb Host, it is important for you to understand the laws in your region or city. As a platform and online marketplace we do not provide legal advice, but we want to provide resources that may help you better understand applicable laws and regulations. This list is not exhaustive, but it may give you a good start in understanding your local laws.

We are committed to working with local officials to help them understand how Airbnb benefits our community. Where needed, we will continue to advocate for changes that will allow regular people to rent out their own homes. If you have questions, contact Code Compliance and other city agencies directly, or consult a local lawyer or tax professional.

Short-term rental regulations

Hosts in the City of Santa Barbara are required to obtain a business license to host short-term stays (fewer than 30 nights). Santa Barbara requires that anyone owning or operating a business obtain a business license. The city has a helpful website walking business owners through the licensing process.

Additional information

Land use regulations

Title 28 of the Santa Barbara Municipal Code— the Zoning Ordinance—regulates land uses in Santa Barbara. City code states that all rentals of residential units for periods of less than 30 consecutive days are prohibited without the necessary land use approvals and permits. The City has created a useful guide outlining the process to apply for a vacation rental permit which includes a list of zones where vacation rental applications may be considered. You can determine your zoning information by using the parcel information tool on the City’s website.

Building and housing regulations

Santa Barbara’s Municipal Code also contains a Chapter specifying minimum construction, design, and maintenance standards for buildings, including rules related to habitability, health, and safety. Certain regulations applicable to residential and non-residential uses may be relevant to your listing. You should consult the Municipal Code or contact the Building and Safety division for more information.


Transient Occupancy Tax: The City of Santa Barbara imposes a 12% Transient Occupancy Tax on the rent charged to a guest for any occupancy for a period of thirty days or less. More information about the transient occupancy tax is available on the City's website.

Other contracts and rules

It's also important to understand and abide by other contracts or rules that bind you, such as leases, condo board or co-op rules, HOA rules, or rules established by tenant organizations. Please read your lease agreement and check with your landlord if applicable.

Our commitment to your community

We are committed to working with local officials to clarify how local rules impact the community. We will continue to advocate for changes that will enable people to rent out their homes.

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