Welcome to the main page for all you need to know about Vacation Home Rentals (VHRs) around Lake Tahoe.
Vacation Home Rentals (VHRs) are becoming more and more popular. There have been vacation rental properties in Lake Tahoe since the 1930’s and 1940’s. In fact we recently saw an ad from a San Francisco newspaper from 1942 that had an advertisement for a “Lake Tahoe Cabin for Rent for the Week”.
But the introduction of the internet, and specifically websites like AirBnB and VRBO, have made it easier to rent a vacation home. This, along with increased demand due to more people vacationing with families and friends, caused the number of VHRs in Tahoe to expand quickly over the past decade.
This quick expansion caused a lot of headaches for many locals who had been enjoying quiet neighborhoods with mostly vacant homes surrounding them. The locals went to the local governments to get relief from what they viewed as a negative impact VHRs were having on their neighborhoods and their peace and quiet enjoyment of Tahoe. So the 6 different local governments around the lake put in place strict rules and regulations for VHRs in their jurisdictions.
This page goes into detail on the rules and regulations for Vacation Rentals (aka Short Term Rentals) in each area around Lake Tahoe.
The situation regarding VHRs and the rules for them around the lake are constantly changing. Seems like every month there is some new rule. Sometimes it’s a minor change, other times it’s major and affects potential and current permit holders. Our team tries to stay up-to-date on everything going on with vacation rentals around the lake, and will update this page as often as possible to give you the best information possible. Some of our previous posts may be out of date, but do include additional information that expands on the information provided on this page.
Bookmark this page so you can check back and see if there are any more updates. Or give us a call/text at 530-541-2465 or send an email to email@example.com to get more detailed information.
The Basic Rules
Here are the basic rules that almost all areas have in place. Remember, these are not all of the rules, just a short list of the common rules that you will need to follow in most areas around Lake Tahoe.
- Occupancy Limits – they use the number of bedrooms and the number of parking spaces to determine how many occupants can be in the VHR. Some areas don’t count children under the age of 5, others count every person no matter their age. The norm for occupancy limits seems to be 2 people per bedroom plus 2 (or 4) additional persons. So a 3 bedroom house would have an occupancy limit of 8 (or 10 if +4).
- Parking – Almost all areas have rules on how many vehicles can be parking at a VHR. They inspect the property prior to issuing the VHR permit and then decide how many parking spaces there are on the the property (including garage spaces). Street parking is not included as available parking spaces in most cases and is not allowed even during summer. One of the most common fine VHR owners will receive is because their renters are parked on the street in front of the house. All vehicles MUST be on the property in the garage and/or on the driveway.
- Noise – VHRs are usually located in residential neighborhoods. Because of this, and the fact there are usually more occupants in a VHR compared to other homes, there are rules in place to limit the level of noise. There are also rules stating what times a hot tub can be used, since people end up talking loudly so they can be heard over the sound of the water jets and bubbles in the hot tub. Some areas require noise monitors to be installed in the property.
- Garbage – Tahoe has bears, a lot of bears! And although they are usually very friendly and leave us alone, they do love to get into our garbage whenever they get a chance. Most VHRs are required to have a bear box to hold the garbage cans. This makes it so a renter can put their garbage in the bear box when they leave. If bags are left at the street, the bears will consider that an invitation to a buffet and the next morning the garbage will be all over the place.
- Permits – Every area around Lake Tahoe requires a VHR to get a special permit. The cost of these permits varies greatly, and usually the more strict the rules are the higher the permit fee will be for that area. Most areas also have set a max Cap of how many permits they will allow. Those Caps have already been reached so now there are waiting lists for potential future permits.
Current Rules (as of 8/10/2022)
This information is given as informational only. No guarantee these are the actual current rules. You should verify with the local jurisdictions before making any decisions.
El Dorado County
- 900 CAP has been reached
- As of 8/10/22 – 190 on waitlist
- Hosted rentals do not require a permit but have to register with tax collector
- Cannot be within a 500-foot radius of any other VHR parcel
- Property owners found renting without permit cannot apply for a permit or be on the waitlist for one year
- Waitlist is oldest first
- Each day without a permit will be a separate violation and additional penalty
- Occupancy = 2 per bedroom + 2 (children under 5 not counted)
South Lake Tahoe City Limits
- Only allowed in non-residential areas (not allowed on Residential zoned properties)
- Tourist Core and Commercial/Recreational areas allowed
- Permanent residents living in property full time allowed
- No CAP
- Not allowed in duplexes and other multi-family properties
- Occupancy = 2 per bedroom +4 (limited by parking spaces)
- 600 CAP has been reached
- Currently 144 on waitlist Not accepting more applications until 7/1/22 – 7/31/22
- No SF community can have more than 15% VHR per TRPA plan area statement
- No Tourist community can have more than 20% VHR per TRPA plan area statement
- Property owners renting without a permit will be fined $20,000 and banned permanently from getting a VHR permit
- Position on waitlist will be determined by random selection
- Only one permit per Family or Family Trust
- Permits will not be issued to LLC’s, Corps or Partnerships
- All VHR’s that sleep more than 10 must be professionally managed
- Tier 1 properties do not apply to CAP, owner occupied homes
- Tier 2 properties non owner occupied, occupancy 10 or less
- Tier 3 properties non owner occupied, occupancy over 10, requires a public hearing and approval by the Douglas County VHR Advisory Board
- 3900 CAP
- No exemptions for resort areas other than the approved condo list below
- Permits expire 3/31 each year – renewal applications are dues within 90 days
- Must be rented a minimum of 30 days per year
- Only 1 permit per property
- Tiny home and mobile/manufactured homes are prohibited
- Weddings and events are prohibited
- Violations – 1st $1500, 2nd $3000, 3rd means a denial, suspension or revocation of permit & $5000 fine
- A revoked permit cannot apply again for 2 years
- Primary residence owners exempt from CAP
- Waitlist is oldest first
- Occupancy = 2 per bedroom + 2 (children under 16 not counted)
Truckee including Donner
- 1255 CAP
- Occupancy 2 per bedroom +2 (children under 13 not counted)
- 365 day waiting period after property is purchased
- Violations 1st $500 per day per violation 2nd and subsequent $1000 per day per violation
- 3rd violation permit is revoked and cannot renew for one year
- Phase out of ADU’s (accessory dwelling units i.e. granny flats) and Multi-Family
- No special events
- Permit required for any rental less than 28 days
- Renting without a permit is a misdemeanor with a stop activity order and fine
- Home inspection is required
- Occupancy is 2 per bedroom + 1 for every 200 sq.ft.
- Is transferrable
- No CAP
- Violations – 1st $400, 2nd $700, 3rd, $1000 + administrative fees
VHR Articles for Additional Information
*Please note that rules and regulations around the lake for VHRs are always changing. We try to update these pages as quickly as possible, but you can always reach out to us to get the most up to date information.
South Lake Tahoe, CA City & County VHR Rules Updates
South Shore NV – Douglas County VHR Rules
Top Nevada VHR Neighborhoods
North Shore CA & Incline Village NV Vacation Rental Rules
Where to Purchase a Vacation Rental in Lake Tahoe
For more information on VHRs, please give us a call or send us a message. Our Team is constantly getting updated information on this topic and will update our site with new blogs as the information changes.
How To Find Your Perfect Vacation Home in Lake Tahoe
- Sign up for an email notification so you’ll know the minute a home is listed.
- Call us directly at 530-541-2465 or stop by our office and we’ll sit down and explore all options.
- Get our newsletter every other month which gives you an insight into Lake Tahoe real estate.
- Search all homes for sale around the lake. Our website makes it easy to search for homes that match your criteria.
- Get valuable and current information when you sign up to receive Lake Tahoe real estate articles sent to your inbox.