Short-Term Rental (STR) Housing

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STR Fact Sheet and Checklist

All properties being used or advertised as STRs must register with the City.

Steps to Register Your STR

  1. Complete the following three forms for a business license:
    1. Business License Application Form
      • Use NAICS Code: 531110
      • Use Mountain View Business Code: 6800
      • The State Sales Tax Number and Federal Tax ID are not necessary
    2. Transient Occupancy Tax Registration
    3. Self-certification Affidavit Form for Short-Term Rentals

  2. Submit forms to the City in any of the three ways:
  •  In person, at the Finance and Administrative Services Department on the 2nd Floor of City Hall at 500 Castro St, during business hours from Monday – Friday 8:00 am – 12:00 pm and 1:00 pm – 5:00 pm.
  • By mail, to:

City of Mountain View
Finance and Administrative Services Department
Attn: Short-Term Rentals
500 Castro Street, P.O. Box 7540
Mountain View, CA 94039-7540


    3. Wait for the City to process your business license application.

The Finance Department will review your application and contact you if additional information is needed. Once approved, the Finance Department will either request payment before issuing your business license certificate or provide you with an exemption letter.

    4. Submit an online STR application via the STR Registration Portal. (You will need to upload copies of your business license certificate or exemption letter and of your Self-Certification Affidavit Form for Short-Term Rentals. You will also be directed to pay the applicable registration fee.)

    5. Ongoing Each Quarter: Complete a Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT) Return and mail it with your payment to:

City of Mountain View
Finance and Administrative Services Department
Attn: Short-Term Rentals
500 Castro Street, P.O. Box 7540
Mountain View, CA 94039-7540

Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT) Note: In order to offset the impacts visitors have on City resources and infrastructure during their stay, the City imposes a 10 percent tax on rent charged for a short-term rental or hotel stay, in accordance with Chapter 33 of the Mountain View City Code. Some hosting platforms collect this tax during booking, but all operators are still responsible for submitting quarterly tax returns. See the TOT information page for tax return forms, quarterly periods and due dates, late payment penalties, and exemption information.

STR Registration Fees and Fines

Schedule of Short-Term Rental Fees and Fines

Operations Standards

Apartment complex

  • No Special Events - weddings, parties, corporate gatherings and other similar events which have the potential to cause traffic, parking, noise, trash or other impacts in the neighborhood are allowed at the short-term rental property during the short-term rental.
  • 10 Person Occupancy Limit - STRs are considered congregate residences and must have 10 or fewer occupants (California Building Code, Chapter 3, Section 310.5 – Use and Occupancy Classifications).
  • Unhosted Rentals - If the STR operator is not present on the property, a rental unit may be occupied a maximum of 60 days per year. Operators of unhosted rentals must also provide the City and neighbors in adjacent properties with local contact information of someone who can respond to concerns and complaints within 60 minutes.
  • Hosted Rentals - If the STR operator is present on the property throughout the stay, there is no yearly limit on the number of times a unit may be rented. Short-term rentals in Accessory Dwelling Units may be considered hosted if the operator is onsite in the primary dwelling.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Vintage bicycle leaning against fence near front door of a houseWhat is a Short-Term Rental (STR)?
An STR is any room or accessory dwelling unit on a residential property that is offered for rental stays of 30 or fewer consecutive calendar days.

Why does Mountain View regulate STRs?
Regulation is intended to preserve local housing stock and the residential character of neighborhoods. It also enables the City to apply a Transient Occupancy Tax, equivalent to the rate applied for hotel stays.

Who can operate an STR?
A property owner or their lessee (pursuant to a written agreement) may offer a room or unit for short-term rental.

Are STRs subject to the Community Stabilization Fair Rent Act (CSFRA)?
By definition, STRs are rentals of 30 or fewer days. Such rentals are not subject to CSFRA.

How can I report a suspected unauthorized rental or a non-emergency issue caused by short-term rental guests in my neighborhood?
Please contact the Complaint Hotline at 650-282-1998. Operated by Host Compliance, this hotline is intended to offer neighbors a simple, anonymous alternative to calling law enforcement to report non-emergency issues like noise or parking problems caused by short-term rental guests.

Complaints may also be submitted online 

What if I would like to take down my STR listing?
Please see the following guides for assistance: