Lake Tahoe has long been an extremely popular weekend getaway destination for visitors from around the world, and especially the San Francisco Bay Area. Whether for personal use, or investment purposes, there are myriad reasons why buyers choose to buy property in Lake Tahoe/Truckee.
One of the key motivations to buy in high-traffic areas is the rental income potential. South Lake Tahoe, with its access to Heavenly Ski Resort, shoreline resorts, shopping centers, casinos, and restaurants sees more visitors each year than any other lakefront community. With vacationers aplenty year round, South Lake Tahoe is a popular choice for those looking for a steady short-term rental income flow.
However, setting up a short-term rental (STR) arrangement can be tricky. To mitigate tourism impact on the local economy and resident lifestyle, each community has a different set of regulations in place. If you are considering buying a house in Lake Tahoe for the purpose of short-term rental income, make sure you are aware of local policy regarding these properties. Below, we have outlined the most recent STR regulations according to the five counties bordering Lake Tahoe. Read on for more information.
City of South Lake Tahoe, CA
Since the implementation of Measure T in 2018, short-term rentals have been banned within the city limits of South Lake Tahoe. Previously issued vacation rental permits were allowed to expire in 2021, and are not eligible for renewal.
More information: https://www.cityofslt.us/453/Vacation-Home-Rentals-VHRs
Tourist Core, South Lake Tahoe, CA
The Tourist Core is exempt from the Measure T regulation mentioned above. Although it is located within the city limits of South Lake Tahoe, it is an area zoned for commercial and tourism, so vacation rentals are permitted. Buyers beware, there is a limited number of single-family homes and condo complexes (such as Lakeland Village, Sierra Shores and Zalanta) located within this area.
More information: https://www.cityofslt.us/720/Tourist-Core-Area-Plan
El Dorado County, CA
County neighborhoods outside the areas highlighted in red are considered county neighborhoods. Vacation rentals are permitted, but capped at 900 issued permits. 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 restricted to a 900 permit cap. Currently, all permits have been issued, and prospective permit holders are waiting for more to be issued. Note: Properties that have an active permit when a house changes ownership do not transfer. When the house sells, the permit becomes null and void.
More information: https://www.edcgov.us/Government/planning/vhr
As a long-time South Lake Tahoe resident, I know the area well, and can guide you in your search. Contact me now.
Douglas County, CA
Douglas County encompasses the communities of Stateline, Zephyr Cove and Glenbrook. This county has also instituted a 600 permit cap on STR permits within county limits, effective July 15, 2021. The remaining applicants will be placed on a waitlist to qualify to apply for future available permits. Each year the waitlist applications will be accepted through July 1-31 of the calendar year ONLY.
Incline Village, NV
Incline Village is located in Washoe County, NV. There are currently no rental restrictions in Incline Village, although there are rental regulations and a rental permit must be obtained from the county. Keep in mind that for condos and townhouses, most of the HOAs in the area do not allow short term rentals.
North Shore Communities, CA
Tahoe’s North Shore is composed of several small communities scattered along the major roadways: Tahoe City, Tahoe Vista, Kings Beach, Carnelian Bay, Olympic Valley and some areas on the West Shore (Homewood and part of Tahoma) are located in Placer County. On August 31, 2021, the Placer County Board of Supervisors approved an extension to the Urgency Ordinance moratorium until March 31, 2022.
The board in Placer County has made adjustments to the ordinance and there will be a cap at 3,900 in the amount of rental permits. Once the moratorium is lifted, first priority will be given to those who need renewal. Second priority will be given to those who were exempt before this ordinance in Olympic Valley and various other homes (People who purchased a property during the moratorium, where the property had a valid rental permit). Third priority is given to those who applied for an STR permit after the moratorium, or new applications. New STR permit applications, that are received prior to reaching a total cap inventory, will be processed on a first come first serve basis. When the total cap inventory is reached, all outstanding permit applications, either in process or received will be placed on a waitlist. 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. Commencing on July 1, 2022 will open up the application process to those on the waitlist.
More information: https://www.placer.ca.gov/6109/Short-Term-Rental-Program
Truckee is part of Nevada County. On September 29, 2021, Town Council approved an Urgency Ordinance 2021-06, establishing a 45-day moratorium on the issuance of new Short-Term Rental registration certificates.
The following categories are exempt:
1) Complete applications that were received by the Town prior to the adoption of the Urgency Ordinance on Sept 29th.
2) New owners of a property which was in escrow in connection with a pending sale at the time the Urgency Ordinance was adopted IF a transient occupancy registration certificate was in effect for a property immediately prior to the close of escrow.
3) Registration renewals for the 2022 calendar year.
How to Get Started
If you are interested in learning more about developing an STR in South Lake Tahoe, it is best to do so with the guidance of an experienced local real estate agent. Contact me at email@example.com or (530)581-1400 to learn more.