Avalara MyLodgeTax > Blog > State and Local News > Portland, Oregon, steps up efforts to weed out illegal short-term rentals

Portland, Oregon, steps up efforts to weed out illegal short-term rentals

  • Apr 17, 2024 | Jennifer Sokolowsky

Portland, Oregon, is working to crack down on illegal short-term rentals (STRs), creating an online STR permit application portal, and putting pressure on STR marketplaces to remove illegal listings from their sites.

The city launched its new STR permit application site in an effort to cut down a large backlog of applications that was hindering the city’s enforcement efforts. The previous manual application process overwhelmed city staff and made it difficult to keep the city’s STR registry accurate. The system will share information about pending and permitted STRs through Portland Maps. Officials said they hope the new online option significantly improves turnaround times within a month or two.

The new application portal is available for Type A short-term rental operators, who are allowed to rent out up to two bedrooms for a maximum of five guests for short terms. Type B operators may rent out between three and five bedrooms, with a maximum of 10 guests, and must submit applications for conditional land use permits manually.

STR marketplaces must also comply with rules requiring STR listings to have city-issued permit numbers. In March, city officials asked Airbnb to remove more than 100 listings lacking valid permit numbers. Airbnb said it would comply. On April 4, city officials also asked Airbnb to remove listings that claim to be exempt from STR rules but don’t have city confirmation for exemption. Airbnb could face a potential fine of $1,000 per violation per day if it fails to delete the listings.

City leaders have said that marketplaces are expected to follow listings rules going forward and that Portland would be enforcing its STR ordinance “to the full extent of the law.”

Portland legalized vacation rentals in private homes in 2014, defining Accessory Short-Term Rental Permits (ASTRs) as rentals of less than 30 days. Hosts are required to live in the short-term rental property for at least 270 days of the year and can provide overnight rentals for a maximum of 95 days a year. Tenants may operate STRs with permission of the property owner.

STR applicants are required to provide notice to neighbors that they intend to operate an STR. Hosts must also follow safety rules such as installing smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors. The city conducts inspection to ensure bedrooms were legally created as sleeping rooms and safety requirements are met.

Portland STR hosts must follow tax rules

Portland STRs are subject to city, Multnomah County, and state lodging taxes. According to state law, whoever collects payment for STRs, including hosts or marketplaces, is responsible for collecting and remitting lodging tax. An Oregon operator who has all their rental fees collected by a marketplace doesn’t need to file lodging tax returns.

Avalara MyLodgeTax can help short-term rental hosts automate and simplify short-term rental compliance. For more on vacation rental lodging taxes in Oregon, see our state vacation rental tax guide. If you have tax questions related to vacation rental properties, drop us a line and we’ll get back to you with answers.

Lodging tax rates, rules, and regulations change frequently. Although we hope you'll find this information helpful, this blog is for informational purposes only and does not provide legal or tax advice.
Avalara Author
Jennifer Sokolowsky
Avalara Author Jennifer Sokolowsky
Jennifer Sokolowsky writes about tax, legal, and tech topics. She has an extensive international background in journalism and marketing, including work with The Seattle Times, The Prague Post, Avvo, and Marriott.
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