General Contact Number: (530) 621-5567

Vacation Home Rental Information

VHR Frequently Asked Questions

​What is a Vacation Home Rental (VHR)?

​The El Dorado County Ordinance Code defines a VHR as "one or more dwelling units, including either a single-family, home, duplex, or single condominium unit rented for the purpose of overnight lodging for a period of not less than one night and not more than 30 days other than ongoing month-to-month tenancy granted to the same renter for the same unit". This excludes hosted or at home rentals of a single bedroom out of a whole dwelling.   If you are renting out an entire home anywhere in El Dorado County for less than 30 days at a time; you will need a VHR permit.

​I rent out a bedroom for visitors in the home I live in full-time. Do I need a VHR permit?

​No, an at home rental or Hosted property does not need a VHR permit, but does need to register with the Treasurer-Tax Collector to pay the Transient Occupancy Tax.

​What is the current status of implementation of the newly-adopted VHR Ordinance?

The new Ordinance was adopted September 11th and took effect on October 11th , 2018.  The new ordinance is being executed in a step-by-step process.  The Treasurer-Tax Collector and Planning Services have been working to updating the permitting process.  Planning is now responsible for permitting Vacation Home Rentals (new forms and checklist link).  Newly-adopted exterior signs must be posted, there are new requirements for safety features in the VHR, and there are more requirements for Local Contacts, whether that person is the owner or a property manager.  Beginning January 2019, inspections will be required for new VHRs with an additional fee.

​What is the process of obtaining a VHR permit?

​Operation of a VHR requires both a Business License and a Vacation Home Rental Permit. Here are the steps you should take before renting your home on a short-term basis:

  • Start at Planning Services by filling out the Vacation Home Rental Permit Application.  The application needs to include a parking diagram showing the size and location of all requested off-street paved parking.  Schedule an appointment with Planning Services to submit in-person or mail the completed application with the fee ($190 for new permits, $178 for renewals). Fees for VHR inspections may also apply.

  • Next, apply at the Treasurer-Tax collector for the business license and Transient Occupancy Tax Registration.

​How do VHR Permit Annual Renewals work?

​Renewal applications are required upon expiration of the original VHR permit.  The fee will be $178 plus any applicable inspection fee. Inspections are required every two years.

​Where can I find examples of the required Interior and Exterior signs?

​The VHR Owners and Local Contact Page has the template of the required signs. The signs do not have to follow this exact format, but they do need to include all required information and they must be visible from the street in front of the home.

​Where is a list of approved bear-boxes? How do I get one installed?

​No permit is required to install an elevated, bear-resistant garbage can enclosure.  However, proof of a bear box (photo) is required prior to issuance of a VHR permit.

​Is parking space restricted? How many parking stalls can I have at my house? What about on-street parking?

​The County considers a standard residential parking space to be 9 feet by 18 feet.  This dimension increases for garages to 10 feet by 20 feet.  All off-street parking in the Tahoe Basin should be on a paved surface only.  On-street parking is not prohibited by the Vacation Home Rental Ordinance, but may be restricted due to snow removal in the Tahoe Basin.  On-street parking during snow removal activities can result in the vehicle being towed at the owner's expense.

​Can I have a fire pit at my Vacation Home?

​Outdoor fire areas and fire pits may be allowed, when not prohibited by state or local fire regulations. Fire pits are to be limited to 3 feet in diameter, located on a non-combustible surface, covered with fire screens, and located no closer than within 25 feet of a structure or combustible material. Use of fire areas shall require a campfire permit issued to the individual renter by CALFIRE.

​What will be looked at during the Vacation Home Rental Inspection? How much does it cost? When can I schedule it?

​The Local fire department will be completing the inspection of the proposed Vacation Home Rental.  Fees are determined based on square footage and are collected by the County.  You should contact the fire department assigned to your area after you have paid for the inspection. The Fire Department will be ensuring the home meets the California Building Code requirements as listed in the Vacation Home Rental Ordinance for each bedroom and will be ensuring the VHR permit conditions have been met such as:

  • Parking pad will hold the number of cars requested in application
  • Bear-resistant trash receptacles are installed and functioning
  • Interior, Exterior and hot tub signs installed and match the approved signs in application
  • VHR Permit posted inside in a conspicuous place preferably next to the front door
  • Carbon Monoxide/Smoke Detectors meet requirements of the California Building Code.

​How do I find out about the status of my VHR permit application?

​See the County's website here:

​What is the Enforcement process for VHRs?

​There are several avenues for reporting complaints. If it is safe to do so, the County recommends making contact with the Local Contact for the Vacation Home Rental.

  • Important: Do not put yourself in harm's way when making a complaint. Call 911 if you feel your safety is in jeopardy or there is an emergency.

  • For noise issues, VHRs exceeding occupancy limits, or other issues with VHR renters, it is best to contact the Certified Local Contact listed for the Vacation Home Rental. To find the property manager's phone number, you can:

    • Take a look at the exterior sign, which is required to be visible from the Road, and which must include the phone number of the Local Contact.
    • Look up the contact information online, using the address. (Coming soon!)
  • If you suspect the vacation home is being rented and find that there is no permit on file: Call the Sheriff's Department non-emergency number at (530) 621-6600 to report the problem.  For any non-emergency issues the County Sheriff will respond in person to any complaints relating to noise, trash, and/or the number of cars or people exceeds the permitted maximum.  They will issue a notice of violation and provide a report to Code Enforcement summarizing their findings. Fines for Violations are payable to Code Enforcement.  The Vacation Home Rental Ordinance lists the fines and outcomes based on the number of violations for a property. 

Still have questions? Contact us at

​How much is the inspection for my home and when do I need it?

Fees for this new program vary based on the size of the home. They are based on the State OES-approved hourly rate for fire department inspections, multiplied by the expected time to conduct inspections based on home size and adding any additional administrative time, travel costs and return visits to confirm compliance, if needed.  This regulation will be revisited next October and any modifications will be made at that point.

Inspections need to be done the first time you apply for a VHR permit and then every other year at the time of permit renewal. It is not required annually.

Vacation Home Rental Inspection Fees Ordinance