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Phone: 503-823-7300


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Proposed Changes to Enforcement of Accessory Short Term Rental Requirements


November 16, 2016

Contact: Ross Caron, BDS Public Information Officer, (503) 823-4268  

Proposed Changes to Enforcement of Accessory Short Term Rental Requirements

In August 2014, the City of Portland adopted amendments to the Portland Zoning Code to allow Accessory Short Term Rental (ASTR) operations in residences. These rules were focused on a permitting process for applicants that ensured guests were safe during their stay, and included limitations on the operations of the rental in an effort to ensure that properties continue to retain a primarily long-term residential use. The Bureau of Development Services (BDS) administers the adopted ASTR permit process and responds to complaints concerning ASTR operations. In order to address low levels of compliance with both obtaining a permit and complying with the terms of an issued permit, the City is proposing a new administrative rule regarding enforcement of ASTR requirements. The proposed rule establishes a citation based enforcement process for violations of ASTR requirements and establishes administrative review and appeal procedures for those violations.

“City Council and staff worked hard to establish a permitting process for short term rentals in order to help property owners join the sharing economy” stated City Commissioner Dan Saltzman, who is responsible for BDS. “The low level of compliance and increased complaints concerning ASTR requires us to revisit our approach to how we address ASTR issues.”

“Since adoption of new zoning provisions in August 2014, which provide a legal mechanism to successfully operate these accessory businesses in the City of Portland, we have been patiently waiting for compliance rates to voluntary improve” stated BDS Director Paul L. Scarlett. “A new enforcement approach is necessary to ensure that compliance with the ASTR permit requirements are met, which establish minimum safety standards for overnight guests as well as protects livability by limiting the amount of commercial activity in our neighborhoods.” 
BDS has received increased complaints regarding properties operating without the legally required ASTR permit as well as complaints regarding properties with issued ASTR permits. Over the last two years, BDS has processed 656 ASTR permits. A recent City of Portland ASTR monitory report estimates that there are approximately 3,000 properties offering short-term rental listings within Portland, equaling a 22% compliance rate for obtaining the required permit. Other complaints center on allegations that the ASTR operation is renting out more bedrooms than allowed by permit, allowing more than 5 overnight guests, or operating the business without a primary long-term resident at the property. BDS is also receiving complaints of short-term rental operations that have discontinued the operation during a previous enforcement 30-day compliance period and have resumed the illegal operation once the BDS enforcement case has been closed.

The proposed administrative rule is intended to improve compliance with ASTR regulations. Currently, when violations of ASTR regulations occur, property owners are given a 30-day compliance period to cease unpermitted activities or obtain permits for activity. If uncorrected, monthly code enforcement fees may be assessed against the property. Under the proposed administrative rule, property owners will not have a 30-day compliance period, and will be issued citations of $1,000-$5,000 per occurrence. Citations may be issued for each day of continued violation. Citations may be reviewed administratively, and then appealed to the Code Hearings Officer. The Code Hearings Officer may request additional documentation including, but not limited to, bank records, relevant tax records, and information from online platforms as a basis for their decision.

A public hearing on the proposed administrative rule will be held Friday, December 16, 2016 at 12:00 pm at 1900 SW 4th Avenue, 4th floor. Further information regarding the public hearing and the draft administrative rule can be found on the BDS website:

Questions or comments? Please contact, Ross Caron, BDS Public Information Officer at or 503.823.4268. 

To learn more about the Bureau of Development Services, visit us online at



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