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Salem, OR

It’s important for you to understand your local laws if you want to become an Airbnb host. We provide a platform and marketplace, but we don’t provide legal advice. Even so, we want to share some information to help you understand laws and other rules that relate to short term rentals in Salem, OR. The information in this article is not exhaustive, but it should help you start your research on local laws.

If you have questions, you can check The City of Salem’s short-term rental licensing page, the City of Salem business licensing code, or another local authority such as a local lawyer or tax professional.

Building and housing standards

Salem enforces rules and regulations that specify minimum construction, design, maintenance standards, habitability, health, and safety. Certain regulations applicable to residential uses may be relevant to your listing. Contact the City of Salem Planning Department directly to find out more.

License requirements

You need a license to offer a short-term rental to guests in Salem. There are two types of short-term rental licenses that the city of Salem offers:

  1. Short-term rental license
  2. Accessory short-term rental license

Whether a proposed rental is classified as a short-term rental or accessory short-term rental depends on:

  • Whether or not you live in the home to be rented
  • The number of guest rooms that will be rented
  • Whether you will rent the entire home for periods of time when you are away, and for how long
  • The zoning of your property

All licenses are managed by the City of Salem. Read the Salem short-term rental website to determine your application type.

Short-Term Rental License

The City requires you to submit a short-term rental application in person with the following materials:

Visit the City of Salem’s short-term rental licensing page for additional questions.

Accessory Short-Term Rental License

For accessory short-term rentals (units separate from main home, with same address) the city requires you to submit an accessory short-term rental application [PDF] in person with the following materials:

  • Completed license application form
  • Completed transient occupancy tax (TOT) operator registration form [PDF]
  • A floor plan of the proposed dwelling unit to be used as an accessory short-term rental identifying the guest rooms that will be rented [SRC 30.050(a)(2)(I)]
  • Completed safety certification [PDF] (the City will schedule an in-person inspection following approval of your application to verify conformance with the applicable requirements)
  • Written authorization from the property owner (if applicant is a tenant of the dwelling unit rather than the owner).
  • Proof that applicant resides in the dwelling unit to be rented, in the form of two of the following documents:
    • Property deed showing the applicant as the owner of the property
    • Motor vehicle registration
    • Driver’s license
    • Voter registration
    • Tax documents showing the dwelling unit as the applicant’s primary residence
    • Utility bill
    • A written lease agreement
  • Proof of insurance
  • Payment of a $180.00 license fee

Visit the City of Salem’s short-term rental licensing page for additional questions.

Operational requirements

Salem requires a number of operational requirements for hosts of homeshare rentals. Maintain these requirements to make sure your license remains in good standing.

Zoning requirements

Chapter 30 of the Salem Revised Code outlines the requirements and operational standards for licenses in Salem. You will want to be familiar with the requirements for short-term rentals and accessory short-term rentals included in this chapter. In addition, accessory short-term rentals are also subject to additional standards included under Chapter 700. Activities other than lodging, such as events, gatherings, luncheons, banquets, parties, weddings, meetings, fundraising, or commercial or advertising activities, are prohibited.


The City requires you to hold and maintain a current liability insurance policy for your short-term rental or accessory short-term rental permit to remain in good standing. Read the Salem short-term rental page for more details.

Safety inspections

As part of the City of Salem’s license approval for short-term rentals and accessory short-term rentals, applicants must provide written certification [PDF] attesting to the rental’s conformance with the safety requirements of the city’s housing code. After a license is issued, a physical inspection of the rental will be scheduled by the city to verify conformance with the applicable requirements.

Frequency of inspections

  • Short-term rentals require an inspection every year
  • Accessory short-term rentals require an inspection at least once every five years

Local representative contact information

The City requires a local representative to be identified by the applicant who is available to timely respond to the property to address any issues or complaints that may arise when a short-term rental or accessory short-term rental is being rented.

Contact information for the local representative can be found on the Salem Permit, License, and Application Services Home (SPLASH) page. To look up valid short-term and accessory short-term rental licenses, select Short-term Rental from the License Type menu.

Guest registry

The city requires the short term rental operator to maintain a guest registry that must be available for inspection upon request, and must include details about each booking made, such as the dates and total number of days rented, number of guests, etc.

Advertising requirements

The city requires the short-term rental license number to be included on any advertisement or listing for the rental.


Read the City of Salem transient occupancy tax code to learn how different taxes apply to your situation.

The Salem Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT) is a tax for those renting housing accommodations for less than 30 days in the City of Salem. Airbnb collects and pays this tax on your behalf. The 9% tax applies to the listing price and any cleaning fees within the first 29 nights of any reservation. Airbnb also collects and pays an additional Oregon state transient lodging tax of 1.8% on your behalf.

Read the City of Salem Transient Occupancy Tax page for more details and copies of the tax form for the City of Salem. More information about the Oregon state lodging tax can be found at the Oregon Department of Revenue.

Other contracts and rules

As a host, you need to understand and abide by other contracts or rules that bind you, including leases, co-op rules, HOA rules, or other rules established by tenant organizations. You should be able to find out more by contacting your homeowners' association or landlord. Your lease (or other contract) might also have specific details.

Our commitment to your community

We are committed to working with local officials to clarify how local rules impact the short-term rental community. When needed, we will continue to advocate for changes that will enable people to rent out their homes.

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