Short Term Rentals in Central Oregon

Hello Bend! Let’s talk about Short Term Rentals in Central Oregon! The City of Bend has distinct guidelines regarding the establishment and use of Short Term Rentals. If you are thinking of investing in a property to be used as an Airbnb, VRBO, or any type of vacation rental, you’ll want to know the nitty-gritty Bend specific details of how Short Term Rentals are handled! Lucky for you, we’ve compiled the detailed information along with links to helpful website resources referenced in this article.  Don’t forget to let us know if we can help you in your search by sending us a message!

City of Bend – Short Term Rentals

In 2015 the City of Bend adopted the Short-Term Rental and Land Use Code Amendments.  This set guidelines for the establishment and use of STR properties within the City of Bend. In an effort to control the surge of STR properties within Bend, and protect the integrity of the neighborhoods within the city, the City of Bend:  Short-Term Rental Program was established. A Short-Term Rental is defined as any dwelling unit or portion of a dwelling unit, that is rented for 29 days or less. STR properties include whole-house rentals, as well as the rental of up to two rooms in the dwelling while the owner is present. In order to operate an STR, you will need to secure a Chapter 7.16: Short-Term Rental Operating License and a Land Use Permit. 

In order to obtain these items, the city will check to make sure there are no other properties that have a license and a permit to operate an STR within 250 feet of one another. The operating license and permit is issued to the owner of the property and is NOT transferable upon the sale of the property. The new property owner must submit a new application, which triggers a notification to surrounding property owners, and is not guaranteed a new operating license and land use permit will be granted.

Many properties within the City of Bend are “grandfathered” in and the land use permits are transferable to the new owner. There are also certain developments that are exempt from land use approval, Mt Bachelor Village Resort and Deschutes Landing (near the Old Mill) for example. Both are grandfathered and exempt properties, however, both are required to obtain a Short-Term Rental Operating License. To help us determine if a property is eligible to be an STR, there is a City of Bend: Short-Term Rental Eligibility Map that allows us to look up STR availability, based on the address of the subject property, within the city limits. The Short-Term Rentals:  Establishment Process Guide is a great resource outlining the steps involved with links to the applications and websites with additional information.

If a community within the city limits has a “vacation overlay”, that development may be allowed to operate STR properties in conjunction with their “resort” operations. The Tetherow neighborhood and resort is a great example of this. Tetherow offers a section of properties that were developed exclusively to be used as short-term rentals. These properties are required to be available for rent 38 weeks out of the year and must be managed by the resort operations where they are located. This should be disclosed in the listing if the property is available for sale. 

All STR properties in the City of Bend are required to pay a City of Bend:  Room Tax and the State of Oregon: Transient Lodging Tax.  For more information on how transient lodging taxes work visit State of Oregon: Administration Page.

short term rentals

Deschutes County – Short Term Rentals:

There is a bit more flexibility for properties located within Deschutes County, outside of the City of Bend. There is no land use permit or STR operating license required, therefore there are also no distance restrictions on how close STR properties can be located to one another. Although an STR property operating outside the city limits of Bend would not be required to pay a City of Bend Room Tax, the operator would be required to pay a Deschutes County: Transient Room Tax and the above-mentioned State of Oregon: Transient Lodging Tax.

The Sunriver area falls into this category making it highly desirable for those seeking to own an STR property in Central Oregon without the restrictions associated with properties located within the city limits. Sunriver is a resort community, offering amenities to owners and guests, which makes it very popular for those planning a visit to our area. Another interesting fact about Sunriver is that most properties are sold completely “turnkey”. Most furnishings, decorations, household items, kitchenware, linens, etc are often included in the sale of the property on a separate Bill of Sale outside of escrow, for no stated value. This makes it a very easy way for people to purchase their own “Vacation Home”, without the initial expense of purchasing furnishings and other household items, and rent it out nightly to help offset the cost of the property.  

sunriver short term rentals

Expectations Relating to a Property Purchase:

  • Within the city limits of Bend, if a property has a transferable land use permit (application filed on or before April 15, 2015) or is located within a development that does not require one (see examples above), a “premium” for this will typically be built into the sales price of the home. This land use permit “runs with the land” and is transferable to the new owner during a property sale.  The new owner is required to apply for a new STR operating license within 60 days of closing on the property.
  • If the property has a current land use permit and STR operating license filed after April 15, 2015, it is important to note these permits do not transfer with the property.  The new owner must re-apply for both of these items.  There is no way to guarantee, in advance of purchase/closing, that your application would be granted.
  • Locating a property within the City of Bend that is currently eligible for an STR permit and license, can be done through the City of Bend:  Short-Term Rental Eligibility Map.  It is important to do our “due diligence” to verify this information is accurate prior to putting in an offer on a property. If you have any more specific questions relating to this, please contact the Bend Planning Division at 541-388-5580 menu option #3 or click on the link and send an email.
  • It is important to cross-check the city’s eligibility map with any CC&R’s recorded for a property neighborhood.  These are Covenants, Conditions & Restrictions and many of them may prohibit the operation of a Short-Term Rental property.
  • Purchasing a property with an Additional Dwelling Unit (ADU), or with the plan to build one, with the intent to operate it as an STR within city limits is subject to distance and eligibility requirements.
  • ADU’s are NOT allowed on county property at this time.  Although Deschutes County doesn’t have the STR permit or licensing requirements, which allows for more flexibility, it is important to note that in order to operate a property as an STR within Deschutes County, you would either need to rent out the entire single-family dwelling or up to two rooms within that dwelling.  

Are you thinking about purchasing a property to use as a Short Term Rental?  I would be honored to be YOUR Real Estate Broker and YOUR Real Estate Resource to help you understand the rules surrounding the Short-Term Rental process, requirements, and eligibility for homes available for sale. If your intent is to purchase a property you would like to use as an STR, I will help you in the due diligence process to make sure we can quickly identify these properties when they come on the market and help walk you through the process to make sure you are able to use that property as intended. 

Resource Links:

short term rentals

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Brenda Menzel, Broker

Cascade Sotheby’s International Realty ~ Hello Bend Real Estate


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