Chapter 7.16
SHORT-TERM RENTAL OPERATING LICENSE Revised 5/19

Sections:

7.16.005    Applicability.

7.16.010    Purpose.

7.16.020    Definitions.

7.16.030    Annual Short-Term Rental Operating License Required.

7.16.040    Application and Fee. Revised 5/19

7.16.050    Term of Annual License and Transferability.

7.16.060    Operating License and License Renewal. Revised 5/19

7.16.070    Criteria for Approval of an Operating License and Operating License Renewal.

7.16.080    Additional Operational Requirements.

7.16.090    Revocation Procedure.

7.16.100    Violations – Penalties.

7.16.110    Appeals of Short-Term Rental Operating License Determinations.

7.16.120    Discontinuance of Short-Term Rental Occupancy.

7.16.130    Remedies Not Exclusive.

7.16.005 Applicability.

Unless expressly exempt from the permitting requirements under BDC 3.6.500(C)(3), the provisions of this chapter apply to all short-term rentals approved under BDC 3.6.500, operating a short-term rental as defined by the Development Code, or that are legal nonconforming uses under the Bend Development Code. [Ord. NS-2239, 2015]

7.16.010 Purpose.

A short-term rental license is a permission to operate a short-term rental in accordance with this chapter. An operating license may be suspended, terminated or revoked if the standards of this chapter are not met or the dwelling is sold or otherwise transferred as defined in this chapter. This chapter provides an administrative framework for licensing the annual operation of a short-term rental. [Ord. NS-2239, 2015]

7.16.020 Definitions.

A.    Authorized agent is a property management company or other entity or person who has been designated by the owner, in writing, to act on their behalf. The authorized agent may or may not be the designated representative for purposes of contact for complaints. If an authorized agent changes during the operating license period, the owner shall timely notify the City in writing of the change.

B.    City Manager means the City Manager or his or her designee.

C.    Immediate family is defined as spouse, registered domestic partner, parents, children, children of the spouse/registered domestic partner, siblings, grandparents, grandchildren, parents of the spouse/registered domestic partner, and other close relatives who reside in the owner’s household.

D.    Owner means the natural person or legal entity that owns and holds legal and/or equitable title to the property. If the owner is a business entity such as a partnership, corporation, limited liability company, limited partnership, limited liability partnership or similar entity, any person who owns an interest in that business entity shall be considered an owner.

E.    Sale or transfer means any change of ownership during the lifetime of the license holder, whether or not there is consideration, or after the death of the license holder, except a change in ownership where title is held in survivorship with a spouse or domestic partner, or transfers on the owner’s death to a trust which benefits only a spouse, child(ren) or registered domestic partner for the lifetime of the spouse, child(ren) or registered domestic partner. A sale or transfer also does not mean (1) the transfer of ownership of the real property to or between the members of a limited liability company or partnership when the transfer involves the same owner(s), or (2) the transfer to a trustee, a corporation, a partnership, a limited partnership, a limited liability partnership, or other similar entity, if at least one owner is living at the time of transfer and retains at least a 25 percent interest in the entity. The permit or nonconforming right shall terminate if the original owner ceases to own at least a 25 percent interest in the entity. If the owner is a corporation, the shareholders of the corporation shall be considered the owners for purposes of this section.

F.    Short-term rental means a short-term rental (1) approved under BDC 3.6.500 or former BDC 3.6.200(L), or (2) that is a legal nonconforming use under the Bend Development Code.

G.    Short-term rental operating license means the regulatory license required by BC 7.16.030 and described in this chapter, and regulates a “short-term rental” as defined in BDC Chapter 1.2. It will be referenced as an “operating license.” [Ord. NS-2239, 2015]

7.16.030 Annual Short-Term Rental Operating License Required.

No owner of property within the Bend City limits may advertise, offer, operate, rent, or otherwise make available or allow any other person to make available for occupancy or use a short-term rental without a short-term rental operating license. Advertise or offer includes through any media, whether written, electronic, web-based, digital, mobile or otherwise. [Ord. NS-2239, 2015]

7.16.040 Application and Fee. Revised 5/19

A.    Application Required. Applications for an operating license shall be on forms provided by the City, demonstrating the application meets the standards required by this chapter. The owner or authorized agent shall certify the following information to be true and correct:

1.    Owner Information. Owner’s name, permanent residence address, permanent residence telephone number, and the short-term rental address and telephone number. The application must also include the names, mailing addresses, and telephone numbers of all persons holding an ownership interest in the property, or holding an ownership interest in the entity that owns the property.

2.    Representative Information. If the owner does not permanently reside within the Bend City limits or is not always available when the property is being rented, the owner shall provide the name, telephone number and email of a representative (which can be a person or company) who can be contacted concerning use of the property and/or complaints related to the short-term rental, as set forth in BC 7.16.070.

3.    Land Use Approval. The PZ number of the land use approval for the short-term rental use or exemption under current or former Bend Development Code, or determination by CDD of a legal nonconforming use, must be submitted with the application.

4.    Parking. Statement that required parking spaces are available, with a dated photo(s) submitted of interior and exterior parking spaces. A parking diagram of these approved parking spaces shall also be submitted.

5.    Occupancy. Occupancy limits and number of bedrooms.

6.    Use in Prior 12 Months. Documentation as set forth in BC 7.16.070(B) that the dwelling was rented at least once in the last 12 months for existing short-term rentals (if permitted in the last 12 months), and upon each annual license renewal for existing and new short-term rentals, unless the hardship exemption is met as set forth in that section.

7.    Good Neighbor Guidelines. Acknowledgment of receipt and review of a copy of the good neighbor guidelines. In addition, evidence that the good neighbor guidelines have been effectively relayed to short-term rental tenants, by incorporating them into the rental contract, including it in the rental booklet, posting it online, providing it in a conspicuous place in the dwelling unit, or a similar method.

8.    Listing Number. If they advertise, the listing numbers or website addresses where the short-term rental advertises (such as the Vrbo/Airbnb/rental website number, account number, URL, etc.)

9.    Such other information as the City Manager or designee deems reasonably necessary to administer this chapter.

B.    Incomplete Application. If a license application does not include all required materials, the application will be considered incomplete and the City will notify the applicant, by using the applicant’s email address that is on file or by first class mail if no email address is provided, explaining the information required. If the applicant provides the missing required information within 30 days of the date of the notice, the application will be reviewed. If the applicant does not provide the required information, the application will be deemed withdrawn and the City will refund the application fee.

C.    License Fee. The fee for application for a short-term rental operating license or license renewal shall be in an amount to recover the City’s actual average costs of reviewing and issuing the license application or license renewal application, including a fee for a late application, investigation and any required inspections, as established by resolution of the City Council. [Ord. NS-2323, 2019; Ord. NS-2281, 2016; Ord. NS‑2239, 2015]

7.16.050 Term of Annual License and Transferability.

A.    Term. A short-term rental operating license shall be issued for a period of one year, with its effective date running from the date the application is due as set forth in BC 7.16.060, and may be renewed annually by the owner or authorized agent provided all applicable standards of this chapter are met.

B.    Transferability. The operating license shall be issued in the name of the property owner and is not transferable. The operating license shall terminate and be deemed void when the license holder sells or transfers the property approved or operating as a legal nonconforming use as a short-term rental. Although not transferable, the new owner or authorized agent shall have 60 days to apply for a new operating license. See BC 7.16.060(B)(1)(c). [Ord. NS-2239, 2015]

7.16.060 Operating License and License Renewal. Revised 5/19

A.    License Must Be Obtained. An operating license shall be obtained and/or renewed as required in this section. The ability to operate a short-term rental in the City of Bend shall be discontinued for failure to obtain or renew a license to operate as provided in this chapter.

B.    Application and Renewal Application Process. A person engaging in a short-term rental who has not yet obtained an operating license, or who is required to renew an existing operating license, shall do so as follows:

1.    Time for Application.

a.    Existing Short-Term Rentals. A completed operating license renewal application and renewal fee are due for all existing short-term rentals on September 1, 2015, and annually every year thereafter.

b.    New Permits. For new land use permits issued after the effective date of this chapter, it is the responsibility of the owner or authorized agent to apply for an operating license within 60 days of receiving the final land use approval to permit the use of the property of a short-term rental.

c.    Sale of the Property. Upon change in ownership authorized by this chapter and BDC Chapter 3.6 of a property subject to a short-term rental operating license, it is the obligation and responsibility of the new owner or authorized agent to obtain a new operating license in order to operate the short-term rental. The new owner or authorized agent shall have 60 days from the date of ownership (closing of the sale) to apply for and receive a new operating license.

2.    Notice. At least 60 days prior to the due date, the City shall send notice of the need for a license or expiration of a license to the owner of any property for which an application is due as follows:

a.    For the first license required after the effective date of this chapter, for permitted nonconforming properties, notice will be sent by first class mail to the property owner as determined by the records of Deschutes County from the most recent property tax roll assessment.

b.    For properties that are legal nonconforming uses and were never permitted, it is the owner’s obligation and responsibility to apply for a PZ number and to provide the City with a new address for notification purposes.

c.    For license renewal, notice will be sent to the address of the owner/licensee by using the applicant’s email address that is on file or by first class mail if no email address is provided.

d.    For both the first license and license renewal, if an authorized agent name and address have been submitted to the City after the adoption of this chapter, the City will also send notice to such agent, although failure to do so does not violate this section.

C.    Notice – Late Applications. If the license application or renewal application is not received by the due date, the City shall send notice of expiration to the owner and authorized agent, if known, of any property for which a timely application has not been received, advising the owner that they have 30 days to respond. An application will be considered timely submitted if the City receives a completed application, accompanied by the required fees, within the 30-day late period. Notice will be sent using the applicant’s email address that is on file or by first class mail if no email is provided.

D.    License Expiration. For failure to submit an application, upon expiration of the 30-day late period, the ability to operate shall be conclusively presumed to be discontinued with no further action by the City. For renewals, upon expiration of the late period, the ability to operate shall be conclusively presumed to be discontinued and the City will commence revocation of the license pursuant to the procedures in BC 7.16.090.

    For new owners, once the 60-day grace period to apply for a license under the existing land use permit expires as referenced in subsection (B)(1)(c) of this section, the ability to operate shall be conclusively presumed to be discontinued with no further action by the City.

E.    Renewal Standards.

1.    The City will review an application for operating license renewal and issue a renewal, provided all the standards in this chapter continue to be met. If not met, the City will not renew the operating license and the property shall not be used as a short-term rental.

2.    A decision on an operating license application or renewal may be appealed as provided in BC 7.16.110. [Ord. NS-2323, 2019; Ord. NS-2281, 2016; Ord. NS-2239, 2015]

7.16.070 Criteria for Approval of an Operating License and Operating License Renewal.

A.    The applicant has the burden of proof to demonstrate compliance with each applicable criterion for approval or renewal of the operating license. The approval criteria also operate as continuing code compliance obligations of the owner. Staff may verify evidence submitted and the applicant shall cooperate fully in any investigation.

B.    To receive approval, an applicant must demonstrate that all approval criteria listed below have been satisfied:

1.    Proof of Use. The owner shall demonstrate that the property has been rented at least once in the prior 12 months, for the first license and every year upon renewal, as demonstrated by one or more of the following: a room tax remittance form, a rental contract with the tenant, rental receipts, or other documentation satisfactory to the City (subject to the hardship exception in subsection (B)(2) of this section). During the first year of this licensing program, the exception to this requirement is for permits issued between July 3 and September 1, 2015, uses that did not formerly require a permit, or nonconforming uses permitted after September 2, 2014, which may not have a year of potential use to demonstrate. Such owners shall demonstrate use upon the next annual renewal. Information provided by the owner under BC Chapter 12.05, Room Tax, shall be kept confidential to the extent allowed or required by law.

2.    Operating License Revocation. If an owner does not demonstrate proof of use during the prior 12 months as set forth in subsection (B)(1) of this section, an operating license shall be revoked by the City under BC 7.16.090. The exception to these criteria for continuation of an operating license is a temporary hardship exception, which includes submission of proof, acceptable to the City, that: (a) a medical condition of the owner, domestic partner or immediate family member jeopardizes the ability of the owner to operate the short-term rental; or (b) the death of the spouse, domestic partner or immediate family member jeopardizes the ability of the owner to operate the short-term rental; or (c) structural integrity of the short-term rental deems it uninhabitable for tenants and is not self-imposed.

The City may attach a time limit to this hardship exception. A time limit may be set by the City Manager but shall not exceed six months. A one-time extension may be approved upon request if one of the conditions of this section still applies.

3.    Land Use Approval. The property has received land use approval under the current or former Development Code or is a legal nonconforming use. If the land use permit is modified under BDC 3.6.500 (such as to increase the number of bedrooms or parking spaces), the operating license shall be modified as well within 30 days.

4.    Contact Information. The owner or authorized agent has provided information sufficient to verify a qualified person will be available to be contacted about use of the short-term rental during and after business hours. The owner or representative shall be available to be contacted by telephone to ensure a response to the short-term rental address at all hours (24 hours a day, seven days a week) while the dwelling unit is occupied for rent. The designated representative may be changed from time to time throughout the term of the license. To do so, the license information shall be revised with the City at least 14 days prior to the date the change takes effect, except when the failure to do so is beyond the owner or authorized agent’s control. In an emergency or absence, contact forwarding information to a qualified person may be provided for the owner or representative.

5.    Notice to Neighbors. The owner or authorized agent shall either: (a) provide an annual mailing or otherwise distribute by hand, a flier to neighbors within a 250-foot radius of the short-term rental property address containing the owner and/or representative contact information, or (b) post a small placard or sign as permitted by the Bend Sign Code, BC Chapter 9.50, near the adjacent street advising neighbors and tenants of the same information where it can be seen from the public right-of-way.

The purpose of this notice is so that adjacent property owners and residents can contact a responsible person to report and request resolution of problems associated with the operation of the short-term rental. If the permanent contact information changes during the license period, the new information must be mailed or distributed again, or changed on the placard or sign.

6.    Electronic Availability. In addition, the City will make a database electronically accessible within which any person can enter in an address of a short-term rental and obtain the owner/authorized agent and/or representative’s name and telephone number.

C.    Health and Safety.

1.    Fire and Emergency Safety. A completed checklist for fire safety (fire extinguishers, smoke alarms, carbon monoxide detectors, etc.) shall be required with each annual operating license application and renewal.

2.    Owner Responsibility. It is the owner’s responsibility to assure that the short-term rental is and remains in substantial compliance with all applicable codes regarding fire, building and safety, health and safety, and other relevant laws.

D.    Mandatory Postings. The short-term rental license issued by the City shall be displayed in a prominent location within the interior of the dwelling adjacent to the front door. The license will contain the following information:

1.    A number or other identifying mark unique to the short-term rental operating license which indicates the license is issued by the City of Bend, with the date of expiration;

2.    The name of the owner or representative and a telephone number where the owner or representative may be contacted;

3.    The number of approved parking spaces;

4.    The maximum occupancy permitted for the short-term rental;

5.    Any required information and conditions specific to the operating license (such as a maximum of 29 days available for rent per 12-month period);

6.    The property address; and

7.    The City of Bend official logo.

E.    No Pending Actions or Violations. At the time of application, the owner of a short-term rental shall not have received a civil citation regarding compliance of the subject short-term rental property with any provision of the Bend Code. A voluntary assurance of compliance, negotiated compliance agreement, or deferred sentence agreement will satisfy the requirement that there be no pending actions or violations. The owner shall be in compliance with the Room Tax Code pursuant to BC Chapter 12.05, and subject to the Tax Administrator’s authority under that chapter. The owner must be in good standing with Code Enforcement including no active cases or unresolved issues.

F.    Parking Diagram. The parking diagram of the approved parking spaces shall be provided to tenants and be available in a prominent location within the short-term rental dwelling. [Ord. NS-2281, 2016; Ord. NS-2239, 2015]

7.16.080 Additional Operational Requirements.

A.    Response to Complaints. The owner or representative shall respond to neighborhood questions, concerns, or complaints in a reasonably timely manner depending on the circumstances.

1.    Complaints. The owner or representative should maintain a record of complaints and the actions taken in response to the complaint, if relevant, in an electronic or written manner deemed reasonable to document the interaction. If kept, this record can then be made available for City inspection upon request to investigate under subsection (A)(3) of this section.

2.    City Authority. Certain types of complaints are subject to the City’s regulatory authority under other sections of the Bend Code (noise complaints, disorderly conduct, chronic nuisance, etc., under BC Title 5, Public Protection, which are enforced by the Bend Police Department). Other complaints related to occupancy and on-site parking are subject to the City’s code enforcement authority under BDC 3.6.500. It is not intended that the owner, agent or representative act as a peace officer or code enforcement officer or put themselves in an at-risk situation.

However, reasonable initial inquiries or complaints related to noise, disturbances, occupancy or parking may first be made to the owner or representative. In addition, complaints specifically related to the good neighbor guidelines, or the condition, operation or conduct of occupants of the short-term rental, should first be made to the owner or representative. If there is a failure to respond or a clearly inadequate response by the owner or representative, a complaint may be submitted to the City on a form provided by the City and the City will respond or investigate as needed. The City will first seek voluntary compliance or resolution, but if the City finds substantial evidence supports further action given the complaint(s), the City will follow the warning procedures set forth in BC 7.16.090(A)(6). Alternatively, and in its discretion, the City may refer the complaint to the City program for dispute resolution and/or mediation.

3.    Records. On request and in compliance with the public records law, the City shall provide the owner, authorized agent and/or representative with the information in the complaint.

4.    Grounds for Warning. Repeated failure of the owner or representative to timely and reasonably respond to a complaint(s) relayed by City staff is considered grounds for a warning and potential revocation under BC 7.16.090. Issuance of a noise (as sustained on appeal if applicable) citation to a tenant may be grounds for a warning to the owner, only if under the circumstances in the reasonable judgment of the City Manager the owner should be held responsible. Issuance of a public nuisance citation may be grounds for a warning in the appropriate circumstances.

5.    Administrative Rules. The City Manager shall have the authority to establish administrative rules and regulations consistent with the provisions of this chapter for the purpose of interpreting, clarifying, carrying out, furthering, and enforcing the provisions of this chapter. A copy of such administrative rules and regulations shall be on file in the office of the City Recorder and be posted on the City website. [Ord. NS-2281, 2016; Ord. NS-2239, 2015]

7.16.090 Revocation Procedure.

A.    In addition to the penalties described in BC 7.16.100, the following provisions apply to violations of this chapter:

1.    Failure to renew an operating license as set forth in BC 7.16.060 is grounds for immediate revocation of the operating license.

2.    Failure to meet the criteria required by BC 7.16.070(B)(1), (2) and (3) is grounds for immediate revocation of the operating license.

3.    The discovery of material misstatements or providing of false information in the application or renewal process is grounds for immediate revocation of the operating license.

4.    Expiration or revocation of the land use permit through Development Code proceedings is grounds for immediate revocation of the operating license.

5.    Such other violations of this chapter of sufficient severity in the reasonable judgment of the City Manager, so as to provide reasonable grounds for immediate revocation of the operating license.

6.    Other violations of this chapter, including but not limited to City initiated investigation/sustaining of complaints, shall be processed as follows:

a.    For the first violation within a 12-month period, the sanction shall be a warning notice.

b.    If the same offense continues to occur or a second similar offense occurs at any time during a 12-month period, the City may either send a second warning notice or suspend the operating license for 90 days, depending on the severity of the offense.

c.    If a third similar offense occurs at any time during a 12-month period, the penalty shall be revocation.

B.    Notice of Decision/Appeal/Stay. If the operating license is suspended or revoked as provided in this section, the City Manager shall send written notice of suspension and revocation to the owner stating the basis for the decision. The notice shall include information about the right to appeal the decision and the procedure for filing an appeal. The owner may appeal the City Manager’s decision to revoke the operating license under the procedures set forth in BC 7.16.110.

Upon receipt of an appeal, the City Manager shall stay the suspension or revocation decision until the appeal has been finally determined by the City Council. [Ord. NS-2239, 2015]

7.16.100 Violations – Penalties.

A.    In addition to the revocation procedure of BC 7.16.090, any person or owner who uses, or allows the use of, property in violation of this chapter is subject to the enforcement authority of BC Chapter 1.40, Civil Infractions, and the civil infraction authority of BC 7.10.075, Regulatory Permits. Violation is a Class A civil infraction subject to penalties, which include monetary fines. Each day in which a dwelling is used in violation of this chapter shall be considered a separate violation.

B.    The following conduct also constitutes a violation of this chapter and is a civil infraction:

1.    Representing a dwelling as available for occupancy or rent as a short-term rental where the owner does not hold a valid operating license issued under this chapter, or making a short-term rental available for use, occupancy or rent without first obtaining a valid operating license;

2.    Advertising or renting a short-term rental in a manner that does not comply with the standards of this chapter; and

3.    Failure to comply with the substantive standards of BC 7.16.070 and 7.16.080. [Ord. NS-2239, 2015]

7.16.110 Appeals of Short-Term Rental Operating License Determinations.

A.    Filing Requirements – Notice. The owner or authorized agent may appeal a short-term rental operating license decision to revoke an operating license under BC 7.16.090.

B.    Authority to Decide Appeal. The City Council shall be responsible for determining an appeal of a decision approving or denying an application or renewal application for an operating license, or revoking or suspending an operating license, in any zone.

C.    Time for Filing. An appellant is required to file a written notice of appeal including the basis for the appeal within 12 calendar days of the license determination being appealed. This requirement is jurisdictional and late filings shall not be allowed.

D.    Fee for Appeal. The City Council may establish by resolution a fee for filing an appeal, which shall be jurisdictional. The fee shall be sufficient to recover the average or actual costs of mailing notice of hearing and conducting the hearing.

E.    Procedures. The City Manager may establish administrative procedures to implement the appeal procedures provided in this section, including any required forms. The Council may adopt procedures for hearings not in conflict with this section, including but not limited to time limits on oral testimony and limitations on written argument.

F.    Hearing. Within 21 days of receiving the notice of appeal, the City Manager shall schedule a hearing on the appeal before the City Council. At the hearing, the appellant shall have the opportunity to present evidence and arguments as may be relevant. The Council may direct the City Attorney to draft findings of fact and interpretations of code or law to be considered at a later Council meeting.

G.    Standard of Review and Decision. The Council shall determine whether the City’s decision was based on a preponderance of the evidence. A decision of the Council shall be based on the evidence received, in writing and signed by the chair, no later than 30 days after the close of the hearing. The Council may determine not to suspend or revoke the license, or to revoke or suspend the license. If the Council upholds the decision to revoke the operating license, the Council shall order the owner to discontinue use as a short-term rental. If the Council reverses the decision to revoke the operating license, the operating license shall be granted.

H.    Finality. The Council’s decision shall be final on the date of mailing the decision to the appellant. The Council’s decision is the final decision of the City and is appealable only by writ of review to Circuit Court. [Ord. NS-2239, 2015]

7.16.120 Discontinuance of Short-Term Rental Occupancy.

A.    After Revocation. After a short-term rental operating license has been revoked, the dwelling unit may not be used or occupied as a short-term rental unless a new land use approval and license are granted, and the owner of the property to which the license applied and whose license has been revoked shall not be eligible to reapply for a short-term rental license for short-term rental occupancy of the same property for a period of 12 months from the date of revocation.

B.    After Expiration. If a short-term rental operating license expires, the dwelling unit may not be used or occupied as a short-term rental, except for the 60-day grace period for new owner(s) of property during which time they may apply for a new operating license. The owner of the property to which the license applied and whose license has expired shall be required to apply for and obtain both a land use permit and a short-term rental license before the property may be lawfully used or occupied as a short-term rental. [Ord. NS-2239, 2015]

7.16.130 Remedies Not Exclusive.

The remedies provided in this chapter are in addition to, and not in lieu of, all other legal remedies, criminal and civil, which may be pursued by the City to address any violation of this code, the Development Code, or other public nuisance. [Ord. NS-2239, 2015]