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Common Terms and Definitions

Common Terms and Definitions

STR – Short Term Rental. This abbreviation is used as an umbrella term to cover all types of vacation rentals, both hosted and non-hosted.

Non-Hosted STR – a single family home, condo or townhome that is made available for rentals of 30 days or less.  The owner may choose to manage it themselves or have it managed by a professional property manager.

  • Someone who lives in their home part or most of the year but then leaves and rents the entire home out during their absence still falls within this category.Per current VR regulations, this type of STR is still required to have a local contact on record and available in their absence.

  • Some homeowners will choose to make their STR available for a rental longer than 30 days but for these rentals, STR regulations do not apply because these are defined as long term rentals and are regulated by state real estate and housing laws.

Hosted STR – an ADU (accessory dwelling unit), a mother-in-law unit or 1 or more bedrooms in a home that are made available for rentals of 30 days or less.

  • Use of ADUs as an STR is no longer allowed per current city regulations but some ADU VR licenses are grandfathered in and can continue to operate.

  • Current regulations do not address requirements about how much of the time the owner of a hosted STR is required to be present. So, if the homeowner is not in residence during a guest stay, does this then become a non-hosted STR?


Online Travel Agencies (OTAs) – This is the industry name for all websites which advertise STRs.  This includes Airbnb, VRBO, TripAdvisor,, etc.  Please note none of these companies mentioned are operators of vacation rentals or property managers. These are advertising venues and the of the vacation rental industry.

Read more on density and the arguments regarding Vacation Rentals in Morro Bay

Read about how the current situation unfolded and the history on STRs in Morro Bay

Learn about the common terms for Vacation Rentals and how they are defined

Browse our files data base for studies, publications, and more information on STRs

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