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Vacation Homes - The Pro's and Con's on the Monterey Bay

Many homeowners consider venturing into the realm of short-term rentals to capitalize on the influx of visitors seeking a slice of coastal paradise. However, like any venture, owning a short-term rental (rental of 30 days or less) on the Monterey Peninsula comes with its own set of pros and cons, influenced by local ordinances, fees, and its impact on the housing market.


  1. Lucrative Income Potential: With its allure to tourists year-round, short-term rentals on the Monterey Peninsula can yield significant income for property owners. During peak seasons, such as summer and major events like the Monterey Jazz Festival or Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance, rental rates skyrocket, offering substantial returns on investment.

  2. Flexibility and Control: Unlike long-term rentals, short-term rentals afford homeowners greater flexibility and control over their property. Owners can dictate rental schedules, block off dates for personal use, and adjust pricing according to demand, providing a level of autonomy that appeals to many.

  3. Tourism Boost: Short-term rentals contribute to the local economy by accommodating the influx of tourists and providing alternative lodging options. They enhance the visitor experience, allowing travelers to immerse themselves in the local culture and attractions while generating revenue for small businesses and local attractions.


  1. Regulatory Challenges: Local ordinances governing short-term rentals can pose significant challenges to property owners. In Monterey County, for instance, regulations vary by jurisdiction, with some municipalities imposing strict limitations or outright bans on short-term rentals in residential areas. Compliance with zoning laws, occupancy limits, and permitting requirements can be cumbersome and costly.

  2. Community Disruption: Short-term rentals have sparked debates over their impact on residential neighborhoods, with concerns ranging from noise disturbances and parking shortages to diminished community cohesion. Some residents argue that transient guests disrupt the fabric of the neighborhood, leading to tensions between homeowners and vacationers.

  3. Housing Market Effects: The proliferation of short-term rentals has raised concerns about their impact on the local housing market, particularly in areas facing housing shortages or affordability challenges. Critics contend that converting residential properties into short-term rentals exacerbates housing scarcity, driving up rents and property prices while displacing long-term residents.

Local Ordinances and Fees:

In response to the proliferation of short-term rentals, many municipalities on the Monterey Peninsula have enacted various regulations to govern their operation. For example, the City of Monterey no longer allows short term rentals and Pacific Grove issues a limited amount of STR permits only in the Coastal zone. At the moment, Monterey County allows STR's in some areas but requires registration and imposes a transient occupancy tax (TOT), requiring hosts to collect and remit taxes on rental income. As you can see, rules may vary!

if you are thinking about getting a vacation home, it's important talk to your agent and check with the local jurisdiction to understand the laws. Cities are now hiring third party companies to track vacation rentals online and fines can be steep.


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