Blog Stories Airbnb and the Quest for a Portland ADU

Airbnb and the Quest for a Portland ADU

By Sophia Rosenberg, May 17, 2018

Like many other Portland home buyers, after my husband and I sold our first home, we wanted our second home to have an ADU (Accessory Dwelling Unit).  It would allow us to host visitors in a city we’re proud to call home, make some extra income, and house visiting friends and family when their stays extended past the two-day threshold (just joking, Mom).

What is an ADU?

You’ll see it a lot on listings as a marketing tool.  Often times as “ADU potential.”  And, as you can imagine, “potential” is subjective.

According to the City of Portland, “an Accessory Dwelling Unit is defined as a smaller, auxiliary dwelling unit on the same lot or within a house, attached house or manufactured home. The unit includes its own independent living facilities with provisions for sleeping cooking, and sanitation, designed for residential occupancy independent of the primary dwelling unit. The unit may have a separate exterior entrance or an entrance to an internal common area accessible to the outside.”

Simply put, it’s a mother-in-law apartment, finished basement with separate entrance, granny-flat, or studio apartment.

We were lucky enough to find a property that had an ADU (a former music studio) in a great area.  As soon as we closed escrow, we began the process to make it Airbnb-able (inventing words here).

What is the process to legally advertise a short-term rental on Airbnb?

Permit Requirement: Residents must apply for an accessory short-term rental permit to rent to guests for fewer than 30 consecutive days.  Apply for the permit type that applies to your situation.  They can be found here.

Neighbor Notification: Use the form and instructions provided by Airbnb to notify neighbors.

Inspection: The City will contact you after you submit your application to schedule an inspection. Each bedroom must have a smoke detector and may also require a carbon monoxide detector.

Occupancy Requirement: Hosts with an accessory short-term rental permit have to occupy the residence for at least 270 days during each calendar year.

Permit Posting: Post your permit number on your Airbnb listing and in the unit you’re renting short-term.

Lodging Taxes and Tax Registration: Submit a Transient Lodging Registration form to the City of Portland Revenue Division.

Since posting our listing to Airbnb, we’ve consistently maintained an 80-90% occupancy rate.  More importantly, we’ve also had a lot of fun doing it!

Want to find a new home with an ADU?  Or just want to hear some fun Airbnb host stories?  Reach out.

Not looking for a permanent Portland abode?  Come crash with us!  Shameless plug here.

And as always, rules and regulations are constantly changing so be sure to do some research.

Sophia Rosenberg

Earth Advantage & ADU Specialist Broker

Home, hospitality and community have long been signposts to Sophia’s heart, and they also happen to represent key stages of her life so far. As a young, up-and-coming designer, she put an interior architecture degree from the University of California to work managing the design and styling of new openings for the popular Kimpton Hotels brand. After completing Babson’s renowned entrepreneurial MBA program, Sophia began creating the marketing and branding plans for a host of new luxury hotels — including Joie de Vivre’s beloved boutique hotels — as director of branding for a hospitality group founded by the Hyatt scion John Pritzker. But amid all the travel and excitement, she began to feel a desire to be closer to “a community I’m proud to call home while helping families find their perfect place.” Her first home was a 1938 English cottage that she successfully renovated, decorated and sold. And as she turned from creating homes away from home, to home sweet home, it turns out that real estate brings it all together for her: Nimble management skills. A passion for design. Love of community. An accredited Earth Advantage Real Estate Broker and ADU Specialist, she offers clients an abundance of green home expertise with hands-on experience creating backyard cottages (check out her charming loft on AirBnB). Among clients and colleagues alike, she’s known as much for her tenacity and enthusiasm for negotiating and navigating multiple offers as she is for nurturing and maintaining relationships long after her deals are closed. When she’s not helping her clients, you’ll find her renovating her 1911 farmhouse and spending time outdoors with Maya, Taco and Danny — her young daughter, rescue pup and husband (yes, in that order). While an ideal day for Sophia is gathering driftwood and inspiration along the breathtaking Oregon coast, when the gray months take hold of our skies, she’s bound to be on a quest for sunshine and secret spots for sipping Pinot in the winter and Rosé in the summer.
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