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Tuolumne County Mandates Fire Inspections For Short-Term Rentals

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Sonora, CA– Tuolumne County Board of Supervisors has approved Ordinance Code Chapter 8.70, introducing Fire and Life Safety Inspections for short-term rentals in the unincorporated areas of the county. As of January 19, operating a short-term rental without a Tuolumne County Fire Department (TCFD) Fire and Life Safety Inspection is prohibited. These inspections must be renewed every two years. Owners are allowed to continue operating during the implementation period if they contact the TCFD to schedule inspections within 45 days of receiving their Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT) returns, mailed quarterly starting March 1st.

Owners must designate an authorized agent, such as a property management company or local contact, year-round. Short-term rentals encompass various structures, including single-family dwellings, secondary dwelling units, studios, and more, rented for lodging between one and thirty days. The ordinance mandates interior postings of emergency evacuation information and a local contact person. Smoke alarms are required in each bedroom and on every level, including basements and habitable attics. Carbon monoxide alarms must be installed outside each bedroom where fuel-fired appliances are present. Additionally, each unit must have a fire extinguisher, visible address identification, and adhere to defensible space requirements.

For further details, the complete Short-Term Rental Ordinance 8.70 can be found on the Tuolumne County website at www.tuolumnecounty.ca.gov/165/Tuolumne-County-Ordinance-Code. Property owners are urged to contact the Tuolumne County Fire Prevention Division at 209-533-5502 or email fireprevention@co.tuolumne.ca.us to schedule Fire and Life Safety Inspections after receiving their TOT returns.

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