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A look at short-term rental rules for local municipalities

With all of the recent news pertaining to short-term rentals, I thought it would be important to provide specific information per city and county regulations, as follows:

City of Las Vegas, chapter 6.75

The city defines a short-term vacation rental as meaning a rental for commercial use, or the making available for commercial use of a residential unit for dwelling, lodging or sleeping purposes, wherein any individual guest rents or occupies the unit for a period of less than 31 consecutive calendar days. The definition does not include bed-and-breakfast establishments, rooming house or a facility for transitional living for released offenders.

The ordinance also lists specific communities where short-term vacation rentals are prohibited in the following master-planned communities: Summerlin/Sun City Summerlin, Town Center, Skye Canyon, Cliff’s Edge, DCP (Arts District, Symphony Park), Grand Canyon Village, Las Vegas Medical District and Providence Square.

A person or company that has a short-term license are to abide by the association’s governing documents. If the home is located inside a gated subdivision or controlled-access building that is governed by an association, the applicant for a short-term vacation rental license is to obtain a letter from the association allowing the rental unit as part of their application to the city.

City of Henderson

An ordinance was adopted in 2019 that requires property owners to register with the city if they intend to operate a short-term vacation rental on an annual basis. Henderson’s regulations were a substantial improvement from the city of Las Vegas in controlling short-term vacation rentals.

The city defines short-term vacation rentals as a permanent residential unit or any portion of such dwelling unit, rented for occupancy for a period of less than 30 consecutive days or less than 28 consecutive days in February, counting portions of days as full days regardless of whether a permanent resident is also present during the occupancy period.

Henderson’s rules include condominiums but not apartments may be used for short-term vacation rentals and registration of owners, who must be at least 18 years old. If the property owner is an entity, such as an LLC or corporation, an officer or manager of the entity may register provided that the individual has proof of authorization. If the property owner of record is a trust, only the trustee can register the short-term vacation rental.

The city of Henderson included some very specific requirements that have addressed many association issues, which would allow an association to file a complaint if the requirement(s) were not met, as follows:

■ Mobile homes, recreational vehicles, travel trailers, vehicles and other nonpermanent structures cannot be registered as short-term vacation rentals.

■ The short-term vacation rental cannot be used for overnight accommodations and cannot be used for events or parties.

■ Short-term vacation rentals must comply with all residential property maintenance requirements of the Henderson municipal code.

■ The short-term vacation rental shall not generate more or different types of traffic than the typical home occupied by a permanent resident.

■ A notarized statement is required from the registrant that they certify they will not violate any association’s agreement; bylaws and covenants, conditions and restrictions; or any other private agreement that governs and limits the use of the property within the association’s community.

■ There is a limit as to the number of short-term vacation rentals within a multi-unit dwelling structures, which is one unit or 25 percent of the total number of units, whichever is greater. Applicants are selected on a first-come basis. A short-term vocational rental shall not be located within 1,000 feet of another registered one.

For any disputes between a homeowner and their association regarding whether a short-term vacation rental is permitted, the homeowner association would need to obtain a judicial order as proof of the prohibition. Henderson, upon receiving a copy of the order, would not allow a homeowner in that community to register.

Clark County

The short-term rental law will become effective on July 1, 2022. Before Assembly Bill 363 being passed, which forces the county to regulate the industry, Clark County was the only major jurisdiction in Southern Nevada with an outright ban on short-term rentals.

It should be noted that before the pandemic, Clark County established a working committee to investigate this issue, with reviewing laws and ordinances of other cities within Nevada and outside of Nevada that allow short-term rentals.

With the new law, Clark County will need to develop an ordinance that will regulate short-term rentals and will incorporate the minimum standards as set by the law. Under the legislation, the county will need to adopt an annual registration fee, collect transient lodging taxes, prohibit party rentals, establish requirements for noise, security and trash and create civil penalties for violations.

It should be noted that with the new law, investors may not hold more than five short-term rentals per state business license. A state business license and county authorization must be displayed in the rental unit and in any online advertising. The county may require a hosting platform such as Airbnb and Vrbo to verify a rental unit is authorized to serve as a short-term rental before advertising.

Hopefully, Clark County will provide associations with the opportunity to help develop the regulations in line closer to what the city of Henderson has done than that of the city of Las Vegas.

For now, it is a wait and see.

Barbara Holland is a certified property manager and holds the supervisory community manager certificate with the state of Nevada. She is an author and educator on real estate management. Questions may be sent to holland744o@gmail.com.

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