Short-term rentals in Washoe County, Nevada, will need permits under new law
- Mar 30, 2021 | Jennifer Sokolowsky
Short-term rental operators in unincorporated Washoe County, Nevada, have new rules to follow under an ordinance passed by county commissioners.
The county is the latest community in the area to take action to regulate the industry. Truckee, South Lake Tahoe, and El Dorado County in California have all recently passed short-term rental laws establishing rules for operators.
The Washoe County law will require vacation rental hosts to obtain permits and insurance; abide by occupancy, parking, noise, and trash disposal rules; and collect lodging taxes from guests, among other regulations.
The number of vacation rentals in the unincorporated county is estimated at between 500 and 1,000 units, with 90% of those believed to be in Incline Village/Crystal Bay.
Under the new law, all vacation rental operators must register with the county for a short-term rental permit. Permits will only be issued to the owner of the property, and owners are limited to only one permit, unless they have a legal accessory dwelling located on the property.
Properties must undergo a physical inspection before their permit is issued, with follow-up inspections every three years. Existing vacation rentals are not grandfathered in and must also apply for operating permits. Applicants must also produce proof of insurance showing that the property is used as a short-term rental and has $500,000 minimum liability coverage.
The county will start accepting short-term rental permits in May, but will not fully enforce the law until August 1. Short-term rental hosts who operate without a permit can be fined $1,158.
Advertisement for short-term rentals must include the property’s county permit number, room tax number, occupancy limits, and number of beds and parking spaces. Every short-term rental property must have a designated agent who can respond to complaints within 30 minutes by text or phone or within an hour if on-site presence is needed.
Short-term rental hosts in unincorporated Washoe County are also required to obtain a Transient Lodging Tax license from the Reno-Sparks Convention & Visitors Authority (RSCVA), collect the tax from guests, and file monthly lodging tax returns.
Airbnb automatically collects lodging tax on behalf of its hosts in Washoe County, but hosts are still required to obtain a room tax license. Vrbo does not collect the tax for its hosts, so operators are responsible for collecting it from guests themselves.
MyLodgeTax can help automate and simplify tax compliance for Washoe County short-term rental hosts. For more on lodging taxes in Nevada, see our state Vacation Rental Tax Guide. If you have tax questions related to vacation rental properties, drop us a line and we’ll get back to you with answers.