Judge places temporary restraining order on Douglas County concerning parts of its new short-term rental law
- Aug 3, 2021 | Jennifer Sokolowsky
A ruling by a United States District Court judge will delay the implementation of parts of a new short-term rental law in Douglas County, Nevada. Judge Robert C. Jones issued a temporary restraining order against the county on July 15, the date the new law was supposed to go into effect.
Until a lawsuit challenging the law goes to trial and a final ruling is made, the restraining order temporarily prohibits the county from:
- Implementing new fines for violations
- Limiting vacation rental property occupancy based on parking
- Prohibiting tandem parking on private property
- Requiring a notice be posted for unscheduled vacation rental property inspections
- Creating a vacation home rental advisory board
The next court hearing has been scheduled for August 26.
However, several provisions of the law may go ahead. The ordinance creates a tiered short-term rental permit system, based on home size. The ordinance also limits the number of vacation rental permits in Tahoe Township to 600. The county started accepting new permit applications June 21, following a moratorium on new permits in place since February.
Demand for permits has exceeded the number available, so the county has created a waitlist. Short-term rental owners were eligible to apply for the waitlist through July 31.
The county will only issues permits to individuals and family trusts that own vacation rental properties, and permits are limited to one per person. Commercial organizations are not eligible to apply. When short-term rental permit holders apply to renew their license, they must demonstrate that they’ve used the property as a vacation rental. Hosts must include permit numbers in all advertisements.
Owners must also have at least $500,000 liability insurance coverage. Each vacation rental owner must designate a local contact person who lives within 30 minutes of the property and is required to resolve complaints within one hour. This contact — even if it’s the property’s owner — must complete a training course and pass a certification test for all permits issued or renewed after May 1, 2021.
The law also requires vacation rental operators to hold a valid transient occupancy tax (TOT) remittance issued by the county. Hosts must charge guests the tax, collect it, and pass it on to tax authorities.
While Airbnb collects lodging taxes in nearby El Dorado County, California, neither Airbnb nor Vrbo collect TOT for hosts in Douglas County, leaving hosts solely responsible for tax compliance.
MyLodgeTax can help Lake Tahoe–area short-term rental hosts automate lodging tax to streamline and simplify their lodging tax compliance. For more information on short-term rental taxes, see our Nevada 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.
Several other Lake Tahoe–area governments have also recently made moves to regulate short-term rentals. El Dorado County capped the number of short-term rentals, limiting them to 900 in unincorporated parts of the Lake Tahoe Basin.