Washoe County, Nevada, revises vacation rental law
- May 17, 2022 | Jennifer Sokolowsky
Washoe County, Nevada, has amended its short-term rental rules. The amendments change:
- The way maximum occupancy is calculated
- The permit process for Tier 3 short-term rental properties (units that can house 20 people or more in one residence)
- How parking requirements are calculated in condominium or multi-family complexes
- Insurance requirements
- Bear box requirements
Under the new regulations, occupancy limits are set at two occupants for each legally permitted bedroom. The previous formula allowed one occupant for every 200 square feet of habitable space.
Tier 3 short-term rentals must obtain a special use permit approved by the Planning Commission, and that involves a public hearing at which the commission can require specific conditions. Previously, Tier 3 short-term rentals were required to have an administrative permit approved by the Board of Adjustment.
The amendment also excludes overflow parking spaces in calculating the number of required spaces for short-term rentals in condominium or multi-family complexes.
Short-term rental permit applicants are no longer required to submit a certificate of insurance, but they must attest that they have short-term rental property insurance with at least $500,000 liability coverage per occurrence.
And in Incline Village, hosts with two confirmed trash violations will be required to provide a bear box for trash.
“These changes are really necessary, and they provide some great next steps over the next year to make this code a better code for those who own STRs and our community,” Washoe County Commissioner Alexis Hill said.
The county originally passed its short-term rental law in 2021. Along with the new requirements, the ordinance requires vacation rental hosts to:
- Register with the county for a short-term rental permit, which can only be issued to the owner of the property. 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.
- Include the property’s county permit number, room tax number, occupancy limits, and number of beds and parking spaces in advertisements for short-term rentals.
- Designate an agent who can respond to complaints within 30 minutes by text or phone or within an hour if on-site presence is needed.
Washoe County vacation rental hosts 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.