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Parts of Clark County STR law are unconstitutional, judge rules

  • Mar 1, 2023 | Jennifer Sokolowsky

Some parts of Clark County, Nevada’s short-term rental (STR) ordinance are unconstitutional, a Clark County District Court judge has ruled. However, the county plans to continue to enforce portions of the law that were not struck down in the ruling.

“The Court specifically finds that certain provisions within the Ordinance are unconstitutionally vague and overbroad and fail to provide notice sufficient to enable a person of ordinary intelligence to understand what conduct is prohibited,” Judge Jessica Peterson wrote.

Those provisions include:

  • A requirement for short-term rental applicants to sign a statement that they would abide by all STR rules under penalty of perjury
  • A provision for inspections without notice or cause
  • Vague definitions for what are considered events or disturbances
  • Allowances for “discretionary fines and penalties”

The ruling came in response to a request for a preliminary injunction against the law filed by the Greater Las Vegas Short-Term Rental Association (GLVSTRA) in October.

“We were excited to finally get the signed order,” said Jacqueline Flores, president and director of the short-term rental association, which wants the county “to sit down with our attorneys to fix this whole mess. We can either fix it all now and get it right instead of going to court every single time,” she said.

County officials maintain that the ruling allows the county to continue with other provisions of the law, including issuing business licenses for STRs. More than 500 vacation rental operators have applied to be included in a license lottery. The application period ends March 1, and those chosen in the lottery may go on to apply for a county short-term rental business license.

The county’s short-term rental law was passed in June 2022, following the approval of a state law that required Clark County, along with the cities of Las Vegas, Henderson, and North Las Vegas, to regulate vacation rentals. The state law went into effect July 1, 2022. Previously, short-term rentals were banned in unincorporated areas of Clark County. 

The Clark County law requires operators to apply for a local short-term rental license, and there’s a limit of one license per person. Hosts must also:

  • Designate a local representative who is available 24 hours a day/seven days a week and can respond to any issues within 30 minutes
  • Install noise-monitoring devices
  • Follow guest occupancy limits
  • Require guests to stay a minimum of two nights for every reservation.

Other county rules include:

  • The number of vacation rental licenses is capped at 1% of total housing stock
  • Vacation rentals within a multifamily dwelling are limited to no more than 10% of units, but are prohibited in apartment buildings
  • Short-term rental properties must be located at least 1,000 feet from each other and at least 2,500 feet from a resort casino
  • Short-term rentals are not allowed in communities with homeowners associations unless the association expressly allows them
  • Short-term rentals are prohibited in Mount Charleston, Bunkerville, Mesquite, Moapa, and Moapa Valley townships

The county also requires “accommodations facilitators,” including marketplaces such as Airbnb and Vrbo, to verify short-term rental property licenses before listing and to remove properties if requested by the county.

According to the law, short-term rental operators are required to collect transient lodging taxes from guests and file transient lodging tax returns with the county. Short-term rental marketplaces are responsible for collecting short-term rental taxes on behalf of their hosts. Currently, however, neither Airbnb nor Vrbo collect lodging taxes for their listings in Clark County.

MyLodgeTax can help 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.

Lodging tax rates, rules, and regulations change frequently. Although we hope you'll find this information helpful, this blog is for informational purposes only and does not provide legal or tax advice.
Avalara Author
Jennifer Sokolowsky
Avalara Author Jennifer Sokolowsky
Jennifer Sokolowsky writes about tax, legal, and tech topics. She has an extensive international background in journalism and marketing, including work with The Seattle Times, The Prague Post, Avvo, and Marriott.
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