Clark County goes ahead with lottery for STR licenses
- Mar 14, 2023 | Jennifer Sokolowsky
Clark County, Nevada, is proceeding with a lottery for short-term rental (STR) licenses despite a recent court ruling that parts of the county’s short-term rental framework are unconstitutional.
The county has been receiving applications for the lottery since September 15 of last year, and the application window closed March 14. The lottery, which will be closed to the public but livestreamed, will take place March 29. The random drawing will be conducted by Smartplay International Inc., the company used by the Nevada Cannabis Compliance Board to issue licenses for operators of marijuana consumption lounges. Consulting firm Baker Tilly U.S. LLP will certify the results.
Lottery winners will be permitted to apply for short-term rental licenses. The number of short-term rental licenses is capped at 1% of total housing stock in unincorporated county areas.
The county’s STR law was passed in June 2022, following the approval of a state law that required Clark County to regulate vacation rentals. Previously, short-term rentals were banned in unincorporated areas of the county. It’s estimated that 10,000 short-term rental properties are operating illegally in the county.
In February, a Clark County District Court judge ruled that some portions of Clark County’s short-term rental ordinance are unconstitutional. 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). County officials said that the ruling allows them to move forward with other provisions that were not singled out by the judge.
The ordinance requires operators to apply for a local short-term rental license, with 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:
- 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
- Vacation rentals within a multifamily dwelling are limited to no more than 10% of units, but are prohibited in apartment buildings
- 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
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.