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Clark County amends STR law following court ruling

  • Apr 11, 2023 | Jennifer Sokolowsky

Clark County, Nevada, has amended its short-term rental ordinance after a Clark County District Court judge ruled in February that some parts of the law are unconstitutional.

“The District Attorney’s Office believes the [judge’s] motion was incorrectly granted in part and is appealing certain issues,” wrote District Attorney Steve Wolfson in a Clark County Commission meeting agenda item proposing the amendment to the law. “However, there are a few issues with the code that can be clarified to comply with the Court’s order without filing an appeal, which this ordinance will address.”

In her February ruling, Judge Jessica Peterson struck down provisions of the law that 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”

Changes under the amended law include the following:

  • The phrase “penalty of perjury” is replaced with a requirement that applicants must state “the information provided in the application is true, accurate, and complete to the best of their knowledge and understanding.” 
  • The county must offer 48-hour notice for inspections and the ordinance offers more details about why inspections can be held and what areas can be inspected.
  • A requirement that bookings “may only be made available to persons within the same family or group during the same booking period” is dropped.
  • The definition of “party” is clarified.
  • While the previous version stated that a misdemeanor citation could be issued for “any violation of the provisions of this Chapter,” the new version changes that to “conduct deemed unlawful by this Code or State law.”

On March 29, Clark County held its short-term rental lottery to determine the order in which 1,306 applications for short-term rental licenses will be processed. Clark County plans to limit the number of licenses issued to 1% of county housing stock, but that number has not been specified.

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. 

Peterson’s ruling addressed a challenge to the law filed by the Greater Las Vegas Short-Term Rental Association (GLVSTRA). 

Most of the Clark County rules remain unchanged, including a requirement for 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, and require guests to stay a minimum of two nights for every reservation. 

In addition, short-term rentals:

  • Must be located at least 1,000 feet from each other and at least 2,500 feet from a resort casino
  • Are limited to no more than 10% of units within multifamily dwellings, but are prohibited in apartment buildings
  • Are not allowed in communities with homeowners associations unless the association expressly allows them
  • Are prohibited in Mount Charleston, Bunkerville, Mesquite, Moapa, and Moapa Valley townships

Vacation rental operators are also 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. However, neither Airbnb nor Vrbo currently 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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