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Clark County, Nevada Short-Term Rental Regulation: A Guide For Airbnb Hosts

Clark County, Nevada

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What are Short-Term Rental (Airbnb, VRBO) Regulations in Clark County, Nevada?

Clark County, Nevada, which includes the Las Vegas area, has specific regulations for short-term rental properties listed on platforms like Airbnb and VRBO. These rules are designed to ensure the safety of guests and minimize the impact on local neighborhoods.

Starting a Short-Term Rental Business in Clark County

To legally operate a short-term rental in unincorporated Clark County, property owners must follow a specific licensing process. As of June 21, 2022, the Board of County Commissioners passed an ordinance regulating the short-term rental industry.

Key requirements for short-term rentals in Clark County include:

  • Properties must be at least 1,000 feet from each other
  • There is a 10 p.m. curfew for outdoor amenities
  • Guests are only allowed to use radios, stereos, and sound speakers indoors
  • Properties can't be within 2,500 feet of a hotel or resort

The licensing process has been challenging for some owners. Jacqueline Flores, a short-term unit owner and co-founder of the Greater Las Vegas Short-Term Rental Association (GLVSTRA), stated, "In their process of writing these new regulations, they just threw anything and everything they could think to make it as difficult and as hard for people to get a license and to operate even after you have a license."

Between September and March, only about 1,300 out of an estimated 7,000-10,000 short-term rental units in unincorporated Clark County pre-applied to be licensed. Flores believes this low response rate shows that "the vast majority of [owners] do not trust the system."

It's important to note that short-term rentals, such as those listed on Airbnb, are currently illegal in Clark County until the licensing process is completed. Property owners should carefully review the regulations and licensing requirements before starting a short-term rental business in the area.

For more information on the specific rules and the licensing process, owners can visit the Clark County Short-Term Rental Units page and review the frequently asked questions.

Short-Term Rental Licensing Requirements in Clark County

To legally operate a short-term rental in unincorporated Clark County, property owners must obtain a valid license from the county. The licensing process involves several steps and requirements:

1. Confirm property ownership and number of bedrooms through the Clark County Assessor's office

2. Complete a pre-application process, which includes:

  1. Providing contact information for the property owner and a designated local representative available 24/7
  2. Submitting proof of liability insurance coverage
  3. Agreeing to install noise monitoring devices on the property
  4. Paying pre-application fees ($45 for 3 bedrooms or less, $90 for more than 3 bedrooms)

3. If selected through the license lottery, complete the full application process within 60 days, which includes:

  1. Passing a safety inspection
  2. Paying annual license fees ($750 for 3 bedrooms or less, $1,500 for more than 3 bedrooms)
  3. Providing a copy of the state business license

4. Collect and remit transient lodging taxes from guests

The pre-application process is open from approximately September 1, 2022, to March 1, 2023. Once a full application is submitted, the approval process typically takes around 30 days.

Penalties for operating an unlicensed STR in Clark County can be severe. Fines for unlicensed rentals can reach up to $10,000, while licensed STRs that violate regulations may face fines of up to $1,000.

It's crucial for property owners to carefully review and follow all licensing requirements and regulations to avoid penalties and ensure compliance with Clark County's STR ordinance.

Required Documents for Clark County Short-Term Rentals

To apply for a short-term rental license in Clark County, property owners must submit several required documents. These documents help ensure compliance with local regulations and verify important information about the property and owner.

Key required documents include:

  1. Proof of property ownership: Applicants must provide documentation confirming they own the property, such as a deed or property tax record. This information can be obtained through the Clark County Assessor's office.
  2. Liability insurance coverage: Short-term rental owners must submit proof of liability insurance coverage. The policy should cover potential damages or injuries that may occur on the property during guest stays.
  3. State business license: A copy of the owner's Nevada state business license is required as part of the application process. This license can be obtained through the Nevada Secretary of State's office.
  4. Local representative contact information: Owners must designate a local representative who is available 24/7 to respond to any issues or complaints related to the short-term rental. The representative's contact information must be provided in the application.
  5. Noise monitoring device agreement: As part of the pre-application process, owners must agree to install noise monitoring devices on the property to ensure compliance with noise regulations.
  6. Safety inspection report: Once selected through the license lottery, properties must pass a safety inspection. The inspection report verifying compliance with building and fire safety codes must be submitted with the full application.

These documents, along with the completed application and required fees, must be submitted to the Clark County Department of Business License either online through their portal or in-person by appointment. Failure to provide all necessary documents may result in delays or denial of the short-term rental license application.

Clark County Short-Term Rental Taxes

Short-term rental owners in Clark County must collect and remit various taxes on their rental income. Understanding these taxes and potential deductions is crucial for operating a compliant and profitable rental business.

The primary taxes that apply to short-term rentals in Clark County include:

Transient Lodging Tax: The transient lodging tax rate in Las Vegas is 13%, while Clark County collects an additional 0.5% room tax. This means the total transient lodging tax for short-term rentals in unincorporated Clark County is 13.5%. Owners must collect this tax from guests and remit it to the appropriate authorities.

State and Local Sales Taxes: In addition to the transient lodging tax, short-term rental owners may be required to collect and remit state and local sales taxes on their rental income. The current sales tax rate in Clark County is 8.375%.

It's essential for short-term rental owners to maintain accurate records of their rental income and taxes collected to ensure compliance with local regulations and to facilitate the tax filing process.

Deductions and Write-Offs

Short-term rental owners can potentially deduct various expenses related to their rental business to reduce their tax liability. Some common deductible expenses include:

  1. Rent or mortgage payments
  2. Cleaning fees
  3. Rental commissions (e.g., Airbnb or VRBO service fees)
  4. Insurance premiums
  5. Maintenance and repair costs
  6. Utilities
  7. Depreciation of rental property and furnishings

To claim these deductions, owners must keep detailed records of their expenses and consult with a tax professional to ensure they are following all applicable tax laws and regulations.

By understanding the tax obligations and potential deductions associated with their short-term rental business, owners in Clark County can better manage their finances and maintain compliance with local regulations.

Nevada Wide Short-Term Rental Rules

In addition to Clark County's specific regulations, short-term rental hosts must also comply with state-wide requirements in Nevada. The primary state law affecting short-term rentals is Assembly Bill 363 (AB363), which went into effect on July 1, 2022.

AB363 requires Clark County and the cities within it (Las Vegas, Henderson, and North Las Vegas) to adopt ordinances regulating short-term rentals and accommodation facilitators like Airbnb and VRBO. The law sets some baseline requirements that local governments must follow, such as:

  1. Short-term rental owners must obtain a state business license in addition to any required county or city permits
  2. Rentals must have a designated local representative available 24/7 to respond to issues
  3. Properties must meet minimum liability insurance coverage requirements
  4. There must be at least 660 feet between permitted short-term rentals in a neighborhood
  5. Short-term rentals cannot be within 2,500 feet of a resort hotel
  6. Rentals are prohibited from being used for parties, weddings, events, or other large gatherings

While AB363 provides a framework, it allows local governments some flexibility in creating their specific ordinances. This has resulted in varying regulations across Nevada counties and cities.

For example, Washoe County had no STR regulations prior to the state law, while the City of Las Vegas only allowed rentals in owner-occupied homes. Unincorporated Clark County had a total ban on short-term rentals before being required to legalize and regulate them under AB363.

As a Clark County short-term rental host, it's crucial to understand and comply with both the state-wide requirements under AB363 and the specific county ordinance. This includes obtaining the proper licenses, meeting safety and insurance requirements, and following restrictions on proximity to other rentals and large gathering prohibitions.

Failure to comply with state and local laws can result in significant fines and penalties. By staying informed and adhering to all applicable regulations, hosts can legally operate successful short-term rental businesses in Clark County and throughout Nevada.

Does Clark County Strictly Enforce STR Rules?

Based on discussions from local hosts and residents on forums like BiggerPockets and Reddit, it appears that Clark County has not been strictly enforcing short-term rental regulations in the past. Many hosts have been operating STRs illegally without facing significant consequences.

However, with the passage of new county ordinances in 2022, enforcement is expected to increase. The county plans to issue fines of up to $10,000 for unlicensed rentals and $1,000 for violations by licensed STRs. Despite this, some locals remain skeptical about the county's ability to effectively crack down on illegal listings, given the challenges they've faced in the past.

Compared to other major cities, Clark County seems to be less Airbnb-friendly overall. The new regulations are relatively restrictive, with requirements like 1,000 feet of separation between rentals in a neighborhood and no STRs within 2,500 feet of resort hotels. Some Reddit users argue these rules are primarily designed to appease the hotel industry rather than address housing affordability.

Nevertheless, many hosts continue to operate STRs in Clark County, both legally and illegally. The allure of profits appears to outweigh the risks for these owners, especially with inconsistent enforcement. As one Reddit user noted, their Airbnb host openly admitted to having 30 STR properties in Summerlin alone.

In summary, while Clark County is attempting to tighten STR regulations, the actual level of enforcement remains to be seen. The county has historically struggled to shut down illegal rentals, and this pattern may continue even with steeper fines on the books. Compared to other markets, Clark County seems less welcoming to Airbnb and other STR platforms, but that hasn't stopped many hosts from operating under the radar.

How to Start a Short-Term Rental Business in Clark County

Starting a short-term rental business in Clark County requires careful planning and adherence to local regulations. Follow these steps to successfully launch your STR venture:

  1. Research and understand the regulations: Thoroughly review Clark County's short-term rental ordinance and familiarize yourself with the requirements, restrictions, and application process. Visit the Clark County Short-Term Rental Units page for detailed information. Stay informed about any updates to the regulations by subscribing to Clark County's newsletter.
  2. Confirm property eligibility: Verify that your property meets the location and distance requirements for short-term rentals in Clark County. Properties must be at least 1,000 feet from each other and 2,500 feet from resort hotels. Use the Clark County Assessor's office to confirm property ownership and bedroom count.
  3. Obtain necessary licenses and permits: Apply for a Nevada state business license and complete the Clark County short-term rental pre-application process. This includes providing contact information, proof of liability insurance, agreeing to install noise monitoring devices, and paying pre-application fees. Gather all required documents before starting the application process to avoid delays.
  4. Prepare your property: Ensure your rental property meets all safety requirements and is equipped with necessary amenities. Consider hiring a professional photographer to showcase your property's best features in your listings. Provide a welcome book with house rules, local recommendations, and emergency contact information for guests.
  5. Create a strong listing: Develop an attractive and informative listing on popular STR platforms like Airbnb and VRBO. Highlight your property's unique features, amenities, and proximity to local attractions. Use high-quality photos and a detailed description to make your listing stand out.
  6. Set competitive rates: Research similar properties in your area to determine competitive nightly rates. Consider factors like seasonality, events, and demand when setting prices. Use dynamic pricing tools to automatically adjust rates based on market conditions.
  7. Establish a cleaning and maintenance routine: Develop a thorough cleaning checklist and schedule to ensure your property is always guest-ready. Consider hiring a professional cleaning service to maintain high standards. Stock up on essential supplies and have a reliable handyman on call for any maintenance issues.
  8. Manage bookings and communication: Respond promptly to guest inquiries and booking requests. Maintain a friendly and professional tone in all communications. Use a messaging template to streamline communication while still providing a personal touch.
  9. Comply with ongoing requirements: Regularly file and pay all required taxes, maintain accurate records, and ensure your property remains in compliance with Clark County's STR regulations. Use STR management software to automate tasks like tax collection and reporting.

By following these steps and staying informed about local regulations, you can successfully start and operate a short-term rental business in Clark County. Remember to prioritize guest satisfaction and maintain open communication with the county to ensure long-term success.

Who to Contact in Clark County about Short-Term Rental Regulations and Zoning?

If you have questions or need assistance with short-term rental regulations and zoning in Clark County, there are several key departments and resources you can contact:

Clark County Department of Business License - General Business

  1. Phone: (702) 455-4252
  2. Email: chap@ClarkCountyNV.gov
  3. Mailing Address:
    Clark County Business License - General Business
    500 S Grand Central Pkwy, 3rd Floor
    PO Box 551810
    Las Vegas, NV 89155-1810

Clark County Comprehensive Planning Department - Zoning Information

  1. Phone: (702) 455-4314
  2. Email: zoning@clarkcountynv.gov
  3. Fax: (702) 455-3271

Short Term Rental Education Enforcement Team (STREET)

  • Part of Clark County Code Enforcement - Public Response Office
  • For questions or concerns related to short-term rental enforcement
  • Phone: (702) 455-0000

In addition to these official Clark County resources, there are several online communities and groups where local hosts share information and support each other:

Las Vegas Airbnb Host Facebook Group

A private group for Airbnb hosts in the Las Vegas area to connect and share tips

Airbnb Community Center - Las Vegas Forum

A forum thread on the official Airbnb Community site for hosts in Las Vegas to discuss local issues and regulations

By contacting the appropriate Clark County departments and engaging with the local host community, you can get the information and support you need to successfully operate a short-term rental business in compliance with all regulations and zoning requirements.

What Do Airbnb Hosts in Clark County on Reddit and Bigger Pockets Think about Local Regulations?

Airbnb hosts in Clark County have shared their experiences and opinions about local short-term rental regulations on various online forums. Here are some insights from verified threads on Reddit and BiggerPockets:

Reddit - r/vegas: "Clark County prepares to clamp down on short-term rentals"

In this thread, users discuss the county's efforts to regulate short-term rentals more strictly. One commenter expresses concern about allowing "amateur hotels" to operate in residential neighborhoods, suggesting that the regulations are necessary to preserve community character.

BiggerPockets Forum: "AirBnB Laws in Las Vegas"

A user named Elena Reyes asks for information about areas where Airbnb is permitted in Las Vegas, noting that short-term rentals are not allowed in unincorporated Clark County. This highlights the confusion some hosts face in understanding the local regulations and zoning requirements.

Reddit - r/LasVegas: "Clark County wants your input regarding short terms rentals (like Air BNB)"

This thread discusses a survey conducted by Clark County to gather public input on short-term rental regulations. The original poster notes that it is currently illegal to rent residential property for fewer than 31 days in unincorporated Clark County, emphasizing the need for hosts to be aware of the existing rules.

These forum discussions reveal that Airbnb hosts in Clark County are grappling with the complexities of local regulations, particularly in unincorporated areas where short-term rentals are currently prohibited. Some hosts express frustration with the restrictions, while others acknowledge the need for regulations to balance the interests of residents and the tourism industry.

Overall, the online conversations suggest that hosts in Clark County must navigate a challenging regulatory landscape and stay informed about ongoing changes to ensure compliance with local laws.

Disclaimer: While we here at BNBCalc strive to keep all of our regulation guides updated and accurate with all the latest local laws, we still do not suggest using them as your sole or primary source for local regulations. We also do not recommend you rely on the third-party sources we link to or reference, and we are not responsible for any of the information on these third-party sites. These guides are for entertainment purposes only and only provide basic information and should not be considered as legal advice.

We highly recommend directly contacting the responsible parties for each and hearing what their officials have to say. Ultimately, it's your responsibility as an investor to ensure you fully comply with the local laws, and it's best to speak with professionals before making an investment decision.

⚡️
Reveal your property’s rental profitability

Buy this property and list it on Airbnb.