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Clark County proposes changes to short-term rental rules

By Alyssa Bethencourt,


Clark County will soon update some of its guidance for operating short-term rentals. The changes come after a District Court ruling declared portions of the county’s short-term rental ordinance as vague.

Meantime, several short-term rental property owners continue to appeal to the Nevada Supreme Court to halt county proceedings.

Tina Turnbull owns investment properties in Las Vegas and uses some of them as short-term rentals. For her, it's a great way to rake in cash quickly, but her business could soon be severely impacted.

"My entire livelihood is all on the line. Anyone who owns a small business, just imagine that one day you wake up and the whole thing is going to be taken from under your feet and you have to figure out what to do,” Turnbull said.

Tina is one of roughly 1,300 homeowners who recently submitted a pre-application for a short-term rental license through Clark County.

Clark County is moving forward with a lottery system to determine which homeowners will get the limited number of short-term rental licenses being issued. The drawing is scheduled to be held on March 29th.

"We've never seen anything like this. It is so convoluted, it's ridiculous,” said Louis Koorndyk with the Greater Las Vegas Short-Term Rental Association.

Koorndyk believes the county’s proposed process would decrease the number of short-term rentals in the area dramatically.

Officials estimate there are 10,000 short-term rental properties in Clark County. Only 2,800 short-term rental licenses are up for grabs.

"This is our property, this is our largest investment. To come in and tell us that we can't use our property as we like, I mean, it's our home, it's our right, and they're coming and taking those rights away,” Koorndyk said.

Koorndyk said aside from issuing only one license per property owner, the short-term rentals also have to be at least 1,000 from each other and at least 2,500 feet away from gaming hotels and casinos.

"If I only get one license, I'll have to turn houses back into long-term rentals and in my opinion, I have no control over my tenants when it's long-term rental. The house can get trashed,” Turnbull said.

Some of the original ordinance mandates allowed to remain include a minimum 2-night stay, 2 people per bedroom, and up to ten people per property. The ordinance also lists a ban on parties and a $1,000 fine for illegal operations.

Officials propose to change a window for property inspections. Under the revised ordinance, homeowners will get a 48-hour notice. The original ordinance stated properties would be inspected "with or without notice to the licensee or local representative," according to county documents.

Another proposed change eliminates the following clause from the ordinance: "a declaration signed under the penalty of perjury by the property owner(s) stating that: the information provided in the application is true, accurate, and complete to the best of their knowledge and understanding."

Clark County issued the following statement:

“Clark County continues to move forward with our process to issue short-term rental licenses and the random number draw will occur on March 29. Clark County has notified applicants that we will not be enforcing the “under perjury of law” language in the pre-application, reflective of the Court’s Order. Regarding other provisions in the Order, Clark County is working through possible solutions, including additional legal action. We are unable to comment further on pending litigation.”

“There's absolutely no reason why you need to create a whole new set of laws, rules, regulations, and ordinances just based on how long one rents out their property,” Koorndyk said.

“It's hard for me to plan any sort of future for my business when I just have to sit and wait for a number to be picked out of a hat,” Turnbull said.

No property has been issued a license, thus far.

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