weather icon Clear

New ordinance will help Las Vegas regulate short-term rentals

Local governments in Nevada now have a stronger tool to help crack down on unlicensed short-term rental operators.

The Las Vegas City Council will soon consider an ordinance that echoes a new state law requiring short-term rental hosting platforms like Airbnb, HomeAway and VRBO to submit quarterly reports detailing the number of bookings, listings and operators in the city.

Short-term rental operators in the city are supposed to have a business license and pay operating fees and room tax. City Deputy Planning Director Mary McElhone estimated on Monday anywhere from 800 to 1,000 short-term rentals are operating unlicensed in the city and not paying any room tax. The new measure would give the city actual data, an upgrade from a “best guess,” McElhone said.

“This is going to give us a really good idea of how big the problem is, what we’re looking at. And also, in understanding that room-tax situation — how much room tax is being left on the table,” McElhone said.

The new measure also asks for the revenue collected from short-term rentals and the average length of time the homes are rented.

Data from the hosting platforms will let city staff compare their numbers with how many operators have gotten the required permits and licenses. The information will be general — it won’t identify individuals who are unlicensed. But it will let city officials know if more staff and attention need to be trained on the short-term rental issue, McElhone said.

The new city ordinance echoes language in a Nevada Legislature bill that passed this year and took effect July 1. That law requires that, when hosting platforms are issued a subpoena, they notify the host of the rental and turn over any subpoenaed documents within 21 days.

The Las Vegas City Council added more layers to the restrictions on short-term rentals in June, asking that operators obtain a special-use permit before they can legally operate, giving the city more oversight and letting neighbors weigh in before permits are issued.

City officials have been dealing with “party houses” in Strip-neighboring areas for years, but the short-term rental issue has begun to spread elsewhere in the city, Councilman Bob Coffin said.

“We don’t know the scope,” Coffin said. “My block is becoming a hotel suite, house by house.”

Contact Jamie Munks at jmunks@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0340. Follow @JamieMunksRJ on Twitter.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Politics Videos
Media's Double Standard On Incitement And Trump - Video
Over the weekend, an Elizabeth Warren-supporting socialist who opposed gun violence used a rifle to commit a mass murder in Dayton, Ohio. The media has downplayed that aspect of the tragedy.
Project Our Care Tour Kicks Off In Las Vegas
U.S. Rep. Dina Titus joined health care advocates and local residents as part of Protect Our Care’s nationwide bus tour kick off in Las Vegas on Monday, August 5, 2019. (Mat Luschek / Review-Journal)
Bernie Sanders talks about guns, response to El Paso shooting
Sen. Bernie Sanders spoke about his response and continued policy ideas about guns and gun control to the Review-Journal after a panel of other topics. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Pete Buttigieg On Gun Control And Climate Change - Video
Pete Buttigieg talks about his campaign for the 2020 election and how Nevada is a vision of what the future can be.
Beto O'Rourke speaks in Las Vegas
Presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke spoke to supporters at the East Las Vegas Community Center in Las Vegas, Thursday, Aug. 2, 2019. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Former Nevada Senate leader Kelvin Atkinson sentenced to prison
Former Nevada Senate Majority Leader Kelvin Atkinson, who pleaded guilty to misusing campaign funds, was sentenced to 27 months in prison on Thursday, July 18, 2019. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Trumps Strength is also a Weakness - Video
One of Donald Trump’s greatest strengths — his ability to shape national narratives — is also a great weakness.
Tax the Rich Bus Tour makes a stop in Las Vegas - Video
The Tax the Rich Bus has stopped in Las Vegas as part of its summer tour. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Assemblywoman Daniele Monroe-Moreno hosts BBQ - Video
Assembly Woman Daniele Monroe-Moreno hosts BBQ to bring the community together to hear about the candidates up for election and for people to gather and have fun.
Democrat Virtual Caucus - Video
Elizabeth Warren visits Las Vegas
Senator Elizabeth Warren made a campaign stop at the East Las Vegas Community Center on Tuesday July 2, 2019. (Mat Luschek / Review-Journal)
Aaron Ford Speaks About Bill AB431
AB431 is a bill sponsored by Nevada Assembly Speaker Jason Frierson to restore the right to vote for formerly incarcerated individuals. Attorney General Aaron Ford spoke at the AM&E Church in North Las Vegas about the bill, on Monday, July 1, 2019. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
The Right Take: Biden's Racially Questionable Comments
Joe Biden has uttered racially charged statements for years. Now that he’s the frontrunner for the Democrat presidential nomination, he may finally face prolonged scrutiny for them.
Christopher Rufo Discusses Homelessness In The USA - VIDEO
Christopher Rufo discusses homelessness in the United States and how politicians can work to improve conditions for those with drug addictions.
Clark County 2019 Election Results - Video
The 2019 Elections wrap up in Clark County including an upset in the Boulder City Mayor race.
Olivia Diaz talks about her win in Ward 3 - VIDEO
Las Vegas City Councilwoman-elect Olivia Diaz talks about her election win in Ward 3 and what lies ahead for her.
Greene discusses Read by 3 and Opportunity Scholarships - VIDEO
The Nevada Legislative Session is over and the results are mixed for Nevada students, according to Tom Greene, Senior regional legislative director, Excel in Ed in Action.
Bernie Sanders visits Las Vegas
Sen. Bernie Sanders made a stop at Roy W. Martin middle school on Thursday, during his campaign trail.