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NEVADA VIEWS: Short-term rental bill exacerbates Nevadans’ pain

Nevadans continue to suffer the economic effects of the past year. The pandemic has deprived millions of Nevadans of their livelihood.

Assembly Bill 363 could threaten the future of the short-term rental industry in Nevada — along with the jobs that vacation rentals support — as we attempt to recover from economic shutdowns.

The proposal is sponsored by Assembly members Rochelle Nguyen, D-Las Vegas, and Tom Roberts, R-Las Vegas, who are trying to balance property rights with community concerns. But the bill as written will negatively impact the livelihood of thousands of Las Vegans.

As a resident and short-term rental owner of a home in Henderson, I employ pool maintenance companies, landscapers, cleaners, house managers, home repair workers and other contractors. Additional jobs are supported by the guests of short-term rentals who patronize local restaurants, gas stations, boat rentals, shops and small businesses.

In addition to jobs, guests directly support local government initiatives through the taxes they are charged to stay in a short-term rental. Our city directly benefits financially from out-of-towners who pay taxes to help fund city initiatives. At a time when tourism and travel is stunted, every dollar helps; this a critical source of revenue that should not be cut off when we need it most.

Not only do short-term rentals benefit our communities, but they provide a safe space for socially distanced gatherings during what has been a trying year. I’ve had families spend time in my properties to safely visit with their grandparents or children. Rare is the bad actor who looks to cause trouble — in part, because of the diligence of short-term rental owners and managers.

I can confidently say that most short-term rental owners and managers are dedicated to nurturing a culture of neighborly behavior from the guests of our properties. Cameras and NoiseAware technology installed on my property are just the start — I’ve instituted a strict series of guidelines and have encouraged my neighbors to report any bad behavior to me or my security company. I inform prospective guests that I will not tolerate unruly behavior.

Not only do short-term rental owners have strict guidelines for noise and nuisance, we have adopted enhanced cleanliness standards offered by VRBO and other platforms to rigorously disinfect properties, space out reservations and prevent the spread of illness.

We appreciate working with our legislators to develop a proposal that will not do more harm than good. Requirements such as a minimum distance between short-term rentals will reduce the number of available units without considering the safeguards owners have in place and threatens the property rights of some operators. Imposing minimum stays reduces the availability of short-term rentals in multi-unit buildings. This will result in lower tax revenues and less income for small businesses.

When we are desperate for jobs and tax revenue, our legislators should be looking for ways to help grow our economy. Our industry prides itself on collaborating with neighbors, local elected officials and small businesses to address concerns in a balanced way.

I’d support the bill if amended to make changes that address these concerns. Most owners have made investments in the homes, and they have the right to protect their property and investment.

I appreciate the effort to not allow counties to ban short-term rentals, as that is only allowing a black market of rental homes and lack of accountability to bad operators.

Cindy Lowman is a real estate broker and property manager for short-term and corporate rentals and is the owner of Trifecta Realty &Property Management.

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