Some Las Vegas Valley homeowners resort to illegal short-term rentals as license process gets delayed
LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) - Some homeowners are risking hefty fines to operate short-term rentals and list their properties online, as the process to issue licenses in unincorporated Clark County faces some delays.
Homeowners told FOX5, they are missing out on the busy summer travel season and possibly Formula 1 crowds as they await approval of their applications. There is no timeframe for when the first licenses will be issued, though license applications must be submitted by late August, county officials said.
Some have resorted to re-listing their properties on sites like AirBnb and VRBO, according to the Greater Las Vegas Short-Term Rental Association. Penalties for illegal listings range from $1,000 to $10,000 a day, and could even result in a visit from Las Vegas Metropolitan Police.
“They’re stuck in a situation where they have bills to pay. We have told [county officials] many, many, many times,” said Jackie Flores with the GLVSTRA.
The group has filed a lawsuit against Clark County, claiming various regulations within private homes are unconstitutional. The Nevada Supreme Court could hear the case in December.
From Nevada and beyond, government officials argue that illegal short-term rental listings are essentially unregulated businesses operating in private neighborhoods, and skirt inspections for health, safety and other code violations.
On March 29, Clark County held a lottery for pre-applications. Each homeowner received a number for the order in which their application will be processed. After short-term rental owners told FOX5 that some homeowners did not receive pertinent information in the mail, Clark County pushed back the deadline to submit applications from late June to August 21.
Clark County sent us this statement:
Applicants have told us that they needed additional time to submit the required documents. The applications must be approved or denied based on the priority order determined by the random number generator process. Therefore, licenses will not be issued until after the deadline on 08/21/2023 when the department is able to determine which of the applications received are complete with all the necessary supporting documents. Currently, the department is reviewing the documents submitted for completeness and accuracy, and working with applicants to answer any application-related questions.
Unlicensed short-term rentals remain illegal in unincorporated Clark County. Code Enforcement Officers continue to enforce the law in this area and operators may face fines of at least $1,000 per day and possibly up to $10K per day, as allowed by code. Anyone who wishes to report illegal short-term rentals are encouraged to do so using the FixIt Clark County app. One also may report illegal short-term rentals at //ClarkCountyNV.gov/FixIt.
To apply for a license, all short-term rental owners had to cease current listings. Leslie Doyle, 83, said her income has been cut by at least half as ended listings on Airbnb and chooses to wait out the process for a legal license.
“Some of us will die waiting. we [seniors] are the ones who need it most,” Doyle said.
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