Clark County’s short-term rental laws challenged as unconstitutional

Clark County’s short-term rental laws challenged as unconstitutional
Published: Sep. 13, 2023 at 9:36 PM PDT
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LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) - What happens in Vegas, must be reported to Big Brother? That’s what a non-profit legal group is claiming. They are challenging the constitutionality of Clark County’s laws on short-term rentals.

“The government has no business telling people what they can do in their homes as long as they are not making too much noise or causing a traffic problem,” argued Timothy Sandefur, Vice President for Legal Affairs at the Goldwater Institute. Sandefur told FOX5 simply put, Clark County’s regulations on short-term house rentals are unconstitutional.

“The property owner and the people that rent the property are subjected to really outrageous restrictions,” Sandefur contended.

The Goldwater Institute and the Liberty Justice Center filed a brief in Nevada Supreme Court Tuesday on behalf of property owners who rent their houses to earn income. Read the brief here.

“The property owner is required to install cameras on the house to record people who come and go and hand over that video to the government for no reason at all, for any reason, and with no search warrant or anything like that,” Sandefur revealed. Sandefer reported that’s a policy unique to Clark County.

“We have seen proposals to that effect. Chicago adopted a requirement like that a while back and we sued them, and they backed down and repealed that requirement,” Sandefur shared. In addition to recording people, Sandefur says regulations also force property owners to turn over financial records to the government—without a warrant—and allow government inspectors into the homes to search bedrooms, bathrooms, and other locations.

“It is just fundamentally un-American to force people to snoop on other people for the government’s benefit,” Sandefur asserted. Clark County also restricts the number of people who can be in a rental home. As FOX5 reported Tuesday, Las Vegas bride-to-be’s short-term rental cancels venue days before her wedding that lead a rental owner to cancel on a bride last minute who planned to hold her wedding at a Las Vegas rental home after being contacted by police and warned allowing the ceremony there would violate the law.

“The ordinance defines parties as any social gathering that is attended by twice the number of people per bedrooms in the house. In other words, if you have a two bedroom house, you are not allowed to have five people in the house under this ordinance. That’s really outrageous,” Sandefur added.

The non-profit legal group wants the court to declare Clark County’s restrictions as unconstitutional.

Clark County tells FOX5 they have no comment on the legal action as the litigation is pending.