Las Vegas puts more restrictions on short-term leasings

Released Wednesday, June 21, 2017|3:55 p.m.

Updated Wednesday, June 21, 2017|7 p.m.

. The Las Vegas City Council today directly approved extra constraints on short-term rental residential or commercial properties like those noted on web platforms such as Airbnb.

Mayor Carolyn Goodman and council members Lois Tarkanian, Ricki Barlow and Bob Casket voted for the controversial bill. Council members Steve Ross, Bob Beers and Stavros Anthony voted versus it.

The problem pits area residents annoyed with so-called celebration homes versus presently licensed short-term operators who feel they are being unjustly penalized for the misconduct of a couple of unlicensed bad seeds.

With the bill’s death, house owners thinking about leasing their residential or commercial properties for One Month or less will now need to make an application for a special-use authorization in addition to the business license already required by the city. The passed costs also sets optimal occupancy limits, bans occasions and parties on the residential or commercial properties, and requires proof of liability insurance coverage of at least $500,000.

For homes with five bedrooms or more, a licensed security business must be used to react to complaints within two hours.

Owner-operated units with 3 bedrooms or less are exempt from the special-use authorization requirement, unless they are located within 660 feet of an existing licensed short-term leasing. The 660-foot separation of short-term rental homes already existed within the city.

Looking for a special-use license costs $1,030. The council briefly discussed waiving the charge for existing licensees or grandfathering in those with existing licensees so they would not need a special-use license, but no main movement was made.

Operators found breaching these terms would also go through a two-strike policy prior to losing their authorization or license.

The ordinance was spearheaded by Tarkanian, who has actually been working on the issue for approximately a years.

“Exactly what is a community? I looked it up in the dictionary,” she said. “A neighborhood is a group of individuals living near each other that share the same goals and have typical interests. I submit that short-term rentals and their users do not share similar goals with the homeowners in the Las Vegas areas most impacted by these.”

Tarkanian added that the top priority of the council members needs to be locals of the city and their security, not organisations, which is exactly what short-term rentals are.

However licensed short-term rental operators say the tightened up policies will not safeguard areas because the hundreds of unlicensed units existing today will continue to operate unlawfully.

Enforcement, not extra policy is required, they argued.

“This is simply going to make whatever even worse,” stated Julie Davis with the Vegas Vacation Rental Association, which advocated hard in opposition of the bill. “They have actually just put legal operators out of organisation. Everyone else will go underground.”

J.C. Shields, a residential or commercial property manager for several certified short-term rentals within the city, said he moved here in 2014 because the existing regulations agreed with to such homes. Now that they have actually altered, he thinks he’ll have to move.

“It’s too much of a gamble,” he states of having to go through the special-use license process.

Airbnb representative Jasmine Mora sent this statement through e-mail after the vote: “While dozens of cities around the globe are accepting the economic advantages of home sharing, today’s choice is a step in the incorrect direction that threatens an essential financial lifeline for thousands of Las Vegas households. There prevail sense solutions to attend to particular issues and Airbnb is eager to deal with policy makers to develop a much better technique.”

Council members Beers, Anthony and Ross all questioned whether the bill would have its intended effect, which was to crack down on party houses and the resulting empty beer bottles, drugs, parking and loud sound that homeowners need to endure.

“You have to discover which short-term leasings are triggering issues and you need to hammer them,” stated Anthony. “You need to shut them down– $10,000 worth of fines, whatever it takes. Get rid of them. Once you do that, you’ll fix the problem.”

Councilman Coffin countered that you can not separate short-term rentals and party homes due to the fact that the only distinction is who is leasing it on any provided weekend.

“There is no skating around it,” he stated. “Short-term rental is the root of the issue. It’s simply a party house wrapped in a various wrapper.”

Casket also noted that he has actually asked for a program product to augment the city budget plan to provide more cash to code enforcement so they can much better attend to the issue.

Tarkanian kept in mind that, in addition to the tightened up limitations, city personnel is dealing with improving enforcement chances. Prior to completion of July, they intend to release a 24-hour hotline that locals can call to report short-term rental violations. They are likewise checking out methods to enhance interaction with Metro and partnering with city marshals and constables.

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