Are Airbnb, Vrbo or Home Away Rentals Legal in Vegas?

Vegas visitors seeking the perfect accommodation often turn to short term rental services like Airbnb, Home Away or Vrbo. After all, a house near the Las Vegas Strip is the perfect home base for a bachelor party or family trip. Guests seeking alternative arrangements to hotels and ever escalating resort fees are also drawn to peer-to-peer rental services. Unfortunately, short term rental platforms have a complicated relationship with the law in Vegas.

Confusing matters further, rules surrounding short term rentals actually differ between the City of Las Vegas (think north end of the Strip and downtown) and Clark County (area surrounding the Strip). We’ll spell out those differences below.

The majority of properties near the Las Vegas Strip fall under the jurisdiction of Clark County where short term rentals, defined as fewer than 30 days, are prohibited. This applies to all residential properties in Clark County. Pretty straightforward – Renting out your personal residence on sites like Airbnb is illegal.

Why does Clark County care about short term rentals? Well, they state they’re concerned about things like neighborhood disruption, inadequate fire and safety standards, spread of communicable disease, and security measures at the property. Essentially, the county isn’t able to regulate or inspect short term rental properties to ensure they meet the same standards that commercial operations have to adhere to.

Additionally, the county is concerned that transient short term rentals will inflate rental costs for actual residents.

Do residents buck the law and rent out their houses/personal residences along the Strip on Airbnb when they shouldn’t? They commonly do, and offending homeowners can be fined $1,000 per day for any violations. Clark County also encourages neighbors to report suspected short term rentals to the Public Response Office to be investigated.

Shifting focus, the actual City of Las Vegas (think north end of the Strip and Fremont Street) does allow short term rentals under certain conditions. The owner of the property must have registered as a business, pay a $500 annual fee, ensure their property is 660 feet from other short term rental units, and be occupied by the owner. That’s right, whole house rentals are not allowed… Only the type of rental arrangement where the owner is sleeping under the same roof as your bachelor party. Awkward.

Keeping a tight grip on rentals honestly makes a lot of sense. If you were a nice middle class family just trying to get your kid to bed on a school night, a raging house party next door would be infuriating. Vegas, as a party destination, has reason to prohibit short term peer-to-peer rental services like Airbnb to preserve the sanity of permanent residents. It’s just a convenient side effect that the restrictions allow resorts to enjoy less competition.

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