LAS VEGAS >> Officials in Las Vegas approved an ordinance change today to require homeowners to remain at their property whenever they choose to rent it out for brief periods, including through home-sharing platforms like Airbnb.
The change to short-term rental properties only applies to residential homes, not to apartments in high-rise buildings. It is the latest effort from the Las Vegas City Council to crack down on an industry that has raised safety, noise and other concerns among residents and officials.
The approval came after dozens of short-term rental operators, their supporters and critics spoke before council members. Those against the measure spoke about property rights and the economic benefits of the rental properties, while those in favor brought up their effect on affordable housing options and safety problems.
The new requirement calls on the homeowner to be at the property throughout the rental period, except to go to work or run typical personal or household errands.
Mayor Carolyn Goodman during the discussion pointed out that some of the troubled short-term rental properties are owned by people who do not live in the city or southern Nevada and neglect to monitor those who rent it.
“This is a beginning, this is not a fight, but it is a protection of the rights of anybody who calls Las Vegas, the city of Las Vegas, home,” she said explaining her vote in favor of the measure.
Short-term rental properties are already required to obtain a license, be 660 feet away from each other and not have more than three bedrooms. Properties already licensed won’t be affected by the change that will go into effect next week.
Las Vegas drew 42.2 million visitors last year. Unincorporated Clark County, which includes properties near the Las Vegas Strip, does not allow short-term rentals in residential areas.
Figures released by Airbnb in January show that 500,000 people stayed at properties in Las Vegas rented through the platform in 2017. The company reported Las Vegas hosts’ income at $63 million that ‘same year.
“While cities around the world are embracing the economic benefits of short-term rentals, the City Council has doubled-down on onerous regulations, and added further restrictions,” the company said in a statement. “This vote is a disappointing blow to Las Vegas hosts who rely on short-term rentals to support their families and will hurt the local economy.”