City of Las Vegas adds tighter restrictions for new short-term rentals

The Las Vegas City Council met on Wednesday, Dec. 5, to discuss a possible ban on short-term rentals like Airbnb. (KSNV)

After several hours of passionate testimonies from people who live in Las Vegas, city council members moved forward to pass an ordinance that adds more restrictions for how new short-term rental properties can operate.

It was a 4-3 vote in favor of moving forward with the ordinance.

The guidelines moving forward for new short-term rental properties in Las Vegas include:

  • The property must actually be owner-occupied, meaning the owner does live at the property
  • There cannot be more than three bedrooms
  • The property is not closer than 660 feet to another short term rental property
  • A special use permit will not be able to waive the above criteria

As long as an existing property that does not abide by these new guidelines is properly licensed and is operating legally, it will be allowed to operate.

Many shared their opinions as to why they felt short-term rentals were good for the city, and many shared their opinions as to why they felt short-term rentals are bad for the city.

One of the people at the meeting who was pleased the city moved forward with tightening the regulations on short-term rental properties was Hal Jones.

“I think there are some other regulations that probably ought to be considered, like re-inspections," he said.

Jones says he thinks this is a good compromise that will benefit more people.

Many of the people at Wednesday's meeting said they want to ban short-term rentals because they bring problems and crime into their neighborhoods.

“I’m not necessarily against short term rentals. I’ve used them in the past," Jones said. "I just think they need to be properly regulated and benefit the residents of the city.”

However, Brandon Ellyson, who was also at the meeting, was less pleased when he saw the final vote come down.

“I think it’s going in the wrong direction. I think it’s a de facto ban, because of the details of it, the requiring homeowners to live in the vacation rental," he said. “I think it’s going to screw over a lot of people who bought homes in Vegas exclusively for the purpose of using them as vacation rentals, and I think it limits what should be a free market of staying in hotels versus vacation rentals.”

After the council voted in favor of moving forward with the ordinance, Mayor Carolyn Goodman offered these words to the audience.

"I want you to know, this really is a starting point. That's what it is," she said. "You will have the full support to work together and collect thoughts that we move every piece forward, together, to end up with the best results and where we want to be doing short-term rentals."

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