Frequently Asked Questions
Where are the Short Term Rentals in my area?
Check the Washoe Regional Mapping System (WRMS) for STRs near you.
You can search STR applications and permit records online. CLICK HERE to learn how to search STR records.
A Short Term Rental (STR) refers to existing single-family dwellings, condos, or multi-family units where, for compensation, lodging is provided within either the entire home or a portion of the home for a rental period of less than 28-days. Short Term Rentals are distinguishable from commercial lodging use types in that no meals may be provided within short term rentals as part of the rental agreement and the home may only be rented out for short-term rental use to one group at a time. STRs are also often referred to as vacation rentals and are commonly made available through property management companies or online booking platforms.
A Washoe County permit is required prior to advertising for rental and prior to renting a private residence, such as a single-family home, apartment, or condominium for less than 28 days.
A permit is required only for properties located in Unincorporated Washoe County.
No. STRs have been deemed by the Board of County Commissioners to be a residential use.
It is unlawful and is considered a public nuisance, as defined in WCC 50.308.1, to operate an STR without the required issued permit. Any property owner found to be operating an STR without the required permit shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, issued a stop activity order and fined per the Master Fee Sheet and per the procedures outlined in WCC Chapter 125.
- What if we only rent our property during peak times, like the holiday’s, i.e. less than 75 days/year? Is there a min/max number of nights where an STR permit is or isn’t required?
Renting your property for less than 28 days at a time, at any point in the year, requires a WC STR permit.
STR Permits are valid for 12 months from the date of issuance. STR Permits must be renewed and issued annually in order to advertise or operate. Previous issuance of an STR permit does not guarantee that a subsequent permit will be issued. Annual renewal application and fees must be submitted prior to expiration of the permit. Completion of renewal in time and prior to expiration, is the responsibility of the STR owner.
Your permit is valid for exactly one year. If your permit was issued on May 15, 2021, it will expire on May 15, 2022. Your permit will be considered null and void on the date of expiration. If you have not renewed by the expiration date, you will need to resubmit for an STR Permit. A courtesy email will be sent 30 days prior to your date of expiration. If you fail to renew, you must cease listing and operation until you have obtained a valid permit.
Initial permit fees are invoiced at the time of application and must be paid prior to permit issuance. Annual renewal fees must be submitted prior to expiration of the permit. Completion of renewal in time and prior to expiration, is the responsibility of the STR owner.
- Do Property Managers need to create a separate account for every rental they submit an application for?
As a Property Manager, you can use one ACA account to manage all of your properties. You will need to submit a unique application for each STR that you manage. Each STR will receive it’s own, unique permit.
- If a property is owned by, and deeded to a Trust, or other entity (such as a Corporation, LLC or Irrevocable/Revocable Trust) how should the affidavit be completed?
The individual(s) that attests they are the trustee, or the authorized representative of the trustee, of the deed of trust; or, the person(s) who has controlling interest of the Corporation or LLC, or the authorized representative of the Corporation or LLC, should be the person(s) completing the affidavit. Written proof of such attestation or authorization must be provided. For example, a Trust may submit the Certificate of Trust to prove the affidavit includes the correct trustee(s) that can act on behalf of the trust.
It is not a requirement to use a property manager; however, if you wish to receive the reduced fees by contracting with a property manager, the property manager must be licensed with the Nevada State Department of Business and Industry, Real Estate Division: https://red.prod.secure.nv.gov/Lookup/LicenseLookup.aspx.
- I have a property manager/local responsible party and owner contact; however, I would like to be the first point of contact for issues. How can I do this?
Due to the way our STR Hotline is designed (to respond to any complaints), only one (1) contact can be selected as the designated Local Responsible Party. This person must be able to respond 24/7 with a text enabled cell phone within 30 minutes of being contacted and be physically present at the STR location within 1 hour of notification of a complaint/problem at the property if a physical presence is required to address a complaint. Please pick the best candidate that can perform these duties, because failure to do so will result in a violation recorded against your STR (3 confirmed violations lead to the suspension of your STR permit).
When signing the Owner Affidavit within the application, the owner acknowledges that they have obtained an appropriate Certificate of Insurance for the STR property that provides a minimum of $500,000 liability coverage per occurrence.
No. The new owner must apply for a new permit to ensure that the appropriate owner affidavit, owner contact, local responsible party, property manager (if applicable), and updated documents are provided. New inspections will be required. Payment for a new permit will be required.
- If I have a Short Term Rental Administrative Review (STR AR) permit, also known as a Tier II permit, and I sell my home, can the permit be transferred to the new owner?
Yes. The STR AR (Tier II) permits are transferable to the new owner. This is not an automatic transfer. The new owner must apply for and pay all fees associated with obtaining their initial STR permit. They must also schedule an appointment with Washoe County Planning Staff.
No. The Fire and Building life-safety codes do not differentiate based on age or when occupancy occurs (daytime or night-time). All persons are counted towards occupancy.
- How can I obtain floor plans to show occupancy or to draw my interior layout?
Basic floor plans are available one the Washoe County Assessor’s website . Enter your address and scroll down to the bottom of the page to view a basic outline of your residence. Click on the outline to view get a larger view of the plans and print from your computer or device. Washoe County Building Department does not retain plans for any building permits submitted before the year 2000.
- Will there be a limit to the number of permits issued?
There is no cap on the number of STR permits in Washoe County.
Unless specifically requested, all information in association with the STR application is subject to a Public Records Act request and will be made available to the public.
- I rent my property for more than 28 days at a time, using online platforms like Airbnb and VRBO, throughout the year, how will Host Compliance know I am not renting for less than 28 days?
Host Compliance will only identify those properties that rent for 28 days or less, to be STRs and subject to the STR Ordinance.
There is no minimum number of days required to rent.
To obtain a Transient Lodging Tax license number contact the Reno-Sparks Convention and Visitors Authority (RSCVA) at (775) 827-7743, for more information visit Transient Lodging Tax Webpage. Partial home rentals, such as rentals of a room or several rooms (not the whole home), do not need to have a Transient Lodging Tax number and are exempt.
Airbnb is the only platform to which RSCVA issues a general TLT number for all STR’s (Tahoe Basin Only). If a property is rented through multiple platforms, all homeowners or property managers must have a license with RSCVA, even if they are also using Airbnb.
- If you are only renting through Airbnb, then reach out to Airbnb for the TLT number.
- If you are using a property management company that collects and files lodging tax on your behalf, then reach out to your property management company to obtain the TLT number.
- If you are not using a property management company and you are renting through multiple platforms, then reach out to RSCVA directly and obtain your own TLT number.
The STR Inspection checklist has details on what to expect. The Inspection Checklist and other important information can be found on the Inspections tab.
Building Inspections – Planning staff will review your application, invoice your fees and contact you via email. When you receive the email from planning staff, you will be directed to pay your fees online at onenv.us. After payment is complete, then you will schedule your building inspection online. Please see the Short Term Rental Inspections webpage for scheduling information and instructions.
Fire Inspections – The fire district will contact you only if a fire inspection is required (only for defensible space or if you have an existing sprinkler system or a monitored fire alarm). Within the Tahoe Basin (Incline Village and Crystal Bay), North Lake Tahoe Fire Protection District (NLTFPD) will email you a link to schedule your own appointment. Outside the Tahoe Basin, Truckee Meadows Fire Protection District (TMFPD) will call you to schedule an appointment.
A fire inspection may not be required. During the STR Permit review process, each fire district determines if a fire inspection is needed based on the ordinance requirements and their own database. Fire inspections are only required if defensible space has not been inspected in the last 12 months for your property or if you have an existing automatic sprinkler system or monitored fire alarm.
NLTFPD will conduct a defensible space inspection for all short-term rental applications within Incline Village/Crystal Bay. Occupancies with fire protection systems (e.g., fire sprinklers or monitored fire alarm system) will receive a fire and life safety inspection to ensure the system(s) have been inspected and serviced annually. Systems shall be serviced by a fire protection contractor that is licensed in the State of Nevada and certified by the State Fire Marshal’s Office. The owner or owner’s representative shall be on-site for inspections conducted by NLTFPD. Learn more about the STR inspection form. For a link to North Lake Tahoe Fire Protection Districts own FAQ Click Here: https://nltfpd.org/short-term-rentals
The Master Fee Schedule shows the breakdown of the inspection fees; you will be invoiced accordingly.
If your property fails the STR Building Inspection, Washoe County will provide one (1) additional courtesy inspection. Each inspection required for your property to pass, beyond the initial two (2) inspections (1 initial inspection + plus 1 courtesy), will be charged an additional STR Building Inspection fee in order to cover Washoe County's Building Inspection cost.
For STRs in the Tahoe Basin (only): If you have assigned parking to your unit, please provide copy of your passes or a written document from your HOA stating how many spaces are assigned to your unit. If you do not have assigned parking, and parking is open parking, please provide a copy of your CC&Rs or written documentation from your HOA. We will evaluate your STR occupancy and parking required (1 space for every 4 occupants) in relation to available parking.
- My home is in a condominium, do I need to include the common space areas such as the hot tub, snow storage, etc. on my site plan?
No, not for condominiums, multi-family or apartments.
- If my 3-story condo has no sprinklers or monitored alarm, does a bedroom with a window more than 16' above ground need an escape ladder?
Yes, it does. When egress windows or openings are located more than 16-feet above an exterior finished grade, as measure to the finished sill of the window, or if the lot has extenuating features as determined by the code officials, a safe landing area shall be provided, and an emergency ladder shall be permanently fastened (cannot be stored in a nearby closet or space) to the inside of the wall per the manufacturer’s recommendations. This ladder can also be a retractable kind. We do not recommend any specific model or manufacturer but will need it to reach within 12” of the landing surface.
The following minimum requirement, in accordance with NFPA 10, is the recommendation per floor:
- A single extinguisher rated 2-A:10-B:C or higher OR
- One extinguisher rated 2-A or higher and a second extinguisher rated 10-B:C or higher
One extinguisher rated 2-A:10-B:C or higher should be provided to protect an attached garage that is under the residence or connected to the residence by a common wall. Where provided, extinguishers for detached garages should have a rating of 2-A:10-B:C or higher. Extinguishers must be serviced annually as required by the applicable fire agency.
For the purposes of Short Term Rentals ONLY, existing dwellings that are not currently under construction, remodel, alteration, or repair are not required to interconnect with hard wire their smoke and carbon monoxide alarms, however, they must be interconnected, but can opt for wireless or bluetooth enabled devices.
No, you do not. If the property has a sprinkler system or a monitored fire alarm, no emergency ladder is required.
It depends what type of fuel your appliance runs on. Any solid fuel burning appliances installed in bedrooms or other sleeping areas shall be equipped with oxygen depletion sensors, installed in accordance with the 2018 Uniform Mechanical Code (UMC), or the currently adopted edition. All such rooms shall contain smoke and carbon monoxide alarms in accordance with Sections 314 and 315 of the 2018 IRC or the currently adopted edition. Solid fuel refers to various forms of solid material that can be burnt to release energy, providing heat and light through the process of combustion. Common examples of solid fuels include wood, charcoal, peat, coal, hexamine fuel tablets, wood pellets, corn, wheat, rye, and other grains.
- My smoke detectors are 10-year lithium battery detectors, do I need to put in detectors that are connected on both condo floors?
Yes, but you do not have to hardwire the detectors to interconnect them. You can use blue tooth or wireless interconnected detectors. But they must be interconnected.
The inspector will let you know at the end of their inspection if you passed, or if there are items that need to be corrected.
It is a lighting fixture that has a battery backup and turns on when the power in the STR fails to provide lighted exiting path.
Washoe County is not a party to CC&R’s which are administered by common interest communities/HOA’s and are considered private contracts. Washoe County does not enter, nor enforce these private covenants. It is important to note that the County’s STR ordinance does not alter the ability of common interest communities to prohibit short term rentals through their CC&Rs or other governing documents and to enforce those prohibitions within their community.
Operating Requirements and Enforcement
Search the address or APN for an issued permit on the online portal: www.onenv.us.
You can also visit the Washoe Regional Mapping System – Click HERE Once the page has loaded, search for an address or APN, then click on the horizontal bars in the upper left corner to show the layers menu; scroll down to the Short Term Rental Permits tab/layer and turn it on by clicking on it. You can then click on the dot representing the STR to see the permit details (you will need to click again on the type of STR permit displayed in the identity window, for example single family or multifamily).
- Do I need to comply with the short-term rental regulations when I am using my home for personal use?
Yes, if there is an active short-term rental permit issued for the property then the property owner and any renters are required to comply with all STR regulations and standards, including occupancy and parking limits, regardless of whether or not the property is under rental contract at any given time. Per Washoe County Code section 110.319.15(4): (4) No events, parties, or weddings (regardless of payment or familial association), are allowed or may be advertised. Failure to abide by regulations could result fines and/or in revocation of the issued STR permit.
- I was notified that my property received a complaint to the Short Term Rental Hotline. What do I need to do?
The person you designated as your Local Responsible Party (LRP) should have responded to the Hotline phone call within 30 minutes of being contacted to resolve the complaint. Should a physical presence be required to resolve the complaint the LRP should have been at the STR location within 1 hour of being contacted. The aim is to resolve the complaint by your LRP.