Douglas County putting unpermitted vacation home rentals on notice |

Douglas County putting unpermitted vacation home rentals on notice

Kurt Hildebrand

So far, one East Fork homeowner in Douglas County has been issued a $5,000 civil fine for having an unpermitted vacation home rental.

The county expects to have notified everyone out of compliance with the new vacation home rental rules by spring of 2020.

As of this month, there are 1,323 listings for short-term rentals in the county, including 860 confirmed vacation homes.

Vacation rentals are only permitted in Tahoe Township where there are now 540, according to the Vacation Home Rental Task Force established by the county earlier this year. The other 200 plus vacation operating outside Tahoe Township are doing so illegally.

The county is sending out 30 compliance letters a month. A second letter is required before the county can begin to take action.

Of the 19 unpermitted rentals in the East Fork Township, where they are not allowed, one person has applied for a bed and breakfast special use permit and there are three who have not complied after receiving the first letter.

Unlike a vacation rental, a bed and breakfast permit requires the owner to live on the property while it’s being rented.

One of the task force’s goals is to determine whether to open East Fork Township to vacation rentals.

Concerns over allowing the expansion of the rentals into Carson Valley prompted the formation of the task force, whose recommendations may be incorporated into a new ordinance covering the entire county.

Vacation home rentals have been one of the most contentious issues in the Tahoe Basin. South Lake Tahoe voters narrowly passed a citizen-initiated measure, Measure T, in 2018 that would progressively eliminate the majority of vacation home rentals in the city. A lawsuit claiming the measure is unconstitutional was filed shortly after it passed.

In Washoe County, commissioners are in the process of crafting stricter regulations for vacation home rentals.

Douglas County launched a 24-7 hotline and online reporting platform for neighbors to report issues with vacation home rentals last year.

Host Compliance provides a contact for people to report violations and resolve disputes on vacation rentals operating in Douglas County. The telephone number for the 24/7 hotline is 775–234–0404. Online access is also available at

A webpage with taskforce meeting materials, background information, timeline and important documents can be found at

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