Real Estate: Is your vacation rental compliant?

Sabrina Belleci
Special to the Tribune

Whether attracted by the small town feel, the skiing and backcountry access in the winter months, or by hiking and sandy beaches and clear, blue waters when the weather is warmer, Incline Village is a great place to live and vacation.

Sabrina Belleci

Right now there are roughly 650 vacation rental listings for Incline Village short-term rentals on a variety of websites.

Lake Tahoe tourism shows no signs of slowing down and the ability to rent property on a short term basis is necessary to limit the cost of homeownership in the basin.

Sites like VRBO, Homeaway and Airbnb allow owners to control and vet who is staying in their properties and allows the property owner to keep more money at the end of the year.

Using websites to rent your Tahoe property comes with responsibilities and regulations that otherwise would be handled by a licensed property manager and must be met in order to stay away from excess fines and fees from regulating bodies.

As of now, Washoe County, requires that all properties on a short-term rental program (any amount of time less than 28 days) meet the following criteria: register with and obtain a room tax license issued by the county and pay a 13% transient occupancy tax to the county.

The newest proposed ordinance found on, requires much more from an owner or a licensed property manager. The largest areas of concern have to do with the safety of occupants while in a property, parking, permits, fines/fees, occupancy limits, noise and trash collection.

Washoe is proposing a 3-tier system to classify each rental. A Tier 1 STR has a maximum occupancy of 10 people or fewer, Tier 2 STR has a maximum occupancy of 11-20 people with additional limitations based on the surroundings and Tier 3 STR has a maximum occupancy of 21-plus people and will be limited to areas outside of residential zoning as to cause less disturbances to neighbors.

In order to obtain a permit and comply, rental owners will have to submit a lengthy application to the county including a site plan of the property, a to scale floor plan of the home/unit including the square footage of each room, and show locations of exits, fire extinguishers, smoke/carbon monoxide alarms, hot tubs, decks, stairs, windows and ingress/egress of each room.

Once the permit is obtained, an owner will have to show proof of the permit and taxation and comply with annual renewals/inspections and post the name, phone number (text-capable) and email address of the local responsible party designated to respond to issues/complaints on the property as required.

Every STR is required to have a designated agent or property manager functioning as a local responsible party who is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to respond via text message or phone to complaints/issues related to the STR within 30 minutes of contact by county staff or its designated representatives.

STR owners are responsible for making sure their renters follow new rules such as only one car for every four guests allowed, quiet hours daily from 10 p.m. – 7 a.m. and no signage advertising the STR is permitted on the property.

The purpose of Article 319, Short-Term Rentals, is to allow for the inclusion of short term rentals in legally permitted homes within unincorporated areas of the county. The purpose is also to establish standards and a permitting process governing the operation of STRs in order to reduce their potential impacts on neighboring properties.

Regulations of short term rentals have been a longtime in the making and they are necessary to preserve the health of our local economy and protect the enjoyment of our community and wildlife. The most recent draft STR ordinance is a good compromise for the community and its affiliates. Having any additional “Incline specific” regulations would be an overreach and impact the private property rights of owners in Incline Village.

The short term rental agenda item is scheduled for its first reading at the Feb. 23 board meeting and is scheduled for a second reading and possible adoption on March 23.

Be sure to verify rules and regulations for your property and city or consult with a licensed property management professional or your lawyer before making any decisions about your rentals. Total numbers were taken from Properties listed on these sites were not vetted thoroughly for duplication of properties posted.

Sabrina Belleci is the owner of North Tahoe RE/MAX.

Statistics gathered from the Incline Village multiple listing service on Feb. 9

Houses Condos PUDs

For Sale 23 6 2

Under $1 million 0 4 0

Median Price For Sale $3.4M $790,000 $3,850,000

YTD Sales 2021 25 20 4

YTD Sales 2020 21 15 1

New Listings 3

In Escrow 10

Closed Escrow 17

Range in Escrow $450,000 – $2,750,000

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