Short-Term Rentals Considered “Essential” Businesses in Nevada State Amid Coronavirus Outbreak

In Washoe County, which is currently unincorporated, county commissioners have not yet addressed the topic of short-term rentals, and therefore there are currently no regulations and restrictions regarding this practice, including services such as Airbnb.

RENO, NV – During the ongoing coronavirus pandemic sweeping the nation, many state governors have issued decrees that any business deemed “non-essential” should temporarily be closed in order to help prevent the spread of the disease.

Businesses deemed “essential,” and thus able to remain open, include hospitals, food stores, doctor’s offices, and, according to Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak, short-term rentals. As a result, many Nevada residents who have been isolated in their homes while being urged to self- quarantine are instead taking the opportunity to rent homes – or travel to a second home if they already own one – located in places such as Lake Tahoe, which has an abundance of empty homes available during the Spring and Fall off-season. The ability to do so gives those stressed by the rigors of social distancing guidelines a brief respite and a way to unwind, reports say.

Lake Tahoe, where many of the homes that Nevada residents are renting, are located in Washoe County, which is currently unincorporated; county commissioners have not yet addressed the topic of short-term rentals, and therefore there are currently no regulations and restrictions regarding this practice, including services such as Airbnb. Because no ordinances have been put into place by county commissioners regarding unlicensed rental activity, local residents are currently free to rent how they please, especially in light of the Governor’s decree classifying short-terms rentals as “essential” businesses. A potential ordinance has been floated concerning things such as occupant limits, parking control, and environmental awareness, reports say, but it has been delayed for two years and counting.

Currently, all short-term rentals in Nevada are allowed and available, although state officials are urging renters to adhere to all healthy and safety guidelines issued in regards to the coronavirus outbreak in order to prevent the spread, including disinfecting, self-quarantining, and social distancing.


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