I frequently get asked questions regarding Short Term Rentals (STR) in Washoe County. The best resource for answers to these questions is Washoe County’s Short Term Rentals website.
This site has recently been updated and contains many resources, including: applications for STR permits; a map showing which areas require permits for STRs; and a helpful FAQ section.
It is important to note that STR Permits are available only for the Unincorporated Areas of Washoe County. This means that properties in the cities of Reno and Sparks cannot obtain Washoe County STR permits. From the website:
If your STR is within the City of Reno or City of Sparks, you CANNOT obtain a permit. Washoe County Planning and Building Department DOES NOT have jurisdiction over the City of Reno and the City of Sparks.
It is also important to note that, although STRs may be permitted through the County for properties located in the unincorporated areas of Washoe County, that common interest communities (i.e. HOAs) may impose their own restrictions on STRs — again, from the website:
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.
So what about STRs in the cities of Reno and Sparks?
I performed a quick search of the internet and found the following articles that may lend some insight…
- From this This Is Reno article, Reno to consider short-term rental ordinance [June 12, 2020], “Reno does not currently regulate short-term rentals.”
- From this Sparks Tribune article, New short-term rental property rules in place for Lake Tahoe and Reno-Sparks [April 15, 2020], “There are currently 300-plus Short-Term Rental properties listed in the Reno/Sparks area on Airbnb…” and “Likewise, there are 169 properties listed in VRBO for the Sparks area…”
- From this Nevada State brief, Short-Term Rentals in Nevada [March 2021]: “A number of cities in Nevada — including Henderson, Las Vegas, and Mesquite — have approved specific ordinances to regulate STRs. At this time, many other cites — such as Boulder City, Ely, North Las Vegas, and Reno — appear to be in the process of developing an STR ordinance.”
So, draw your own conclusions regarding STRs in the cities of Reno and Sparks, but be aware that current conditions can change.