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Unmasking unlicensed Airbnb hosts


Thank you all for your moralizing and condescension. I rely on Airbnb for a large portion of my income and only rent out a room in my house (so am quiet and do not add to traffic, etc). I just wanted a way to continue to operate for the next few months before I am on my feet financially.


There are many risks in doing Airbnb. Being reported, fined, shut down by your HOA are just a few. One person just posted in this forum that they were shut down after just a single booking in Las Vegas. It was different than your place in that he was renting out the whole thing and the renters had a party.


@Nick_Moffatt -
I don’t see any moralizing going on. We’ve had a debate on the legality of operating without a permit, but no one has called you a sinner.

Lots of people decide to not follow the law when the penalty is not high. Think about exceeding the speed limit - lots of people do it and they deliberately do it.

But I suspect you are not getting answers for several reasons. If we did know ways of not getting caught, why would we want to post that on a public forum? It wouldn’t be hard to figure out the listings for many of us with a little digging, and we’d be “outed”. You might actually work for the government or the company that works for the government, and be looking for how people get around it to help close the loopholes. And if we are operating legally in your area, and you can’t, why would we want to help a competitor succeed by avoiding doing the things we did?

There may be other forums that can help you. This particular forum doesn’t specialize in the kind of question you’ve asked.

I hope you get on your financial feet soon and can stop worrying about getting caught.


Sorry that you felt judged. My own comment was meant to be humourous but I can see that it came across as flippant and annoying for you. I too have come to rely on Airbnb for much needed income and do sympathise. It seems like the pressure is on hosts with entire properties rather than those with a room so hopefully you will be ok? I hope so.

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You forgot to mention the sarcasm,:wink:


Actually you were pretty moralizing. You might want to rethink your analogy. I personally have been driving for 20 years, never had a speeding ticket and never sped to my knowledge or plan too. I don’t think, ‘lots of people do it’ not do I think the ‘penalty is not high’. Having had a father killed in a freeway accident by a careless driver I think the penalty of a dead person is as high as you get. Most fatal accidents involve speed and or alcohol.

I could care a lot less about the OP trying to make ends meet without a bureaucratic license protecting Vegas hotels owned by the mob.

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@Emily - first, I am so sorry for your loss. Careless driving or drunk driving is nothing to dismiss.

However, I live in Houston, Texas, and the general knowledge here is that you can drive five miles per hour over the speed limit and the police won’t even look twice at you. That’s what I was referring to when I said plenty of people deliberately drive faster than the speed limit because they don’t believe the penalty is high for doing so.


Thanks I appreciate that- road behaviour is a sensitive topic to those of us who have suffered a loss to avoidable road trauma. One of the reasons to am looking for a tree change from the 8 lane highway on my front doorstep with hooning drivers


Can you translate this into American English?

On a more serious note, I add my condolences on your loss. I also live in TX where despite high speed limits (as high as 85 mph) “law abiding” people still speed like crazy.

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This would be the quintessential Aussie hoon bogan driver en route to killing people with no clue…very popular show here


Followed by a real gem


All right then. Well, I guess that’s just another thing I’ll never know.

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Yes. In Vegas hotels rule! It costs 5K just to apply for a permit to do short term rentals there. Otherwise you are limited to 30 + days.


Short term rentals are virtually outlawed in Vegas at the present time. Some hosts there are trying to organize to get a more reasonable regulation. You need to join with them. I have a friend who bought a house in Vegas with the express purpose of listing it on Air. When she finally got it together, the city council passed draconian regulations. In order to apply to do short term rentals, the fee is 5K upfront with no guarantee that your application will be approved. That is the power of the hotel industry there. However since the Vegas shooting tragedy, there is some indication that the city council may be taking another look. Apparently there is some fear that tourists may not want to stay on the strip, so there is some thought to allowing short term rentals to operate. At least this is the scuttlebutt I’ve heard.


Emily, for the sake of letting a thread flow, can’t you ever allow anyone to generalise? Pitonview clearly says ‘lots of people’, not ‘every person’, and yet you’ve dragged an apology out of them because you don’t speed.


I’m actually embarrassed for you that you thought it was appropriate to write this.


I really “love” people like you. Quote: “The law is the law and we all must follow it” Well that is exactly what the German people were thinking back in 1938 when Hitler regime declare new “laws” in the country, and look how that turned out for them and for the rest of the world.

Actually no, if the law is corrupted and benefit only big companies, hotels and Real Estate companies and it is taking away my basic right as an apartment owner by telling me how to rent out my own apartment! Then I will do whatever I can to operate underground.

If your goverment would have declared that people who are making under 100k a year need to pay 50% tax and people who are making over 100k a year will
Only need to pay 5% tax. Will you accept it and still keep on declaring your real income if it was 95k? or would you just round it up to 100k and cheat the law because the law is unfair?
I think we both know the answer to that.
And if you would still follow the law in that case so you Are dumber that I thought.

The law should be follow blindly. The law should be followed if it reasonable and make sense. But it should be fought against if it doesn’t.


Wow, did you take my statement and extrapolate! I never said everyone must blindly follow the law. The context was whether it was a “grey” area and I was just saying the law was clear. I never said it was right or fair.


BTW most of these ‘laws’ are not actual laws but Code Enforcement Violations, which do levy a hefty fine but are not Illegal. Some places yes STR is actually illegal and have legal repercussions, but those places are not the norm.

There is a huge difference in violating a code enforcement rule ie lawn not being cut, fence too high, etc versus actual crimes.


Oh really? You basically asked us how to get around the regulations that have apparently befallen you. I think you could expect a certain amount of moralizing when you come to a forum like this and ask a question like that.

I won’t apologize for moralizing.

In Kauai Hawaii, STRs of every stripe are totally totally outlawed. They have a special opps unit looking for the offenders. A new host who is thinking of doing Air was told to have several thousand saved for fines if she just wanted to do it anyway. So operate and pay the fines is one solution.

On the Big Island, there is a new proposal on the books to outlaw any new hosted STR. Old ones could be grandfathered in if they “registered.” I personally don’t like the idea of “registering” for anything but that may be the price I pay if I want to keep hosting.

The times they are a changin. Air just became too much of a good thing and the gravy train may be screeching to a halt.

How’s that for four cliches in one paragraph? :laughing:


The company is potentially BNB Shield who does this for a busi (at least in Texas). But really it is simple to locate airbnb properties from the site. I have done this many times in Traverse City Michigan to locate potential allies to help fight for responsible regulation.

But from some later posts you made do I have it correct that you are only renting out a room in your house? If so you may not fall under short term rental at all. You need to review the zoning regulations for Las Vegas to determine. Most governmental units define short term rental in conjunction with whole house rental. We are legal here specifically because we only rent a portion of our house while we reside there. You could be good as you are. Regards, Curt Peterson

(seriously look up the zoning regs for your zoning district and pay particular attention to the definitions section) Need any help for free: curtpete@gmail.com

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