The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department are performing surprise inspections of Airbnb and other short-term rental properties, with hopes of apprehending underage spring breakers and stopping disruptive parties.
The authorities have stated that their spot-checks, which are also regularly conducted over the Memorial Day, July 4th, and Labor Day holidays, are intended to reassure the local community of their safety. However, this has left tourists, who had opted for a peaceful getaway off the Strip, feeling startled when they are asked to open their door and address police officers without any previous complaints.
Last June, Clark County had passed an ordinance prohibiting events which exceeded the maximum occupancy of each short-term rental house, as well as allowing county staff to inspect the properties without prior notice and issue misdemeanour citations if needed. In response to this, Airbnb had issued a statement claiming that the new rules would reduce accommodation availability and take money out of the pockets of Nevada citizens and the tourism sector.
In February, a Clark County District Court Judge, Jessica Peterson, declared the ordinance unconstitutional, claiming that it was too vague in its definition of what constituted a party or wedding. This decision was met with opposition from the Greater Las Vegas Short Term Rental Association, who argued that police officers should be devoting their time to addressing emergency calls from the citizens instead of visiting Airbnb locations.
Overall, Las Vegas police are conducting random spot checks on Airbnb and other short-term rental homes in an effort to capture underage spring break drinkers and parties, which has caused distress to tourists and raised questions about their constitutionality.