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Landlord Fighting $180k Las Vegas City Fine for Unlicensed Airbnb Rental; Claims Tenant Did It

Las Vegas City

Landlord Fighting $180k Las Vegas City Fine for Unlicensed Airbnb Rental; Claims Tenant Did It

LAS VEGAS, NV – A homeowner is fighting a $180,000 fine imposed upon him by the city of Las Vegas for operating an unlicensed short-term rental back in 2021, claiming that his tenant was the one that actually listed the property without his knowledge and that the huge fine – which is mostly made up of late fees – violates his right to due process under state law.

Originally, homeowner Xin Tao was hit with an initial fine of $2,132 in August 2021 for violating Las Vegas’ strict laws governing short-terms rentals within city limits. However, Tao said that a tenant that was living at the property at the time was the one that listed it out via Airbnb without telling him, and following multiple complaints by neighbors, Las Vegas authorities conducted over 10 inspections and ultimately issued the fine.

Tao, who does not reside in Nevada, unsuccessfully attempted to evict the tenant when he learned of the situation; since he believed that the tenant should have been the one to pay the fine, he himself refused to do so. Unfortunately for him, Las Vegas’s short-term rental code imposes a $500 per day late fee penalty, causing the fine to eventually swell to $180,000, leading to the very real threat that Tao’s home could be auctioned off to satisfy the debt, although Las Vegas officials have yet to go in that direction.

In response, Tao has filed a lawsuit against the city of Las Vegas, with the lawyer representing him – Andrew Bao – claiming that the city never informed his client that he was accruing $500 per day in late fees for two whole years, denying him of his right to due process under the Nevada Constitution.

To have a $2,132 fine astronomically balloon to $180,000, without notice for more than two years, is a violation of due process and Petitioner’s constitutional rights,” the lawsuit reads. “Further, the $180,000 is an excessive fine and punishment in violation of Petitioner’s constitutional rights.”

The filing of the lawsuit follows a May 13 hearing where a judge denied Tao’s motion to have the fine thrown out due to his failure to appeal the penalty within 25 days following a previous vote by the city council to uphold it.

Tao is demanding $15,000 in damages plus attorney’s fees, the cancellation of the $180,000 fine, and an injunction protecting Tao’s home from being foreclosed on by the city.

Shelter Realty is a Real Estate and Property Management Company specializing in the areas of HendersonLas Vegas and North Las Vegas, NV. Feel free to give us a call at 702.376.7379 so we can answer any questions you may have.