Phoenix Exploring New Rules for Short-Term, Vacation Rentals

Published: Friday, December 20, 2019 - 3:23pm
Updated: Friday, December 20, 2019 - 6:22pm
Lauren Gilger/KJZZ
A Phoenix home listed for short-term rental.

Phoenix is considering changes to city code to address complaints about short-term and vacation home rentals.

Property owners who rent their houses to people for less than 30 days may have to register their properties with the city and supply local emergency contact information.

“There are times when there are some of these larger, you know, events and, as part of that, the police maybe have to clear out and they need someone to secure the premise sooner rather than later so the police are not sitting there,” said Alan Stephenson, Phoenix’s planning and development director.

During a recent subcommittee meeting, council members acknowledged wedding receptions and loud parties are creating headaches for long-term residents. Stephenson proposed amending city code to specifically ban residential homes from being used as event centers and banquet halls. He says some owners are blatantly marketing houses for big affairs.

“There’s one that has built accessory restrooms in the back of the house to address all the people that they’re coming but they are saying it’s a short-term rental, but it says, 'oh this is great for large events and gatherings,'” he said.

If the full council approves, Phoenix could also strengthen its loud party ordinance to hold property owners, not renters, responsible. A city subcommittee will review specific language before sending the issue to the full council for a vote.

State law says cities must treat owners of short-term rental properties the same as other property owners in residential districts. Several cities have reported complaints from long-term residents and pushed the state Legislature to address what some consider shortcomings in the state statute to protect neighborhoods.

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