Scottsdale Council Asks Legislature for Short-Term Rental Changes

By Melissa Rosequist | Scottsdale Independent

Scottsdale City Council has reportedly sent a unified letter to the Arizona House of Representatives leader seeking changes to short-term rentals, as the municipality strengthens its regulations on the 4,000 vacation homes in city bounds.

The move comes as new reporting done by Scottsdale illustrates short-term rentals are bringing in hundreds of thousands of dollars in tax money per month for the city — recording a high of $1.2 million in tax revenues last March.

A Nov. 9 letter addressed to House Speaker Rusty Bowers asks for “reasonable and meaningful changes in state law” that would allow Scottsdale and other municipalities to protect neighborhoods.

The letter comes after Scottsdale formed a short-term rental working group last spring. The group, which included [SAAR CEO Rebecca Grossman], residents and hotel and tourism representatives, identified a number of ongoing efforts to better regulate short-term rentals in Scottsdale.

Additionally, the city will produce a quarterly report on short-term rentals. The first iteration of which gives the public a peak behind how many short-term rentals are in Scottsdale neighborhoods and how popular they are.

Scottsdale is following in the steps of the Town of Paradise Valley, which has been steadfastly attempting to do everything in its power to minimize impacts from irresponsible short-term rental properties. Scottsdale and Paradise Valley officials have been open about the fact that municipalities are working together on this issue.

“Residents have consistently and repeatedly asked the city for help in mitigating the adverse impacts of short-term rentals, resulting in more than 1,800 calls for service to the Scottsdale Police Department,” Scottsdale City Council’s letter to Bowers states.

“The destructive experiences in our neighborhoods are shared by many across the state of Arizona and the effects have been so detrimental that some homeowners have moved out of their homes.”

In total, officials say 4,000 homes are identified as short-term rentals in Scottsdale.

Further, a city report shows of calls for service, there have been 167 notices of violation issued.

Scottsdale says its group was formed to work within the current law to improve monitoring and enforcement of regulations, “with the goal being to ensure that Scottsdale is doing everything it can” to manage impacts from the vacation homes.

The city outlines five statutory changes for Bowers to consider, which Scottsdale officials believe would have the biggest positive impact:

  • Allow cities the ability to impose reasonable licensing or permitting requirements;
  • Reestablish ability of cities to manage short-term rentals differently than long-term rentals;
  • Create a mechanism that caps the total percentage of short-term rentals allowed and establishes method to provide better separation between rentals;
  • Require platforms to provide a disclosure of state laws and local ordinances, and require acknowledgment by owners, hosts and renters;
  • Require short-term rentals to follow public health and safety laws that apply to hotels.

Read More (subscriber content)