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Short-Term Rentals Still a Nuisance Despite Law

By November 2, 2023No Comments

By Jason W. Brooks | Daily Independent

In the year since the Arizona Legislature passed Senate Bill 1168, a law requiring short-term rental operators to obtain a license, Scottsdale implemented a city ordinance, created a short-term rental police unit and is seeking further regulation rights from Arizona lawmakers.

Yet, the Scottsdale short-term rental market has continued to expand by 16% since 2022, according to AirDNA, a data collection website dedicated to tracking listings on Airbnb and Vrbo.

“SB1168 was supposed to be the solution,” said Bill Hunter, creator of Neighbors Not Nightmares, a grassroots movement seeking to restore peace in residential neighborhoods. “It’s made (the problem) substantially worse.”

Hunter, a self-proclaimed snowbird, spends half his year in Japan and the other half in Paradise Valley, where his once peaceful cul-de-sac has now become a host to a neighborhood event center in the form of a single-family home rented out through Airbnb.

The creation of Neighbors Not Nightmares came from the first couple incidences Hunter had with his local short-term rental, which hosted parties with up to 35 people in the home at once, with their cars spread throughout the cul-de-sac, food trucks, stages and a band that led to the police being called.

Incidences such as Hunter’s led to the Scottsdale Police Department to create its short-term rental unit, according to department spokesman Officer Aaron Bolin.

“We always try to work with the renters, the owners, and also the residents that live in that neighborhood all the time,” Bolin said. “We do know that it affects them the most. They’re the ones who often feel that their neighborhood peace is being disturbed. Sometimes it’s negligence on the part of the renters and sometimes it’s ignorance. So educating people first and then if educating doesn’t work, a warning and possibly a fine.”

One sergeant is assigned to the unit, which specializes in Arizona short-term rental laws, but Scottsdale police hope to have a fully staffed unit with four officers along with one police aide, according to Bolin.

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