Arizona Senate Passes Bill to Add Requirements for Vacation Rentals

Corrections and Clarifications: An earlier version of this article contained errors in some provisions of Senate Bill 1379. Changes to occupancy requirements were removed from the proposal prior to its adoption.

Arizona lawmakers are giving bipartisan support for the new rules on neighborhood properties used for short vacation stays, but cities that have battled rental issues say the measure is insufficient.

Lawmakers on Wednesday voted 27-3 in the Arizona Senate to support Senate Bill 1379, which allows municipalities to require them to carry liability insurance.

The changes passed by the Arizona Senate on Wednesday are backed by vacation rental companies Airbnb Inc. and Expedia Inc., but the League of Arizona Cities and Towns has called on lawmakers to allow municipalities to restrict these rentals further. , as have municipalities in other states. .

“We don’t think it goes far enough,” Nick Ponder, a lobbyist for the League of Arizona Cities and Towns, said at a February hearing on the bill.

“We are not seeing any substantial changes that address our real concerns, which is the ability of local governments to zoning with respect to short-term rentals. “

He said cities and towns across the country have implemented zoning regulations on short-term rentals to address concerns from residents.

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Paradise Valley Mayor Jerry Bien-Willner also spoke that day, agreeing the bill does not do enough.

But rental platforms support the limited measures.

“We believe this is a reasonable bill that addresses concerns we have heard from policymakers,” Airbnb spokesman Jonathan Paton said at a hearing in February on The law project.

Cities and neighbors are looking for ways to bring problems under control

The problem has been brewing since 2016, when Gov. Doug Ducey signed a bill that prevented municipalities from imposing restrictions on vacation rentals other than existing noise ordinances and other laws that party vacationers often ignored. to the chagrin of the neighbors who found themselves living next door. to rental properties all year round.

People who live next to houses rented to vacationers frequently complain about noise, rude and drunken behavior, strangers in their neighborhood, and general dissatisfaction with businesses operating in residential areas.

The state legislature passed limited restrictions in 2019 targeting rental homes used for special events like weddings. But lawmakers did not have enough backing to pass the bigger measures neighbors wanted.

Rental platforms such as Vrbo and Airbnb brought real estate owners to Capitol Hill last year to pressure lawmakers against approving any restrictions that would limit their ability to make money from rental properties, including many had made it a primary source of income.

As originally drafted, SB 1379 would have allowed municipalities to limit rental occupancy. But that part of the bill was deleted before the final vote.

A group called Arizonans for Responsible Tourism Recovery, which represents vacation rental owners who support soft reforms, supports the bill.

“As a Scottsdale resident and vacation rental owner, I am grateful to the bipartisan group of lawmakers who found a suitable compromise today in approving SB 1379,” spokesman John Hildebrand said in a statement prepared after Wednesday’s vote.

“This legislation will protect neighborhoods from irresponsible guests without pulling the rug out from under the vast majority of us who have followed the rules and supported the state’s tourism industry.”

Targeted parties: Vrbo suspends overnight rentals in Arizona

The group supports allowing municipalities to “crack down” on harmful properties while allowing owners to continue to supplement their income by serving as vacation rental guests.

The bill now needs a vote in the House before it goes to the governor.

Join reporter Ryan Randazzo To Ryan.randazzo@ or 602-444-4331. Follow him on twitter @UtilityReporter.

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