New rules for Airbnb and other owners of short-term rentals in Phoenix

The new rules include registering with the city and designating an emergency contact for law enforcement.

PHOENIX – It’s something we’ve seen in the Valley before – house parties get out of control in short-term rentals, some so bad the cops had to be called.

But the city of Phoenix hopes a new ordinance will help control properties and hold landlords accountable.

Under new rules passed by the Phoenix City Council on Wednesday, owners of Airbnb, Vrbo or other short-term rental properties must register with the city.

They should also put emergency contact information in a visible place inside the rental property. That way, if agents are called for any reason, they have someone to contact.

In the event that law enforcement needs to contact the emergency contact, the owner or their agent has 60 minutes to respond to the issue, either in person or by phone.

“They could be a great way to deter guests from acting inappropriately and encourage more positive behavior so hosts are better neighbors to those who live around them,” owner Ben Bethel said.

RELATED: Owner records party trashing his Airbnb in Tempe

Bethel has spent over a decade working in the hospitality industry, recently welcoming rental properties in recent years.

He said he had regular visitors, including athletes during spring training, a popular draw in the area.

Bethel said he supports the new rules and would even like more regulation on the number of people allowed in properties, saying landlords need to be responsible.

“Hosts absolutely have to be good neighbours,” he added.

RELATED: Airbnb Says Company Bans ‘Party Houses’

But not all changes were welcome. Some critics spoke out at the council meeting, with one saying the designated contacts and a delay in responding were unfair.

“It wouldn’t give self-directed mom and pop owners an opportunity to respond in such a short period of time,” one commenter said.

The city council scaled back part of the original proposal, but eventually passed the new 8-1 ordinance, intended to help prevent another neighborhood nightmare.

Under state law, cities in Arizona are not allowed to control cohabitation in residential neighborhoods, but a new invoice could change that.

RELATED: Arizona lawmakers seek to give cities power to write rules for Airbnb and other rentals

This is a subject that should be addressed during the next legislative session, which begins next week.

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