Valley neighbors fight lawsuit over Airbnb property

PHOENIX – Neighbors in the valley who once fought against an Airbnb rental property are now taking legal action.

Lawyers say the neighbour’s protests led the investor who was buying the property to withdraw from the deal.

This lawsuit comes at a time when some Arizona lawmakers have pushed for more regulations in the short-term rental industry. These are homes that you will see advertised on sites like and

While most short-term renters are good neighbors, the main complaint against them comes from residents across Arizona who say these rentals have ruined the quality of life in their communities. From loud parties to liquor bottles littered all over the lawn, to noise and cars parked in front of their driveways. Some neighbors in the community of North Encanto in Phoenix echoed similar concerns when they learned that a house in their neighborhood was going to be sold to a California-based investor who planned to turn into a short-term rental who would be advertised on Airbnb.

“I was very concerned about the noise it was going to make, the parking issues, having strangers every day,” said Regina Graybill, one of the residents named in the complaint.

In other neighborhoods, ABC15 heard complaints from residents who said people were renting out their homes for events, such as weddings and bachelor parties.

“We just didn’t want a full-time Airbnb house in our neighborhood,” said Amanda Bass, whose husband was also named in the complaint.

What exactly have residents done to protest the short-term rental?

“We made some signage and expressed our concerns about an issue of personal and public interest to us as residents of the neighborhood. This is absolutely protected by the First Amendment,” Bass said.

ABC15 asked residents where they posted their signs. All said signs were posted on their lawns.

The signs read: “No Airbnb home in 1717”, “Our peace is not for sale”, “Mr. Investor please tell us” and “Your angry neighbors: not good for business”.

Patrick MacQueen, a Valley real estate attorney, is suing residents on behalf of the owner who had hoped to sell his property to the California investor.

In a previous letter to residents, MacQueen had asked residents to remove their signs.

MacQueen said it was not illegal to post posters on your own property, the real estate agent representing the California buyer complained that the neighbors had made “aggressive threats against them”, and this is the reason why the investor decided to withdraw from the agreement. MacQueen said the officer said the neighbors approached them just as they were about to begin a home inspection on the property.

“In our opinion, it got out of hand when the inspectors couldn’t inspect the property for the buyer,” MacQueen said.

Neighbors disputed this statement, saying the real estate agent invited them to the property where the neighbors asked them not to use the house as Airbnb. There had been no threat. ABC15 asked MacQueen what specific “aggressive threats” had been made in this case.

“As for the specific threats, I don’t know what they were, but I can tell you that they felt threatened enough to pull out of this contract and the deal,” MacQueen said. “What is illegal is to interfere with a valid contract.”

The owner eventually sold the property to another buyer, but the complaint said the offer they received was about $ 42,000 less than the California investor’s first offer. The lawsuit seeks damages and legal fees.

” What is that ? Communist China? Where you can’t say what you think? Regina Graybill asked.

“The message this sends is that you have to shut up, otherwise the force of law will be martial against you,” Bass added.

Neighbors said they would fight the lawsuit. ABC15 will stay on top of this story and let you know how it goes in court.

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