Scottsdale is cracking down on short-term rentals with new laws

The city of Scottsdale is making some changes to short-term rental laws in the area, which they say will help them to better deal with so-called "party houses."

There have been several issues with Airbnbs, causing many noise complaints.

"Multiple complaints would come into the city, to the city council's office, the city manager's office. They put together a 12-week task force I believe was in April to June to come up with recommendations on what happened, how was it implemented and what can we do with all the complaints that come in," said Sergeant Kevin Quon with the Scottsdale Police Department.

Back in December, the city council approved changes to local laws that just went into effect on Jan. 7.

These laws include requiring owners to have an emergency contact who is available to respond within an hour in case of a disturbance. Another change allows police to issue a civil citation, rather than a notice violation that would have gone to another city.

"If there is more than one violation of a civil statute, you could be issued another citation. [It's] similar like if you go down the road, run a red light, and go down the road again and run a red light. Well that's two separate violations, so if we get called out for that and it hits the thresholds, you can get a citation. And then a few hours later, we're called out again. It's very similar to that," Sgt. Quon said.

Scottsdale resident Jewell Drozda says she's happy about the recent changes having seen issues with Airbnb's in her area.

"My friend had two Airbnbs across from him, and it was party time with bottles on the ground, people making noise and playing music all night in a residential neighborhood."

Airbnb released a statement in response to the latest changes which read:

"Short-term rentals support local economies across Arizona and give residents a way to supplement their income -- this is more important than ever as changes in personal finances caused by the pandemic have inspired people to start sharing their extra space with travelers and the city looks to recover from the impacts of the pandemic. Airbnb is focused on supporting the return of the local tourism economy by empowering residents to supplement their income by sharing their homes and working with elected officials on sensible policies. 

In addition, we supported SB1379, a bill introduced in the state legislature last year that would have given jurisdictions more powerful tools to protect quality of life and public safety -- including the ability to levy increased penalties against operators who failed to register, among other violations. While SB1379 was rejected, we hope to work with officials in Scottsdale and statewide to revisit the regulations proposed under this bill and help ensure residents can continue to make ends meet by sharing their homes responsibly."

Sgt. Quon says for anyone using a short-term rental in the area, "be a great neighbor, come into the area and just remember people live here."

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