Tempe proposes to tighten rules on short-term rentals ahead of 2023 Super Bowl

As the 2023 Super Bowl nears, cities in the Phoenix area are looking to tighten regulations around short-term rentals.

The issue is especially timely in Tempe, where a rental house party turned into a chaotic scene with shots fired.

The shooting, according to police, happened at a home near University and Hardy Drive at around 3:30 a.m. on Oct. 29. Police saw multiple people running from the area and discovered that an "undetermined number of persons" started shooting outside the house during a party.

"Over 60 shell casings," said Tempe Police Chief Jeffrey Glover.

No injuries were reported.

City residents speak out

Tiffany Martin takes her pet, Scarlet, on a walk every day in her neighborhood, and she can immediately spot the short-term rental properties.

"I know of the two that are definitely short-term rentals," said Martin. "You know nobody lives there, because there aren't cars there all the time."

Most of them, Martin says, are fine and nuisance-free, but the incident on Oct. 29 has left Martin terrified.

"There's six, seven houses across the street and immediately next to that house. That's so scary," said Martin.

An LLC owns the property where the shooting happened. County records also show that LLC owns 13 other Tempe properties, as well as dozens of others in the Phoenix area.

Chief Glover said detectives are investigating everything.

"They are looking into the owners, they’re looking into the LLC, and what kind of activity we’ve had at this location," said Chief Glover.

We have reached out to the LLC, but officials with the company have yet to respond. 

Meanwhile, officials with airbnb say they have deactivated the house in question from their website, and stress that they ban parties.

Incident underscores need for rules to change, officials say

Tempe city officials started proposing regulations for short-term rentals just days before the aforementioned incident, and the city's mayor, Corey Woods, says it shows how necessary the rule changes are.

"It's horrifying," said Mayor Woods.

Tempe's City Council is seeking input to require a $250 permit, proof a house is licensed and registered, notification of neighbors that it is a rental, and conduct sex offender background checks on renters.

"We would likely, in Tempe, have the strictest regulations in the entire State of Arizona," said Mayor Woods.

During the Super Bowl, Tempe will host several Super Bowl Week events.

"The Super Bowl is wonderful. We are glad we will have events in our community, but at the end of the day, public safety is first and foremost," said Mayor Woods.

Officials with airbnb did not respond to questions over their reacted to the proposed regulations in Tempe. It should also be noted that other cities in the Valley have passed similar rules.