Arizona Lawmakers Consider Vacation Rental Regulation Local news

The Arizona state legislature will likely attempt to return some controls over short-term rental properties to local governments during the 2022 state legislature session.

Short-term rentals have been a hot topic in the city of Lake Havasu and across Arizona since 2016, when the state legislature passed legislation that deprived cities of any right to regulate vacation rentals. Since then, the legislature has debated several bills aimed at relaxing the moratorium on local regulations with varying degrees of success, but Representative Leo Biaisucci said it was clear more needed to be done.

“It was really a mistake and it became a bit of a disaster,” Biasiucci said of the 2016 legislation. “Now we’re seeing big companies coming in and hedge fund companies buying 30 or 40 houses. Now you have no rentals available and rental rates are skyrocketing. No one can really afford to live anywhere. So it will be important for us to try to reverse this and give the power back to the cities to manage this. Every city is different and therefore every city should be able to determine how it wants to handle these things. “

Lake Havasu City officials already have a pretty good idea of ​​what regulations they would like to see in Havasu. A few years before the 2016 state law, Havasu City Council passed an ordinance that, among other things, required vacation rental properties to register with the city and provide 24-hour contact, allowing any rental problem such as noise or garbage. to be resolved immediately.

City officials, including Mayor Cal Sheehy and City Manager Jess Knudson, said they felt the ordinance was working well for everyone involved until the 2016 law made Havasu’s ordinance. inapplicable. Since 2016, Havasu has been pushing for the state to return enough control to cities so that its 2014 ordinance can be reinstated.

Biasiucci said there likely won’t be a single huge solution offered to the legislature in 2022 – it’s an issue he says will reduce somewhat. He has said he probably won’t introduce short-term rental legislation himself, but he expects a lawmaker to put something in place to restore local controls over the rental industry. short term rental.

“We are all working together to get something done,” Biasiucci said. “We’re going to try to do something that gives cities a bit more control so they can handle the situation. The biggest problem is the party houses and no one is really held responsible for those houses. When a hedge fund in New York City has 50 of them, there’s no way to get a hold of anyone – local towns, the police, or anyone else. So I know that the bill will be designed to figure out how to give more control back to cities instead of doing everything at the state level. “

Although Biasiucci has said he is not yet sure exactly who will lead the bill, he has said he will support it, along with State Senator Sonny Borrelli (R-Lake Havasu City).

In recent years, the number of short-term rentals in Lake Havasu City appears to be increasing rapidly. According to AirDNA, a company that provides data to Airbnb and Vrbo, there were 1,573 active vacation rentals in Havasu during the third quarter of 2021 – the most recent quarter of data available. This number has increased quarterly since the start of 2020. By comparison, Havasu had 1,051 active rentals in the third quarter of 2020, 948 in the third quarter of 2019 and 724 short-term rentals available in the third quarter of 2018.

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