Short-Term Rentals Can Adversely Affect Communities

Question: Last week you discussed the comments of a happy owner of a short-term rental home in Peoria that was rented during the six weeks of the baseball spring training season. We are from South Dakota and are not familiar with short-term rentals. Why is there such a controversy about short-term rentals in Arizona?

Answer: Prefatory comment: I am reminded of the great WWF wrestler Rowdy Roddy Piper, dressed in his famous kilt, yelling back at an angry, booing crowd, and saying, “Just when you think you know all the answers, I change the questions!” RIP Roddy.

Arizona was the first state in the nation to prohibit cities and towns from regulating short-term rentals. The result is that some communities in Arizona have been severely damaged or even destroyed by short-term rentals. One Arizona town had a community of 28 homes, and there was Little League car-pooling, July 4th barbeques, and Halloween “trick or treating” among the homeowners and their children in the 28-home community. Within a year after the Arizona legislature prohibited cities and towns from regulating short-term rentals, 17 of the homes had become short-term rentals. The owners of the remaining 11 homes then discussed forming an HOA and adopting CC&Rs to prohibit short-term rentals of those 11 homes. These 11 homeowners decided, however, to simply sell their homes for large profits to short-term rental owners, and move to communities that had CC&Rs prohibiting short-term rentals.

Note: Even California (where Airbnb started with air mattresses and breakfasts in an apartment in San Francisco) allows cities and towns to regulate short-term rentals. Can you imagine what beautiful beach towns like Coronado or Del Mar would look like in the summer if each beach home was turned into a Holiday Inn?

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