(Published on - 2/27/2022 1:03:18 AM)
Paradise Valley Arizona has new laws in effect February 26, 2022. What does this mean for home buyers?
Paradise Valley Independent
By Tim Dickman | Guest Commentary
The Paradise Valley Town Council recently enacted changes to the town code related to Short Term Rentals (“STRs”). A state law passed several years ago, substantially reduced the ability of cities and towns to regulate STRs — including an outright ban. However, that law does permit cities and towns to regulate STRs related to health and safety.
The Paradise Valley Town Council changed the code fully in compliance with state law. The purposes of the code changes were to:
- Further define and regulate “special events” since many STRs were being used as wedding venues or engaging in other impermissible business activities;
- Minimize nuisance behaviors which have become all too familiar to people living near an STR;
- Protect public health and safety.
If you live near a problematic STR, it is important for you to know the Town code and your rights.
Emergency Complaints — Call 911.
If there is an emergency or criminal activity, you should immediately call 911.
Tell the 911 operator the nature of the emergency. You have a right to be safe and should always feel free to call 911 if you or your family are threatened or feel threatened.
Non-emergency complaints — 480-948-7410
Tip! Put the non-emergency number in your phone so that you have it handy!
You can report any violation of town code related to STRs to the non-emergency number above. You should fully understand the new town code so that you can file an informed complaint.
Here is a seven-step guide to understand the new code changes for the purpose of non-emergency complaints.
- STRs are required to be “registered” with the town. If there is an STR nearby, you can check to see if they are registered and operating legally. You can check online at www.paradisevalleyaz.gov/rental. If the STR is not registered, report the violation.
The operator will be notified and action will be taken to rectify the situation.
Also, on the town website you have a right to obtain the owner’s name and contact information, the physical address and land line (required) phone number, and the local contact and emergency contact name and address. here is a per day fine for operating an unlicensed STR.
- Excessive noise is a violation of town code (there are special exceptions for licensed special events which are not common). The town regulates noise by time of day. Between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m., noise cannot exceed 56 decibels.
Fifty-six decibels are equivalent to a coffee percolator or normal conversation.
Between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m., permissible noise levels are reduced to 45 decibels. Forty-five decibels are equivalent to the hum from a refrigerator.
You should report any noise violations to the town. A police officer will be dispatched to verify the violation take enforcement action. If two or more neighbors report a noise violation, a citation will likely be issued. In this instance, the neighbors reporting the noise must be willing to testify in a court proceeding.
- Enforcement action for code violations will be issued if STRs: (1) operate any adult-oriented business, performances, parties or activities; (2) have any public urination or defecation, nudity or sexual acts that are visible from another property or the street; (3) rent to sexual offender (owner must perform a background check on anyone who is staying at the STR; (4) Motor homes, campers, trailers, boats, buses or similar equipment allowed to be stored on the property may not be used for sleeping or habitation purposes.
Report any of these code violations. You should know that STRs must have a responsible party who responds within one hour when requested by police at the scene.
- STR owners or designee must meet guests in person upon their arrival, present copies of rules and regulations and keep records of compliance. If police are summoned for other violations, they will be checking for compliance. If you are aware of people “checking in” without an in-person attendant, report the violation.
- Trash and refuse can only be placed at the street beginning the evening before trash day pick-up and ending at sunset on trash day. Except for trash day, cans and refuse may not be visible from the street. Littering, exposed garbage or trash is a violation of town code.
- There are requirements for specific information to be included on any internet platform listing an STR for rental. One such requirement is that every on-line listing must display the Transaction Privilege Tax (“TPT”) number issued by the state. If you are aware of an on-line listing without displaying a TPT number, you should report that to the town.
- There are requirements of STRs for: (1) liability insurance; (2) smoke and carbon monoxide systems; (3) fire extinguishers; (4) fire safety and emergency evacuation map; (5) air filters; (6) local land line phone; (7) cleaning between bookings consistent with CDC guidelines; and (8) pest control. If police are summoned to the STR, they have the ability to check for compliance of town code with additional citations issued for violations.
It is important to know that any and all violations are cumulative with escalating series of fines. The town also has fines associated with events deemed an “Unruly Gathering.” Multiple violations increase fines and are counted separately.
Aggravating factors increase fines to the next higher level and may require the property owner to reimburse the town for any costs related to the police department. Ultimately, bad owners or operators are subject to loss of license by the state.
The town encourages all code violations to be reported. Working together, we can eliminate bad operators.