New AZ law takes effect for short term rentals

New AZ law takes effect for short term rentals

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - A new Arizona law, now in effect, allows for homeowners to rent out their homes to visitors on home sharing websites like Airbnb without the worry of cities, towns, or counties from stopping them.

Last year, the City of Tucson considered drafting an ordinance to regulate short-term vacation rentals like hotels or a bed and breakfast.

Some of the ideas on the table included limiting the number of days guests can stay, making sure the host's property meets county health department standards, and requiring them to have special permits.

However, the City didn't get far with the proposal because the state stepped in according to Ward 6 council member Steve Kozachik.

"You can't pretend people aren't going to stay in these properties, so we want to make sure it's fair and safe for anyone involved," said Dan Gibson with Visit Tucson.

Local Airbnb host Christina Day supports the new law.

"It makes me feel more empowered," she said.

Day explained it's fun to meet new people and make a little extra money on the side at the same time.

"It's great. I have three teenagers, so it basically pays for all their extra-curricular activities," said Day.

Airbnb said there are about 7,900 hosts in Arizona. The average hosts in the state makes about $5,000 a year.

Local bed and breakfast owner John Higgins isn't against home sharing sites like Airbnb. He just wants the hosts to follow the same rules he must abide by as a business owner.

"We're held to different standards," said Higgins. "In a way, no, it's not fair. It's a question on the impact on the neighbors and the impact on the community."

Some Tucson neighborhoods are already feeling that impact and have even considered jumping on the home sharing bandwagon.

"With the Airbnb coming into the neighborhood, it's starting to change a little bit," said Patrick Gorman, who has lived in a midtown neighborhood on Speedway since 1999. "People come and go and you don't really get to know them."

Last month, Arizona Governor Doug Ducey announced Airbnb and the state have partnered to streamline the home sharing economy. Read more about it here: http://azgovernor.gov/governor/news/2016/12/partnership-streamline-home-sharing-economy

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