Opinion

Hillebert: Education, collaboration key pillars in enforcing short-term rentals

Posted 12/7/22

There has been no shortage of news about short-term rentals in Paradise Valley over the past few years. In fact, the town council just finalized new ordinances to strike the right balance between the needs of our community and the STR industry and hosts.

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Opinion

Hillebert: Education, collaboration key pillars in enforcing short-term rentals

Posted

There has been no shortage of news about short-term rentals in Paradise Valley over the past few years. In fact, the Town Council just finalized new ordinances to strike the right balance between the needs of our community and the STR industry and hosts.

This marks a new beginning that will help address the concerns we have heard from neighbors, visitors and STR hosts. I am honored to start in my role as the town’s code enforcement officer, giving me the privilege to oversee these new, common-sense reforms and regulations.

I see myself as a liaison to the community. My job is to make sure everyone does their part to keep Paradise Valley the peaceful and prosperous community it has always been. I will spend most of my time educating the community about the new rules – and how residents and hosts can live within them.

The new STR rules are straightforward by design. STR owners/hosts must register for a permit — a simple process that is currently offered free of charge until Dec. 13.

Hosts should have cleaning protocols in place, including pest control and proper air filtration.

There is an emphasis on safety measures. STRs will be required to have fire extinguishers and a landline for renters (in case an emergency call to 911 must be made). Background checks are also required for guests, ensuring that sex offenders are not staying at STRs in our family-oriented neighborhoods.

Paradise Valley also requires hosts to provide their contact information that the town will provide the public. This information will also be provided to police or other first responders to require the host or manager to assist on-site within one hour. Of course, hosts cannot turn these private residences into a special event space or a banquet hall.

My goal — and the goal of the town — is to educate everyone on these regulations to ensure compliance. Ideally, there should be no need for “enforcement” (despite my title). But if it comes down to it, the town can — and will — enforce these rules, including suspending the STR permit of the host. This is a drastic measure and one that we do not take lightly, but it’s an important tool for the community to ensure that these common-sense regulations are being followed.

My first step is to make this education and registration process as user-friendly as possible. I will be working with hosts and owners to ensure they understand their responsibilities and the responsibilities of their guests. We have created the Good Neighbor Brochure, along with a QR code and link for online access to the tools that make compliance as easy as possible.

The town will also continue to work with the STR platforms, like Airbnb and Vrbo, to make sure they not only understand the requirements of the hosts but also their own requirements for listings in the Town of Paradise Valley.

We will work collaboratively, within the rules, to limit the bad behavior we’ve seen in the past and adopt a new approach of mutual respect that benefits us all. I’m confident this is the best way to keep our neighborhoods safe, secure and peaceful.

Kristi Hillebert is the code enforcement officer for the Town of Paradise Valley.

Kristi Hillebert, town of Paradise Valley