Pace: Should short-term rentals mail notices to neighbors?

Posted 10/11/22

The issue of whether to require short-term rental operators to mail notices to neighbors when they start operating is before Town Council to vote on this Thursday, Oct. 13.

Currently the mayor, …

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Pace: Should short-term rentals mail notices to neighbors?


The issue of whether to require short-term rental operators to mail notices to neighbors when they start operating is before Town Council to vote on this Thursday, Oct. 13.

Currently the mayor, Anna Thomasson and Paul Dembow took the lead for the town to not require STRs to mail a letter notifying residents of commercial operations in your neighborhood. Councilmembers Julie Pace and Ellen Andeen support making STRs send mailed notices.

Why is it important for residents to receive STR notices of operations?

1. Safety and security. The best defense to avoid crime and issues is to know the rhythm of your neighborhood and who is coming and going. It is different if a permanent resident or long-term renter lives next door, rather than having a new group moving in each weekend.

Neighbors pay more attention to a transient house than a permanently lived-in house. Do you let your children or grandchildren play outside alone if you have a transient population next door, instead of a long-term neighbor?

2. Legal: Watch for violations of CCRs in your neighborhood. If you have CCR’s that restrict short-term rentals, your neighborhood or HOA should move quickly to get legal advice and place the STR or timeshare/fractional ownership operator on notice that it is in violation. Otherwise, a laches argument could arise that you sat on your rights and did not act.

Get to know real estate lawyers and learn what your CCRs rights are and how to protect them. Attorney Chris Combs and others have fought these issues against STRs for residents in town and won before.

3. New state law to regulate STRs is weak, but it provides this tool to require mailed notices of STR operations in your neighborhood, but only if Town Council adopts this requirement.

The STRs operators are asking councilmembers to not adopt this requirement because they are concerned that residents will become hypersensitive to the STR so they prefer not to mail notices.

Councilmember Anna Thomasson said she did not want STRs to give notice because the town does not require residents to give notice of teenagers moving in next door so why would the town require STRs to give notice.

Teenagers in a family is a residential use. STRs are a commercial transient use. There is a difference.

Our mayor’s argument against giving notices to neighbors is that the STRs will learn your name and address. That is another red herring. Anyone can go online to the Maricopa County Assessor’s office and the Arizona Corporation Commission and learn who owns the house next door. Ownership has been in the public record for decades, including in Delaware.

Besides, the STRs do not need to know your name, they just need to go down the street and list the addresses on the mailboxes that are across the street, diagonal or adjacent to the STR and mail the notice.

STRs can take a photocopy of the addressed envelope with postage and that is their evidence. Super easy. So don’t be fooled again as a resident, with red herring arguments that undermine preserving our unique community of Paradise Valley.

4. The mayor states that the town website eventually is supposed to identify all STRs in Paradise Valley, so he argues why make STRs give written notice, but instead he believes the burden should be on residents and HOAs to check the town website regularly to determine if an STR is operating in your neighborhood.

Why would we put that burden on our residents and HOAs to police a town website to protect their neighborhoods?

And, the website is currently non-existent. Further, STRs often fail to register anyway.

And, who will keep the website current in real time. There will always be lags and clerical errors to try and keep the website current and then residents will be frustrated with town staff. Let’s put the burden on the business to send written notices to residents, not on town staff.

Remember, I and others are the preservationists trying to preserve Paradise Valley. Be cautious of getting a pat on the head and a trust me response. We have to fight for quality of life and not be fooled by pro-development and pro-commercialization positions that undermine our unique residential living. Stay engaged if you do not want our town to slip.