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City of Scottsdale getting tougher on short-term rental properties

Four officers and a sergeant will be free to respond quickly to the parties, and they will be able to assess civil penalties for property owners and party hosts.

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — By the end of the year, the Scottsdale Police Department will have a dedicated unit responsible for handling nuisance parties at short-term rentals in the City

Four officers and a sergeant will be free to respond quickly to the parties, and they will be able to assess civil penalties for property owners and party hosts.

Councilwoman Betty Janik was one of the driving forces behind the new ordinance, which will take effect when the City begins its next fiscal year. 

Janik said she realized short-term rental properties and nuisance parties were a problem when she campaigned in 2020.

“The complaint that I heard most frequently was ‘My block is ruined. My neighborhood is ruined. We have short-term rentals. They drink. They do drugs. They’re wild,’” Janik said.

The key to the ordinance is enforcement, requiring property owners who rent provide a contact person to the City who can be on-site within one hour of a complaint.

“Once you have that emergency contact number it is easier to try to lessen the noise, the problems with the short-term rentals on a more immediate basis, in a more reasonable fashion,” Janik said.

Scottsdale police also deal with many complaints regarding noise according to Sgt. Allison Sempsis. Those complaints are often low on the list of emergencies to which they respond. The new unit will have to deal with the rentals and nuisance parties as its priority.

“We want this to be a deterrent so that our citizens feel safe in their neighborhoods, they have respectful neighbors, and that people also can come to Scottsdale and have a good time but know that they have to keep it within the limits and the ordinance of not being a nuisance party,” Sempsis said.

The Scottsdale City Council approved the new ordinance by a unanimous vote. The initiative will be funded, in part, by Proposition 207, which legalized recreational cannabis in the state.

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