Avalara MyLodgeTax > Blog > State and Local News > New Phoenix law requires short-term rental hosts to register with city

New Phoenix law requires short-term rental hosts to register with city

  • Feb 11, 2020 | Jennifer Sokolowsky

Arizona sunset

Phoenix short-term rental hosts must follow new rules under an ordinance passed by the City Council. The new law requires short-term rental operators to register with the city, post contact information within their rental properties, and respond to police calls within an hour.

The city law, which went into effect February 7, also bans special events, nonresidential uses, and liquor sales at short-term rentals. Fines for violations of the new rules range from $500 to $1,500, and may be imposed on owners, managers, or renters. The state Department of Revenue may also impose fines ranging from $500 to $1,500 on any short-term rental hosts who receive citations from a city or county for violating vacation-rental use laws.

State law limits how much cities can regulate short-term rentals, but legislators passed a new provision last spring that allows municipalities to prohibit short-term rentals from hosting special events that would normally require a permit, such as large parties.

The measure reflected concerns about “party houses,” a hot-button topic across the state and the country as a whole. Airbnb has taken measures to crack down on party houses across its 7 million listings worldwide, after five people were shot and killed at a Halloween party in Orinda, California.

The state law, which went into effect in August, also allows cities to require short-term rental owners to register and to provide contact information for someone who can respond to complaints about the short-term rental in a timely manner.

Scottsdale passed an ordinance last fall that requires short-term rental hosts to provide the city with contact information for someone who can be reached in case of complaints or an emergency. The city also adopted a “nuisance parties” ordinance that allows police officers to issue civil citations for unruly gatherings at any residence, including short-term rentals. Fines are $250 for the first penalty, $1,000 for the second, and $1,500 for a third offense.

State legislators recently introduced bills that would place more restrictions on short-term rentals, but Governor Doug Ducey has said he would be unlikely to sign such measures, since Arizona already has legislation in place.

The existing state measure also requires short-term rental operators to have a current transaction privilege tax (TPT) license, which must be included in all ads. Hosts who break these rules face fines of $250 for a first offense and $1,000 for a second.

In Arizona, short-term rental operators are required to collect state TPT, county excise tax, and local transient occupancy from their guests and remit it to tax authorities. The state requires all short-term rental online marketplaces, such as Airbnb and Vrbo, to collect and remit state and local taxes on Arizona vacation rentals.

MyLodgeTax can help short-term rental operators comply with Arizona lodging tax registration, collection, and filing requirements. For more on Arizona lodging taxes, see our state Vacation Rental Tax Guide. If you have tax questions related to vacation rental properties, drop us a line and we’ll get back to you with answers.    

Lodging tax rates, rules, and regulations change frequently. Although we hope you'll find this information helpful, this blog is for informational purposes only and does not provide legal or tax advice.
Avalara Author
Jennifer Sokolowsky
Avalara Author Jennifer Sokolowsky
Jennifer Sokolowsky writes about tax, legal, and tech topics. She has an extensive international background in journalism and marketing, including work with The Seattle Times, The Prague Post, Avvo, and Marriott.
Avalara logo featuring a globe surrounded by colorful lines and swirls

Learn more about AZ lodging tax rules