Sedona launches short-term rental criticism website

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When it comes to short-term vacation rentals in Sedona, feelings are mixed. And while it’s legal to own and operate under state law, not every guest obeys the rules.

Now the city has a better way of understanding and keeping track of the issues that may arise.

The City of Sedona has partnered with third-party provider LODGINGRevs to set up a 24-hour hotline and incident reporting form that people can use to report concerns, issues, or issues with a short-term rental.

“The first is that we actually know how many vacation units are listed in the Sedona and vicinity,” said city manager Justin Clifton. “With this information, we can track trends and see if the market is expanding. With LODGINGRevs, however, we also have an optimized system for registering emergency contact information and accepting complaints.

“Not only should this provide residents with a better response to short-term rental problems, it should also provide us with better and more comprehensive information to use the legislature and governor for better law and control on the ground.”

Those struggling with short-term rentals can call the 24-hour short-term rental hotline at 203-5110 or fill out the online incident report form either on the city’s website at sedonaaz. gov / str or directly on the LODGINGRevs website at lodging.munirevs.com/complaint/?citvid=688.

Information submitted via the hotline or an online incident reporting form will be forwarded to the person listed as the short-term renter’s emergency contact for a response. Sedona City officials will follow up as necessary with the information that is stored in a central database.

The passage of House Bill 2672 by Arizona state law in late 2019 gave cities the ability to collect emergency contact information from short-term renters, according to a press release. “This process will evolve as we work with city government, code enforcement, police, and other internal stakeholders to gather information and resolve issues,” said Megan McRae, city management analyst. “By creating a database of valid and reliable impact data, we no longer have to rely on anecdotal or speculative information.”

The total cost of this program is $ 35,000, including $ 4,140 for the hotline component and the rest of the monitoring.

Last year Arizona Rep. Bob Thorpe [R-District 6] met outside a crowded house in Sedona City Hall to discuss short-term vacation rentals. During that meeting, staff said the city doesn’t seem to have a problem when it comes to “party houses”. The crowd also let out a loud gasp.

“That was the first hint that there might be problems that people don’t know about,” Clifton said in a December interview with Sedona Red Rock News.

During that interview, Clifton said when he was counting the number of short-term vacation rentals in Sedona, it was not that easy to go to the various vacation rental websites and add them all together as many homeowners advertise the same home on different websites. It’s also about eliminating timeshare and even hotels that also advertise on these websites.

To further complicate matters, when it comes to realizing how big the problem of short-term rentals can be, no numbers were collected prior to the signing of Senate Act 1350, which allowed short-term vacation rentals across the state in 2016 and banned cities and counties to regulate. Previously, short-term rentals were banned in Sedona, but they were still operated illegally.

“We can hold the owner accountable, which I think we would only do in good faith,” Clifton said in December. “When an owner says, ‘I am ready to do whatever I can to make sure my tenants are calm and sensible,’ and we see that, I don’t think we will be persistent. But for those who advertise that it is a great place to party or negligently respond to problems, I don’t think we would hesitate to use that authority and issue a quote. “

In terms of “party” houses, Airbnb announced a global ban on all parties and events on Airbnb offerings late last month, including a 16-year occupancy limit. This party ban applies to all future bookings for Airbnb and applies for an indefinite period until further notice.

According to Airbnb spokesman Mattie Zazueta, the company took numerous steps in the past year to address parties on its platform. In addition to the ban on parties and the introduction of an occupancy limit of 16 guests, a “party house” ban was previously announced – a ban on listings that lead to persistent nuisance in the neighborhood. The company also has new technology to stop parties and a new post-COVID community policy requiring hosts and guests to comply with local public health regulations to limit gatherings.

However, none of Airbnb’s new policies are enforced by other rental companies. Homes that violate Airbnb’s policies can use other booking companies or market themselves directly to potential renters.

For more information or to find out how we will handle an incident that you have called or reported online, contact McRae at mmcrae@sedonaaz.gov or 203-5199.

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