City Council passes emergency vacation rental ordinance
WILLIAMS, Ariz. — The Williams City Council unanimously passed an emergency short-term rental ordinance at their Oct. 13 meeting.
The ordinance is a response to new statewide legislation that allows cities to regulate short-term rentals.
The new ordinance will require home owners to obtain a permit with various requirements in place.
In July, the Arizona Legislature passed legislation that now allows cities to establish a permitting process for landlords hosting short-term rentals.
Senate Bill 1168, is enacted to hold landlords accountable and prevent large groups from getting out of hand. The law does not require permits, but allows cities the option to create a permit for short-term home rentals. Cities such as Scottsdale, Mesa, Sedona and many others are now implementing permits.
The legislation is focusing on landlords who rent their homes as so-called party homes. Part of the permitting process requires informing neighbors that one's home will be used as a short-term rental. The city estimates between 1/3 to ½ of the homes in Williams are now short-term rentals and will be affected by this change
The new ordinance in Williams requires, among other stipulations, for landlords to have a fire/safety inspection signed by the city’s fire marshal.
There is also a $65 annual inspection fee, and homeowners must provide evidence of liability insurance. They must also live in the United States.
The city also will require a permit fee of $125 for the first year, and $75 for each renewal year.
The city may deny a permit if an applicant fails to fulfill the above requirements, is a registered sex offender, has been convicted of a felony resulting in death or serious injury or have been convicted of a felony with a deadly weapon with the previous five years.
Owners must also have an emergency point of contact who can respond to a vaction rental within one hour. For nonemergency contact, the owner must respond with 24 hours by email, text or phone.
That contact must be on file with the city. The point of contact must also be posted in the residence.
The city may impose penalties up to $1,000 if an owner fails to provide the information to the city. The city may also suspend a vacation rental permit for up to 12 months for three verified violations that include, aesthetic, solid waste disposal or vehicle parking that is threat to public health and safety.