Ducey signs bill protecting Airbnb, VRBO renters

Above: Glenn Odegard, who purchased a dilapidated home in Jerome, planning to turn it into an online renter. He received permits from the town, only to have them taken away (Photo: jjvallee / 123RF Stock Photo) Politics | 12 May, 2016 |

Short-term home online rental services such as Airbnb and VRBO have been restricted by some local governments in Arizona, and the state passed a law banning those restrictions.

Thursday, Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey signed a law that stops local governments from turning property owners into outlaws simply because they allow paying guests to stay in their homes through popular “sharing economy” services like Airbnb and VRBO.

In Arizona, Jerome, Sedona and Scottsdale have either banned vacation rentals or severely restricted them. Senate Bill 1350, sponsored by Sen. Debbie Lesko and passed with bipartisan support, is the first law of its kind in the country and ensures property use restrictions are limited to true health and safety concerns.

“This law is a huge win for property owners statewide. Gone are the days when you could face jail time and thousands in fines for renting out your house to tourists,” said Christina Sandefur, the executive vice president of the Goldwater Institute and author of the model bill that SB 1350 was based on.

The Goldwater Institute has represented homeowners whose rights to use their property as a vacation rental have been taken away or restricted. One of those homeowners is Glenn Odegard, who purchased a dilapidated home in Jerome, with the purpose of turning it into a vacation rental.

Town officials gave him building permits, and even a business permit, to restore the former historic home. After Glenn spent hundreds of thousands restoring the home to its former glory, town officials changed their minds and said he could no longer use the home as a vacation rental. The Goldwater Institute took Jerome to court to protect Glenn and dozens of other Jerome homeowners with vacation rentals.

This new law puts an end to that lawsuit and protects Glenn and future homeowners that want to use their homes as vacation rentals.

“Arizona has a long tradition of protecting private property rights. This new law brings that tradition into the 21st Century by protecting homeowners who want to take advantage of new technologies and platforms to earn a living or supplement their incomes,” said Sandefur. “In combination with Arizona’s law that protects homeowners against eminent domain and regulatory takings, this law makes Arizona, without a doubt, the most property-rights-friendly state in the union.”

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