Frustration grows for Tempe neighbors living next to short-term rentals

The City of Tempe is one of the many Valley municipalities that requites short-term rental owners to have a license.
Published: May. 22, 2023 at 6:48 PM MST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

TEMPE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) - Miles Smith was happy to hear that no one got shot and nobody was hurt, but for a few terrifying moments early Sunday morning, there was all-out panic and chaos in front of his Tempe home. “I heard about eight shots from some type of weapon, then I heard different shots from a different gun,” said Smith. “People were screaming and running towards my home, hiding behind cars and stuff all around.”

A wild party and shooting at a short-term rental house off Warner Road and McClintock Drive in Tempe has once again shined a spotlight on the problem with short-term rentals. Complaints continue to roll in across the Valley about unruly renters, property damage and late-night parties that lead to criminal activity.

Kate Bauer is co-founder of the Arizona Neighborhood Alliance, a grassroots group that fights for homeowner’s rights. She said the City of Tempe is one of many Valley municipalities that now require short rental owners to have a business license and run background checks on renters.

But it hasn’t been enough to prevent parties and chaos at many properties. “There’s no reason for them to not continue operations as usual, because nobody, from what we can see, no one is being fined and no one is being held accountable,” said Bauer. She said the majority of short-term rental owners across the state have not bothered to get a license, even if they live in a city that requires one.

Brett Smith hopes state lawmakers step up and make changes so his family doesn’t have to hide on the floor at three in the morning again. “That part can be frustrating, because you don’t know who to hold accountable for something like this,” said Smith. “I have kids at home, and gunshots were going off, and that’s pretty alarming.”

Homeowner advocates are pushing for new state laws that would give cities more power when it comes to enforcement and guidelines for short-term rentals.