Avondale’s short-term rental policy is now in effect, so now if you want to rent out your home, you’ll need a license.
The ordinance was approved by the City Council late last year and took effect Feb. 1.
Anyone who rents their home out short-term will now need to obtain a license or could face fines ranging from $500 to $3,500, with repeated offenses potentially leading to license suspension. And each day that a property operates without a license constitutes a separate offense under the ordinance.
Avondale joined a list of cities in the Valley that have recently added new regulations on short-term rentals.
The city is currently doing a 90-day grace period, meaning unlicensed properties will start to receive penalties on April 30.
There are an estimated 400 to 500 short-term rentals in Avondale, said finance and budget assistant director Keith Fallstrom.
While there haven’t necessarily been any issues in the past concerning short-term rentals, Fallstrom said the ordinance will ensure the city is prepared to address any issues as they come up. Avondale looked at what other cities in the Valley are doing, including Glendale and Phoenix, to craft its own regulations.
The ordinance will also help to protect public health and safety, Fallstrom said. When someone obtains a license for a short-term rental, the city will get the emergency contact information. That information has to be visible in a clear spot by the entrance so that emergency responders can easily find it, Fallstrom said. If there is an issue, the owners would have to respond to contact within one hour.
The owners and operators will be required to notify their neighbors and provide them with emergency contact information. While neighbors can’t prevent the property from being a short-term rental, having the contact information of the owner and operators will make it easier for them to report things like trash in the yard or loud noise.
Background checks will also be required to ensure that short-term rentals don’t house any sex offenders. Some sites, like Airbnb, can perform background checks. But if the third-party site doesn’t perform background checks, that will be on the owner and operator to do, Fallstrom said.
The ordinance also requires liability insurance of $500,000. The two major sites, Airbnb and VRBO, provide liability insurance of $1 million, meaning the liability insurance would not be an extra burden to owners and operators using one of those two main sites, Fallstrom said.
The application fee for a license is $250. More information and a direct link to the application portal can be found on the city’s website.