Scottsdale considers strengthening local laws to address noise, nuisance parties and short-term rentals

*Update* - The City Council adopted these ordinance changes May 6; they take effect 30 days later (June 6, 2024).

The Scottsdale City Council on May 6 will consider amending city code provisions to improve the city's ability to hold people accountable for noisy neighborhood gatherings which often occur at short-term rental properties.

Three ordinance changes will be presented for adoption: 

  • Promoters who use residential properties for nuisance parties will be defined and designated as a responsible party under city code, increasing the city's ability to hold bad actors accountable for causing nuisance parties in neighborhoods.
  • Scottsdale police will be provided the authority to remove non-residents from a property after a nuisance party is declared, something that is not easily done under existing city code.
  • Minors will be specifically prohibited from renting a short-term rental property, allowing the city to better enforce violations when necessary.

As these ordinance changes were drafted, the city offered them for public feedback through its online community engagement platform. Nearly 2,200 residents responded indicating widespread support for the proposed changes. Review the City Council report here (PDF).

These city ordinances would apply to all residential properties, not just to those offered for rent. However, the issue with nuisance parties is clearly more acute at short-term rental properties. 

Nuisance party calls for service in January-March 2024 increased 73% when compared to the same period one year ago. Of these, 48% are confirmed at short-term rental properties - and since those properties represent a much smaller percentage of the city's overall housing stock, it is clear they are home to a disproportionate number of nuisance parties.

“Scottsdale neighborhoods have consistently expressed frustration with short-term rental properties that market themselves as party pads and host loud, late-night gatherings,” said Mayor David D. Ortega. “No question, short-term rentals are both a nuisance and a hazard. We believe these ordinance changes will strengthen our ability to hold party promoters accountable.”

Why can't the city just ban problem properties and short-term rentals?

In 2017, Arizona State Legislature enacted A.R.S. §9-500.39 which eliminated the ability for local cities and towns including Scottsdale to regulate these types of rentals based solely on their classification or use. 

Since the state has preempted cities and towns on this matter, the city cannot prohibit short-term rentals nor pass an ordinance that is more restrictive than state law. Any changes to the authority cities like Scottsdale have regarding short-term rentals would need to be made by the Arizona Legislature.  

“During the current legislative session, Scottsdale led a coalition of 90-plus Arizona municipalities which presented reasonable regulatory reforms to the Arizona Legislature, but the legislature did nothing,” said Mayor Ortega. “The Scottsdale City Council will continue to implement every possible tool allowable under state law – we established a local licensing program, created a Short-Term Rental Unit in the Scottsdale Police Department, and we have vigilant code inspectors to report problem properties.”

Scottsdale residents and neighborhoods dealing with problem properties are encouraged to reference this guide:

Find more resources and information at, search "short-term rentals."


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