Couple of tourists enjoying vacations

"While well-intentioned, the new rules don’t go far enough to protect property owners, vacationers or our local community."

The Scottsdale City Council recently updated the rules for property owners if they want to rent out their homes as short-term vacation rentals.

The new amendment to the city ordinance bans the use of rentals for hosting parties, weddings, etc., and also and requires property owners to provide the city with emergency contact information in case there is a problem, like an out of control party.

As the founder and CEO of Scottsdale-based Casago, which serves as the property management company for more than 2,300 vacation rental properties across two dozen communities in Mexico and the Southwestern U.S., my stance on the City Council’s recent actions might be surprising to some. 

While well-intentioned, the new rules don’t go far enough to protect property owners, vacationers or our local community.

As the rules now stand, the emergency contact can be anywhere in the world. They can be completely unreachable but compliant, without fear of penalty for failing to quickly resolve a concern at their property. 

Based on my experience, I can share countless stories of why it’s important that an emergency contact is local and in town. A point of contact that is on-call and present in the community ensures quick conflict resolution and makes everyone into better neighbors.

In every community where Casago manages properties, we have a local, on-call operations manager ready to jump in to resolve any issue. 

It’s also why we provide extra security measures like background checks for renters. This simple step not only helps protect property owners, but it helps protect neighbors and the community.

The short-term vacation rental market is a crucial part of the Scottsdale tourism industry, but it needs to be managed responsibly. 

Too often, amateurs purchase a home as a business venture hoping to make easy cash, only to realize it takes a lot of work to manage and maintain a rental property. 

Neighbors understandably become outraged when visitors don’t behave appropriately, but there are ways to manage that without creating a negative effect on tourism or against the vacation rental industry.

Arizona law prohibits Scottsdale City Council from banning short-term vacation rentals outright, but many agree there needs to be more oversight. 

State legislators have already begun talking about new solutions to enhance the rules and set the bar higher in 2020. 

I, for one, hope our Arizona’s leaders choose to do so. 

 -Steve Schwab is the founder and CEO of Scottsdale-based Casago which oversees more than 2,300 properties in two dozen communities across Mexico and the U.S.