Short term rental ordinance now in effect; licensing deadline is May 5
Published on February 07, 2023
ORO VALLEY, Ariz. (Feb. 7, 2023) – On Jan. 4, the Oro Valley Town Council approved an ordinance establishing rules, regulations and licensing requirements for short term and vacation rentals (e.g. Airbnb, VRBO, etc.). The ordinance went into effect on Feb. 3; however, understanding that some individuals may need time to become familiar with the licensing process, Town Council allowed for a 90-day implementation period during which time the ordinance will not be enforced. The deadline to register short term rental properties is May 5, and enforcement of the ordinance begins May 6.
Town staff will be assisting short term and vacation rental owners as they navigate the licensing system and requirements during this 90-day time frame. Registering for a short term rental license will be similar to the online process for applying for a business license. Owners will need to prepare a list of required documents, provide neighbors notification of intent to rent, evidence of insurance, evidence that the property is registered with the Pima County Assessor as a short term rental and a form of personal identification to apply. Short term rental licenses will be $80 a year—the same cost as a Town of Oro Valley business license.
On March 8, Town staff will offer two online question and answer sessions for short term rental owners regarding the new regulations or rental process. The meetings will be conducted using Zoom. The first meeting will be from 9 – 11 a.m. The second meeting will be from 3 – 5 p.m. Zoom links will be provided around March 1 with a press release, on social media, as well as the short term rental web page, which can be found here.
After May 5, Town staff will begin to enforce the ordinance and will start investigating complaints received regarding possible lack of licensing, not displaying the neighborhood notification form on the property, or lack of a town license number on rental promotions. It is important to note that the Town will not be proactively inspecting properties. Rather, staff will respond to public complaints received.
Why did Oro Valley implement this ordinance?
In accordance with state law, short term and vacation rentals have always been permitted in the Town of Oro Valley. Thus far, rentals have not been problematic. In fact, they contribute to the local economy. However, due to their growing popularity, the Town decided to implement a licensing system to ensure that short term and vacation rentals continue to be successful while also ensuring safety and quality of life for surrounding neighbors.
Where can I find more information?
For online information about short term and vacation rental regulations, please refer to the short term rental web page (link posted above), or visit the short term rental application web page by clicking here. For questions during the 90-day implementation process, please call Sarah Cox at (520) 229-4831 or email email@example.com.
What are the important dates I need to remember?
- Feb. 3 – Date the ordinance went into effect
- March 8 – Town staff will hold two Q&A informational meetings via Zoom. Meeting 1 will be from 9 to 11 a.m. Meeting 2 will be from 3 to 5 p.m. Zoom links will be provided on or about March 1 via press release, social media and the short term rental web page.
- May 5 – Deadline to register short term rental properties
- May 6 – Enforcement of ordinance begins
Other frequently asked questions
- What are short term and vacation rental properties?
Short term or vacation rentals are dwelling units used as a rental term of less than 30 days to transient guests. They are considered the same as traditional dwelling units. Rentals cannot be used for non-residential uses including retail, restaurant, banquet space or other similar use.
- What are the Town’s responsibilities with rentals?
The Town’s ability to regulate rentals is limited to protecting public health and safety in accordance with Arizona law as well as ensuring that property owners register their rentals, and the appropriate tax is collected. The Oro Valley Police Department will respond to noise complaints or other disturbances.
- Do short term or vacation rentals pay tax to the Town? Where does this tax go?
Yes, all rentals in Oro Valley are required to pay both a Transaction Privilege Sales Tax and a Transient Tax (commonly known as a bed tax), both of which are collected by the State of Arizona. The Town of Oro Valley imposes a 2.5% Transaction Privilege “sales” tax. These revenues are used to finance the cost of various Town services including things like police, fire, parks, streets, libraries and economic development initiatives.
- How does the Town use the licensing fees that are collected?
The $80 fee is based on the specific costs related to the technology, staffing, materials and other costs needed to process short term rental applications and issue rental licenses.
- How do I know if a property in my neighborhood is used as a short term or vacation rental?
With this ordinance, Oro Valley requires that all owners of short term or vacation rentals register with the Town. Arizona law also requires that an owner of any type of residential rental property register with Pima County. Also, a neighborhood notification will be posted on the rental property premise.
- Are rentals allowed in every Oro Valley neighborhood? Can my neighborhood prohibit them privately?
Except in neighborhoods where Homeowner Associations restrict or regulate these types of rentals, they are allowed in all residential neighborhoods in Oro Valley if the rental is licensed with the Town. Neighborhoods may be able to regulate rentals through voluntary private agreements. These agreements, commonly known as private deed restrictions, are regulations that the Town cannot enforce or provide advice on how to implement them.
- How do I file a complaint?
For complaints related to short term or vacation rentals, or zoning code violations, call the Community and Economic Development Department at 520-220-4800. For criminal complaints, call the Oro Valley Police Department at 520-229-4900.