BISBEE — Any property owner in the city who intends to use a home as a bed and breakfast or any short-term rental for less than 30 days will need a permit come January 1.
Mayor Ken Budge and Councilmembers Leslie Johns, Frank Davis, Mel Sowid, Joni Giacomino, Juanetta Hill and Anna Cline approved the changes to the city code Tuesday night during the regular meeting.
Arizona statute allows the city to regulate vacation rentals and short-term rentals, so the city decided to move forward by establishing a process for property owners to obtain permits and follow procedures set in the new code. The code was adopted to benefit the general public by minimizing adverse impacts on the housing supply, public health, safety and peaceful enjoyment when visiting the city.
Prior to use of a property as a rental of less than 30 days, the owner shall obtain an annual vacation rental permit from the city. Renting, or offering for rent, a vacation rental without complying with the permit requirements is prohibited.
Information gathered by the permit process will establish a 24/7 contact with the property owner or a designated local person handling the property. It also requires proof of a valid transaction privilege tax license at the rate of 3.5%. A valid business license is required as well as verification the property owes no outstanding utility or other fees owed to the city. The vacation rental must be registered with the Cochise County Assessor’s Office. The number of available guest spaces and parking spaces must be noted. Liability insurance of a minimum of $500,000 must be procured.
Owners must comply with all applicable laws, regulations and ordinances, including the requirement that the owner and each designee shall not be a registered sex offender, been convicted of any felony act that resulted in death or serious physical injury, or been convicted of any felony use of a deadly weapon within the past five years. Also, within 24 hours of every booking and before a guest’s check-in, a sex offender background check on each booked guest shall be conducted by the owner or by the online lodging marketplace on which the vacation rental is advertised to ensure there are no sex offenders at the vacation rental.
The owner shall demonstrate compliance with this requirement by retaining a full copy of each background check for a minimum of 12 months after the booking date and providing the copy to the city upon a request by a police officer.
Starting Jan. 1, owners will need to apply for permits or face fines up to $500 or the amount equal to one night’s rent for the vacation rental as advertised, whichever is greater, for the first violation. A second violation will cost up to $1,000 or an amount equal to two nights’ rent for the vacation rental as advertised, whichever is greater. For a third violation and any after that the fee rises to $3,500 or an amount equal to three nights’ rent for the vacation rental as advertised, whichever is greater.
If an owner operates a vocational rental and fails to apply for the vacation rental permit within 30 days of the application process being made available, operations must cease immediately.
he city may impose a civil penalty of up to $ 1,000 per month against the owner if the owner or owner’s designee fails to apply within (30) days of receiving written notice of the failure to comply.
They also approved the notice of intent to adopt an ordinance which has new procedures for the transfer of city property which puts the burden of researching the parcel on the person wanting the land.
This includes the land surveys and an appraisal. The transfer of real property is subject to public auction.