Short term rentals may get regulation - Tucson News Now

Short term rentals may get regulation

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

There are thousands of homes in Tucson which are unsold and the future doesn't look bright right now. 

The owners of many of those homes have found a way to make a few extra dollars while waiting for a buyer to come along.

Short term rentals.

A day, a weekend, a few days, a few weeks.

"We all understand trying to make a buck especially when times are down," says Marion Hook, owner of the. Adobe Rose Bed and Breakfast near the University.

But that is only one of two hats she wears.

The other is chair of the Small, Women and Minority Business Commission for the city of Tucson.

For the past three months, the commission has been discussing whether short term rentals should be regulated.

The conclusion is, it should and it is drafting a letter which will be sent to the Tucson mayor and council in the next few weeks.

"Let's make the playing field as level as we can for small businesses," she says.

According to Visit Tucson, the short term lodging business makes up 20% of the Tucson vacation and business stays.

That's 100,000 room nights which don't pay bed taxes, a major source of revenue.

The loss is estimated to be "in excess of $2 million," says Brent DeRaad, CEO of Visit Tucson.

But it's not just the revenue that has tourism officials concerned.

"Your want to make sure you have a safe experience for all involved," he says.

DeRaad believes an unregulated industry means there are too many unanswered questions about insurance, liability and personal responsibility.

He believes the concern is more widespread than Tucson.

"This is an emerging issue that states are taking a look at," he says. "And even at the federal level they are looking at what they may want or need to regulate the industry."

But that regulation may run afoul of personal property's rights which voters have said are important in Arizona.

There will likely be some pushback on that.

"We know it's coming," says Hood. "It's something we should probably hear."

She says the goal is not to put anyone out of business but to insure everyone in the industry has a business license and a certificate of occupancy.

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