Last Updated: September 27, 2021

How Sedona, AZ was Able to Find a Solution in the Face of State Preemption Laws

More than five years ago, the State of Arizona passed a law barring local regulations of short-term rentals. Not long after, Sedona began taking steps to get a handle on the situation.
Posted by Lexi Whalen

In August 2016, a law was passed in the State of Arizona, going into effect in January 2017, overruling all existing city ordinances, to bar local regulations of short-term rentals (STRs). The Arizona State Legislature subsequently passed House Bill 2672 in 2019, enabling local jurisdictions to begin collecting emergency contact information from STR operators.

The Need

As a popular tourist destination with over one thousand STRs in the area, Sedona sought to get a handle on local complaints, begin collecting emergency contact information from STR operators, and start the process of gathering data to determine the impacts of STRs on the community—all while adhering to state laws around STR regulations.At the time of signing with GovOS (formerly LODGINGRevs), City Manager Justin Clifton stated to Red Rock News: “The first thing is that we actually know how many vacation rental units are listed in Sedona and the surrounding area. With this information we can track trends and see if it’s a market that is expanding. But with LODGINGRevs we also have a streamlined system for registering emergency contact information and taking complaints. This should not only provide better response to short-term rental issues for residents but also gives us better and more complete information we can use to lobby the legislature and the governor for better laws and greater local control.”

GovOS Short-Term Rental Solution

In 2020, Sedona began using the GovOS Short-Term Rental Solution to collect emergency contact information for STRs and resolve STR-related complaints via a 24-hour bilingual hotline and online form for local residents. GovOS was able to tailor the STR solution to fit within the statewide constraints in Arizona, enabling Sedona to get the data they needed while remaining within their legal requirements.

Our Results

Since September 2020, GovOS has helped Sedona collect emergency contact information for 84% of STR properties. Through this enhanced collection of information, Sedona is able to accurately reach out to contacts regarding complaints. Whether it is a trash violation or a noise complaint, the 24/7 hotline provided by GovOS can resolve these complaints with the correct point of contact. With the GovOS hotline, Sedona has resolved more than 260 complaints in the last nine months. An efficient outreach program like this can increase neighborhood involvement and support community preservation. Complaints can be routed to the appropriate points of contact including those that require outreach from city staff or even code enforcement.

About GovOS

In 2021, GovOS acquired MUNIRevs | LODGINGRevs – a leading provider of tax, licensing and compliance tools for local government. The same innovative payment orchestration engine that powered this project for the City of Sedona is now at the core of the GovOS software solutions, alongside other products that improve engagement at every step of a government’s digital transformation journey.

For more information, visit www.govos.com.

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