Owner of Phoenix apartment building serves eviction notices to every tenant so he can turn their homes into unlicensed hotel rooms

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2019/08/19/wanderjaunt.html

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Arizona, the Mississippi of the South West. Need evidence, go there, but buy a round trip ticket for a clean get-a-way…


The more supply that goes online, the lower the market price will be for short term rentals. At some point, the arbitrage opportunity goes away. The current dynamic indicates that there is a relative shortage of short term rentals.


And an absolute shortage of affordable living space for anyone not in the top 10%

But I guess the invisible hand of the market will resolve that in no time ???


"… McPherson had “elected to take the experience into a progressive new direction and turn the entire building into short term rentals.”

They must have been laughing their asses off when writing that into the eviction notice.


The link points to another news article titled “Disability Workers Suing Arizona For Failure to Pay Wages.”
The correct one is https://www.phoenixnewtimes.com/news/phoenix-landlord-evicts-tenants-short-term-rental-wanderjaunt-11345084.


Thank you! THeir site does that thing when you scroll to the bottom of an article where it autoloads another beneath it and refreshes the URL in your location bar!


I just met a guy (read: snobby douche) that started a company doing short-term rentals of brand new condos and apartments while they work on leasing them long-term. I asked the guy what happens when they’re successful enough that these housing options never actually get leased, tightening an already over-priced real estate market (Denver). He just looked at me real blank with his MBA smile, and then said “That’s not a viable long-term outcome”.

Sure buddy, you just don’t want to hear you’re part of the problem. Keep talking about how you’re real excited to “Shake up this vertical”.


Such bad faith machinations inspire the vindictiveness to well up within me. All I can think is “set it on fire when you head out the door.”

I fully get why that’s a bad course of action for many reasons, but damn. When all pretense of “them” no longer giving any degree of a shit about “us” – beyond our ability to pay them every cent in our pockets – has fallen away, something is going to break.

I don’t often wish terminal testicle cancer on people, but when I do they are guys like this.

Short-sightedness has never stopped people like this before. It’s all about now, and now they can make a lot of money doing this.


Perfect karma: Rent his room for the night, and then flip it over and sell it by the hour to other people.


Does Phoenix and/or Arizona have laws regarding the licensing of hotels and motels? I’m not a lawyer, but it sounds like he’s trying to turn this building into a hotel while simultaneously trying to skirt the laws around the operation of hotels.


Whole state’s gonna be on fire pretty soon and folks will have to move anyway.


The article says there is a state law preempted the municipal regulations concerning this.

If not for the 2016 bill, McPherson’s decision to turn Westminster Apartments into a short-term rental hotel would likely violate Phoenix city code. Zoning ordinances prohibit property owners from operating a rental unit for stays less than 30 days in multifamily and single-family zones, according to Angie Holdsworth, spokesperson for the Phoenix Planning and Development Department. Before 2016, Phoenix officials also would have been able to require McPherson to alter his building so it complied with the city’s requirements for hotels. But the state’s pre-emption law means the city’s hands are tied.


How can the landlord unilaterally cancel a lease? Isn’t the tenant and the landlord beholden to the term of the lease?

Edit: This wasn’t actually meant as a reply to @renato, but a new, general comment, with the question aimed at anyone.


It sounded strange to me also.
But, since there is no one complaining about that, I suppose there is a clause in the lease allowing the earlier and unilateral termination.


I believe most standard Chicago rental agreements include a two month notice for the landlord to terminate the lease before it expires.

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Even places with such regulations and no preemptive state law have run into problems, with AirBnB et al filing multiple court cases to forestall action. My congressman says he is preparing a bill to prevent this, but it likely won’t go anywhere.

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So the basic war here is hotel tax for the public versus campaign donations from the disruptors to the politicians. How could it go any other way?


The only way this will resolve is if government steps in and bans airbnb and the like. That’s what government is for. There’s no point in whining. Vote in local elections.


Along with that note, my own brother is not an evil bastard like that, but he did take a different path in life than I ever thought he would and he went to a very world famous business school in Pittsburgh that shall go unnamed.

I worry about him sometimes because I think he is starting to rationalize everything in terms of free market capitalism and he doesn’t seem to care about people that much anymore unless he knows them.

I don’t expect him to become fully converted to Bernie liberal or anything, and I know he hates Trump, but I wish I could cut the business school indoctrination out of his persona and get him back to what he used to be though that may be selfish of me.

I honestly just don’t know where to ask or who to ask something like this so I thought I would try here- is there a way to stop business school graduates from becoming like your example and get them to re-establish a connection with Humanity more?

I can’t be the only person who’s seen this happen to a family member