Short Term/Vacation Rentals


NOTE:  The Town will soon be updating its Short Term Rentals code to align with recent legislation that has been included under A.R.S. §9-500.39. We look forward to public involvement as we work through this necessary update to the Town Code.


Short Term Rentals (STR)

“Short Term Rentals” also known as “Vacation Rentals” are dwelling units offered for a rental term of less than 30 days to transient guests. According to State statute, local cities and towns including Carefree may not regulate these types of rentals based solely on their classification or use.  However, local municipalities can limit the use of these rentals for nonresidential purposes as defined in the same State law.  Carefree’s Town Council passed Ordinance 2020-01 allowing for such oversight.  Also, State law does not preclude the ability for Homeowner Associations to regulate or restrict these types of uses. 

Therefore, Short Term Rentals are considered the same as traditional dwelling units and are allowed by-right in all residential districts, subject to the following:

  • All dwelling units and any accessory guest houses must be rented or offered for rent together and may not be rented or offered for rent independently.
  • Non-residential uses, including retail, restaurant, banquet space, event center, bed & breakfast, or other similar use is prohibited.
  • All Short Term Rentals have a Transaction Privilege Sales Tax and a Transient Tax liability. A Transaction Privilege Sales Tax license with the State of Arizona Department of Revenue is required.  Be sure to list Carefree as a region code on your license. Please visit to register.
  • All rental units, including STRs and Residential Rentals (long term), shall be registered with Maricopa County, in accordance with A.R.S. §33-1902.
  • The owner of a vacation rental shall register with the Town of Carefree the name and contact information of a person designated as an emergency contact, as well as contact information for owner or owner’s designed for responding to complaints.  The owner will also apply for a Carefree Business License.

To register your STR with the Town of Carefree, please fill out the SHORT TERM VACATION RENTAL REGISTRATION FORM (add link to our web page) and email it to Dennis Randolph at or fax it to 480-488-3845 attention Dennis Randolph.

Long Term Rentals

Also included under A.R.S. §9-500.39 are regulations for residential rentals or “Long Term Rentals”.  These properties are defined as the rental of real property for a period of 30 or more consecutive days for residential purposes only and not commercial. Residential rental properties are also subject to tax, transaction privilege tax (TPT), and there applied to those properties when engaged in business under the residential rental classification by the Model City Tax Code. Individual owners of taxable rental properties are required by law to obtain a TPT license with ADOR regardless if the owners rent the property themselves or employ a property management company.

Whether the property is rented short-term or long-term, the entire property must be rented as a whole.  Accessory buildings may not be leased, subleased, or rented separate and apart from the main building and no main building may be leased, subleased, or rented separate and apart from an accessory building.

Contact Info

Dennis Randolph
Code Enforcement Officer
(480) 488-3686