Miami Beach proposes major crackdown on short-term rental platforms

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By Scott Zamost, CNBC

Miami Beach, Florida, one of the most popular resort cities for short-term rentals, is cracking down on illegal listings by proposing strict requirements on how properties are advertised.

The sweeping changes to an existing law, if approved, could have a major impact on the short-term rental market.

"I wish Airbnb and some of these other home-sharing platforms would be responsible and simply say, 'We're not going to send people into neighborhoods which forbid this kind of behavior,'" said Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber, who is proposing the changes.

Miami Beach prohibits rentals for less than six months and one day unless the property is in a legally permissible zone, such as most of tourist-dense South Beach. Short-term rentals are largely illegal in the residential areas of the city.

The city already imposes stiff fines for illegal short-term rentals that start at $20,000 for the first violation. But the activity has continued despite the tough enforcement.

The mayor's proposal comes on the heels of a CNBC investigation last month which found the city trying to enforce regulations on illegal listings, through the fines and routine visits by code compliance. The investigation also found commercial companies leasing properties and turning them into illegal rentals, not only in Miami Beach but in other cities around the country.

Property owners who rent out rooms in Miami Beach are now required to have a resort tax certification number and a business tax receipt number, which is a business license. Since rooms are being rented out, owners must pay the resort tax to the city. Short-term rental platforms are not covered under the existing law.

The proposed amendment would require each property owner engaging in short-term rentals to "conspicuously display the city-issued business tax receipt number in every advertisement or listing of any type in connection with the rental of the residential property," the proposal states. "Failure to comply with this requirement shall create a rebuttable presumption that the residential property is being operated without the proper registration."

It is expected to be on the City Commission's agenda in July.

Miami Beach, Florida, one of the most popular resort cities for short-term rentals, is cracking down on illegal listings by proposing strict requirements on how properties are advertised.

The sweeping changes to an existing law, if approved, could have a major impact on the short-term rental market.

"I wish Airbnb and some of these other home-sharing platforms would be responsible and simply say, 'We're not going to send people into neighborhoods which forbid this kind of behavior,'" said Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber, who is proposing the changes.

Miami Beach prohibits rentals for less than six months and one day unless the property is in a legally permissible zone, such as most of tourist-dense South Beach. Short-term rentals are largely illegal in the residential areas of the city.

The city already imposes stiff fines for illegal short-term rentals that start at $20,000 for the first violation. But the activity has continued despite the tough enforcement.

The mayor's proposal comes on the heels of a CNBC investigation last month which found the city trying to enforce regulations on illegal listings, through the fines and routine visits by code compliance. The investigation also found commercial companies leasing properties and turning them into illegal rentals, not only in Miami Beach but in other cities around the country.

Property owners who rent out rooms in Miami Beach are now required to have a resort tax certification number and a business tax receipt number, which is a business license. Since rooms are being rented out, owners must pay the resort tax to the city. Short-term rental platforms are not covered under the existing law.

The proposed amendment would require each property owner engaging in short-term rentals to "conspicuously display the city-issued business tax receipt number in every advertisement or listing of any type in connection with the rental of the residential property," the proposal states. "Failure to comply with this requirement shall create a rebuttable presumption that the residential property is being operated without the proper registration."

It is expected to be on the City Commission's agenda in July.

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Business - U.S. Daily News: Miami Beach proposes major crackdown on short-term rental platforms
Miami Beach proposes major crackdown on short-term rental platforms
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Business - U.S. Daily News
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