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Miami Beach Might Crack Down Harder on Airbnb, Spend Fines on Affordable Housing
Miami Beach — a paradise for both tourists and the people who cater to tourists — remains one of the most repressive cities in America when it comes to room-sharing.
In most of the city's residential zones, short-term rentals have long been illegal. Lately, the city has dropped the hammer on Airbnb users, jacking up fines to $20,000 a pop this year. The city has levied more than $3.2 million in fines since March.
But that's apparently not enough for the city: Miami Beach might soon force short-term renters to check in with the government before advertising any of their properties online.
At the city's next commission meeting December 12, commissioners will debate cracking down even harder on the few short-term renters who are able to do so legally. Vice Mayor Joy Malakoff, along with Commissioners John Elizabeth Alemán and Michael Grieco, are proposing that anyone advertising a "transient" (or short-term) rental must first register with the city or else receive a warning. If renters continue to flout the rules, they'll face a $1,000 fine.
Commissioners will also discuss a separate ordinance that would use money collected from people caught "advertising" or renting their properties illegally to help the homeless. Advertising, in this case, mainly means using Airbnb.
According to city documents, the rule change is meant to serve as a failsafe and second layer of fines to make it even more expensive for short-term renters to rent out their places illegally in Miami Beach: