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Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Is AirBnB taking over neighborhoods?

There was a recent article in the Herald regarding AirBnB and the money it brings into the county.

The Herald article says, "According to the hotel association report, operators who list properties for more than 180 days per year brought in $93 million, accounting for three-quarters of Airbnb’s South Florida revenue." It went on to say that many places are on the AirBnB rental market for 365 days a year, whether they rent out every day is another issue, but the point being that people are running their houses or condos as full time hotels.

I am guilty of using AirBnB quite a few times when I have traveled, I have never rented out my home for the purpose, but have enjoyed being on the other end of the issue by renting people's properties at a discount from hotels in the area. One thing I have found when using AirBnB is that of all the places I've stayed, I have never stayed in anyone's own private home, even though they claim that that's what it is. There is never any clothing in the closet, the kitchens are bare and there is no sign of daily life, so I assume they use the homes to rent out only via AirBnB. One place in NYC even had daily maid service and the owner had many units in the building which she rented out, I assumed she owned the whole brownstone and ran it like a hotel.

The whole point of this is that there have been complaints about a "party house" in the North Grove that's apparently bothering the neighbors but they don't say why. It's 
going for quite cheap - $35 a night and during Ultrafest $50, which is very cheap for a whole house, which they state holds 20 people sleeping "dorm style!" The address was not given, but there is a house on our block that is always full of college kids. I wonder how they can have a party every weekend, but now it dawns on me that the house is probably rented out to groups weekly. They really are not loud or noisy or messy, except for the excessive cars around the neighborhood, so I am hesitant to say anything, but what do you think about this whole AirBnB situation? Does it affect your street? Does it bother you? 

I love it when I'm using it, I have not rented my own place out, but I know someone in our condo building that used to swap apartments, you know, he would stay in their place and they would stay in his and he saw the world that way, but we didn't even find out until he left, so there was never a clue and it really didn't affect us. Apparently he did it a dozen times or more. But ignorance is bliss and what we didn't know didn't bother us.

Read more here: Herald article says, "According to the hotel association report, operators who list properties for more than 180 days per year brought in $93 million, accounting for three-quarters of Airbnb’s South Florida revenue."The Herald article says, "According to the hotel association report, operators who list properties for more than 180 days per year brought in $93 million, accounting for three-quarters of Airbnb’s South Florida revenue."

For linking to this one story, just click on the time it was posted & just this story will open for sharing - only through social media. Not copying and pasting.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Illegal rentals are a problem in the Grove, Tom. My neighbor acted at the former Commissioner's suggestion and reported nuisances to the cops and the City cited the neighbor for 3 violations including illegal rentals under 6 months. Owner of rentals got deferrals, had the City Attorney drop the case, and counter sued my good neighbor for trespassing. Won't sign my name because I don't want to be sued.

May 31, 2016 10:49 AM  
Blogger Rudy Vila said...

AirBnB provides an economic alternative to staying in a hotel. We all appreciate an opportunity to save money much like Uber gives us. Unfortunately, for those of us in Florida, we have to remember that we derive a large amount of state revenue from hotel taxes. This in large part affords us the luxury of not paying state income tax as well as funds many public works projects.
I have no objections to people doing what they want with their properties as long as they abide by the same business practices and taxes payments that any hotel operator is subject to.

Rudy Vila

May 31, 2016 11:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tom you hit a hot topic not just in the Grove but South Beach.

The main issues are the "short term" rentals may not be allowed in certain areas and you are actually conducting a business/hotel in this case and there are regulation that have to be followed. "The Division of Hotels and Restaurants (H&R) licenses, inspects and regulates public lodging and food service establishments in Florida under Chapter 509, Florida Statutes (FS)."

This a big issues in the Condos as the bylaws may not allow for this but they have to be enforced. In my building it is happening the owners are taking in money, it is a Condo Hotel and and the "renter" are using all services of the hotel (for free) creates issues. I am OK with AIRBNB and other new business as long as they follow all regulations that applies to them.

May 31, 2016 11:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The taxes are now included in Airbnb. The company sends the taxes in for you.

May 31, 2016 2:34 PM  
Anonymous Carolyn said...

Regarding the party house on SW 17 Ave., I posted the story about the activities at that property on NextDoor - North Grove. Working with the neighbors, I presented a package of evidence to Code Compliance and the business has ceased; there is a hearing on June 2 and the case is in the City Attorney's office.

I'm sure that people who rent a room or two are careful about whom they rent to because they usually live at the property. However, the owner of the party house doesn't live at that property and it was leased to 20 plus partyers at a time, all the time. The neighbors suffered for years and finally approached us at an All-Grove Crime Watch Meeting.

Single family zoning prohibits short-term rentals, that is one of the reasons people choose to live in a neighborhood that is zoned only for single family uses; because multi-family uses are not allowed. Also, if you don't live at the property and are not picky about your tenants, you bring strangers into the neighborhood which can result in increased crime. At the party house, anyone could rent a "space" there; background checks were not performed so the potential for living with people that could be sexual predators, or with criminal records, was high.

Carolyn Simmons, Secretary/Treasurer
All-Grove Crime Watch
North Grove Resident

May 31, 2016 4:50 PM  
Anonymous Carolyn said...

Per the AirBnB website - and I assume that it first has to be a legal use in the zoning district which it clearly is not in areas zoned only for single family use.

In some tax jurisdictions, Airbnb will take care of calculating, collecting, and remitting local occupancy tax on your behalf. Occupancy tax is calculated differently in every jurisdiction, and we’re moving as quickly as possible to extend this benefit to more hosts around the globe.

Their website also provides details about zoning codes, etc. by city; the City of Miami included.

Carolyn Simmons, Secretary/Treasurer
All-Grove Crime Watch
North Grove Resident

May 31, 2016 5:01 PM  
Blogger Regina O'Brien said...

We have a second house in Coconut Grove that we are only able to visit 2 or 3 times a year, staying several weeks when we do. My husband's family has been in the grove for generation, and we love to go there. Our house is an Alfred Browning Parker- a 2 bedroom house on a large lot. I am very involved in Mid-Century Historic Preservation here in Los Angeles- and we both fell in love with this house. When we are not there we list the house on VRBO and Airbnb. We pay a form of hotel taxes that are a percentage of the rental through these services. It is presently not against the law to rent your house out for less than 30 days in the City of Miami. It is my firm belief that if we were unable to rent out our property, we would not be able to fund the mortgage and upkeep for this house, and would have to give it up, which would be sad for us, but would also imperil the house and put it in danger of being torn down. That would be a true loss for Coconut Grove. I know this is an unusual situation that is quite different than the college dorm party house described above, but I do think it's worth noting that there is quite a variety of hosts out there, and that blanket statements should probably be avoided.
Regina O'Brien Wronske

May 31, 2016 6:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I rent out my cottage and it is the same for us. If I did not get the help for my enormous tax and insurance bill, not to mention my mortgage, I would have to sell my 1930's cottage. Since our house is a 2 bedroom/1 bath, what do you think a developer would do with our South Grove house? Thank goodness for VRBO and Airbnb. I get very lovely people in my cottage that enjoy their real Grove experience. I live on the property, so we have never had a problem. If people want to make it illegal, I'll take my million and be on my way and you guys can suffer another McMansion.

June 01, 2016 6:03 AM  
Anonymous Carolyn said...

A blanket statement was not made; Short-term rentals are prohibited, long-term rentals are permitted in the single family district. You can view the Miami 21 code and the NCD, Neighborhood Conservation Districts, on line for full details.

The college dorm "party" house was definitely an unusual situation as compared to one or two rooms rented; and, it was so blatantly against code and totally disrespectful to the neighbors and neighborhood; the number of police calls every weekend put an extra burden on the police department; the excessive amount of trash that didn't get picked up was causing rodent and roach problems for the neighbors; cars; noise, different people weekly; etc.

June 01, 2016 9:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Much of Coconut Grove is zoned single family and short-term rentals such as AirBnB/VRBO are prohibited. So far, there has been very little enforcement, but given that Grovites are getting more active about everything from tree removal to big houses to peacocks to speed limits, you can expect this issue to be addressed sooner or later.

June 01, 2016 12:18 PM  
Blogger Regina O'Brien said...

Hello Carolyn,

Would you mind posting a url link to the official Miami Government site or webpage that states that VRBOs and AirBnB are prohibited? I know that legislation of this nature was passed in the incorporated Cities of Coral Gables and Miami Beach, but I am not aware of any similar prohibitions in the city of Miami.

June 01, 2016 3:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Regina, I hope the below information will assist you.

Miami 21:

June 02, 2016 1:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I am guilty of using AirBnB"

Why would you be guilty? What is guilty about not giving more money to old money and corporate money, but instead giving it to individuals. All of these new models - Uber, AirBnB, etc. provide a means for the 99% to be ever so slightly less reliant on corporations and the 1%, and instead fuel actual real capitalism.

We don't have capitalism in this country, we have long had a fixed game, whereby money flows one way, and the a select few decide how the rest of the caste system lives.

The motivations, and machinations of some folks very vocally commenting on this blog, well-connected from old money and connection to developers who own most of the grove (including lots of hotel rooms), should be considered.

June 03, 2016 3:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have my home on Airbnb. I am very particular about the guests that stay.. I state clearly that no parties are allowed. If I discover a party Airbnb agrees to have the guest removed. This has never occurred by the way. Airbnb offsets the cost of high taxes.. Eventually I would hope to have my remaining parent live there. I could not do this for mom or dad without Airbnb.

October 09, 2016 8:30 PM  

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