Over the past two years, I have been working on the fight in Miami Beach to allow property owners to make fair and best use of their homes – including the right to rent those homes short-term.
After talking to dozens of property owners, local and national media organizations and conducting extensive research, I have come to the conclusion that the majority on Miami Beach wants the ability to rent short-term, and that is well within their rights to do so.
Today, due in part to my work with the national non-profit civil rights organization, the Goldwater Institute, we are one step closer.
Just this morning, the Goldwater Institute filed suit against the city of Miami Beach in regards to the protection of rights for property owners who want to offer their private homes to overnight guests. The suit, filed simultaneously against the cities of Seattle, WA, and Pacific Grove, CA, is based on the argument that Miami Beach and these other cities have caused residents to be deprived of the right to do so by imposing astronomical fines, cumbersome processes, and outright bans.
Miami Beach was built as a vacation destination and has always relied on tourism as the lifeblood of the city. In fact, three-quarters of all properties in Miami Beach are non-homesteaded vacation home or investment properties. Tourism drives Miami Beach’s local economy and breeds new business opportunities for local residents. So-called “vacation rentals” are the properties that pay the taxes, which fill the city’s coffers to pay for schools, emergency and community services, and infrastructure improvements.
Miami Beach is a tourist mecca, but crackdowns on home-sharing are making it more difficult for travelers to vacation here. In the City of Miami Beach, Airbnb generated an estimated $253 million in local economic impact last year. Nearly a third of visitors’ dollars were spent at local restaurants.
The current “sharing economy” technology has empowered homeowners and travelers to connect better than ever before. Online home-sharing platforms enable people to rent their homes to visitors to make money and help pay their mortgages and property taxes. Consumers and especially families benefit from more choices and lower prices. Miami beach attracts visitors who support local businesses. Home buyers and investors are given an incentive to buy dilapidated homes and fix them up.
For those who argue that having short-term rentals bring disorder and unruly people to Miami Beach – the facts just do not support it. The city of Miami Beach already has an arsenal of local rules and police powers to address these issues. Instead of issuing exorbitant fines for simply advertising a short-term rental property, code enforcement should focus on policing incidents of over crowding, noise complaints, or unkempt properties.
It’s my hope with this lawsuit and ongoing efforts by the Goldwater Institute that we will be left with reasonable regulations to protect and encourage property rights while allowing our city to flourish and continue to be the tourist destination as it was designed to be.
For Media Inquires & Interviews, Contact: JG@24-Group.com
VIEW STATISTICS RELATED TO SHORT TERM RENTING AND MIAMI BEACH