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Miami Beach is banning short-term rentals in the city once again to curb parties and reduce crowds as coronavirus cases rise in South Florida.
Business was slowly starting to come back for Andy Korge, who owns about 30 short-term vacation rentals in Miami-Dade County, most of them in condo hotels that are advertised on popular sites like Airbnb. It’s his main source of income.
Last week, the county ordered new restrictions on the industry — capacity limits and rental agreements were only allowed on a monthly basis.
“Obviously being a tourist market, our rentals are three, four, five nights,” Korge said.
But on Tuesday, the city of Miami Beach rolled it back completely, announcing that all short-term rentals in the city had close down again by Thursday.
Mayor Dan Gelber says with hotels, you can put in place CDC safety guidelines that can be inspected.
“Frankly we think those particular institutions right now are feeding the misbehavior on Ocean Drive,” Gelber said. “Loads of young people coming in, piling in — 4-5 or more in a room and running on Ocean Drive to have a wonderful party where no one is exercising social distancing, and we can’t have that during a pandemic.”
But those in the business, like Korge, say the blanket decisions are unfair. He says his condo hotel units often have the same security and housekeeping as the hotels and that his company is doing its part to stop the spread.
“I think the condo hotels need to be carved out of this order,” Korge said.