Miami Beach city commissioners voted Wednesday to lower fines for people caught illegally renting their homes, condos or apartments.
Illegal renters will now face a $1,000 fine instead of the $20,000 fine, which had been in place for years. The change comes after the city lost a 2018 lawsuit with a homeowner who sued after being fined $20,000.
“We are going to continue to enforce but we are also going to lower fines,” said Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber.
Allan Yeaman and Joannie Juarbe own a condo in Miami Beach and are against the lower fines.
“You’re not sure who’s coming and going there’s a lack of security,” Yeaman said.
“And the residents don’t like comings and goings of strangers,” Juarbe said.
Haresh Israni lives in Miami and says he avoided buying a home in Miami Beach because there were too many short-term rentals.
“My real estate agent he said to me, ‘Miami Beach has too much tourist short-term rentals and your neighbors are not possibly going to be respectful of you because they don’t live there,’” Israni said.
But some residents don’t mind the lower fines or the extra foot traffic.
“Tourists bring life to the city,” said Freya Romero. “People can do with their apartments whatever they want.”