Airbnb has reached a settlement with the City of Miami Beach on 8/1 that can only be understood as Airbnb successfully covering their ass by requiring a mere fraction of the millions in fines Miami Beach has levied on them since the $20,000 fine for advertising STR’s went into effect.
By both parties admission, Airbnb never submitted a dime of these fines, before this lawsuit was filed. By Airbnb settling their claim with the City, they have agreed to pay $380,000 fine, and will now require that all hosts in Miami Beach disclose their BTR (business tax receipt) number in their listing. And Airbnb is required to create a field and have this BTR number displayed on the main listing page. This has already gone into effect on the website.
The City, clearly knowing that 95% of the zoning in our City banns STRs, has on the same day of this settlement, announced that they have passed a criminal statue - whereby submitting a false BTR number on line can be charged with the criminal submission of an affidavit, 60 days in jail and or up to $500 fine. The lawsuit specifies that Airbnb is not required to verify if the host provided BTR is a valid number - that was part of Airbnb’s basis for the lawsuit initially.
As for now, Airbnb has notified all Miami Beach host’s that listing will be deactivated on 8/7 if no BTR number is provided. The screen to submit a BTR on Airbnb discloses that your submission “may be” provided to the City for verification… The BTR submission requires you disclose your address to the City on the form.
The Mayor is gloating and released an immediate press statement claiming victory over illegal STRs, saying the City is protecting the resident’s quality of life against bad acting STR operators.
Meanwhile, on the same day, the Mayor and Commission passed a zoning variance for a hotel developer to double the size of the former allowable height. Exceptions for developers /hoteliers are expected, exceptions for the average Joe wanting to rent out their home are scoffed at. Funny town to be living in, a city based on tourism that won’t let its residents participate in that economy.