Holmes Beach officials issue occupancy violations

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HOLMES BEACH – Police and code enforcement officers are cracking down on vacation rental occupancy violators.

As of July 5, Holmes Beach Police Chief Bill Tokajer said seven notices of violation have been issued to property owners advertising for more than the legally allowable occupancy limits or for improper length of stay. Per the vacation rental ordinance, Holmes Beach allows two people per bedroom or six total per unit, whichever is greater.

Short-term rentals are allowed to rent for seven days or more. Rentals in other residential districts are allowed for 30 days or more.

Tokajer said the department sent letters to property owners advising them of the city’s intent to enforce occupancy and the requirement to post vacation rental certificate numbers on all advertising.

Though a notice of violation does not carry a fine, recipients are given a 72-hour grace period to correct the issue before it escalates to a special magistrate hearing where a fine would be imposed.

To identify violators, Tokajer said officers are combing through rentals advertisements and comparing them with building permits, business tax receipts and vacation rental certificates.

“All we’re looking for is people to come into compliance with the ordinance,” he said.