Unregistered Airbnb fined $250 per day

Unregistered Airbnb fined $250 per day
This duplex at 302 North Shore Drive in Anna Maria has been operating as an Airbnb but is not registered with the city as a vacation rental. - Joe Hendricks | Sun

ANNA MARIA – Special Magistrate Karla Owens has levied a $250 per day fine for the unregistered operation of an Airbnb vacation rental at 302 North Shore Drive.

Owens issued this order during the Tuesday, April 30 code enforcement and appeals hearing at Anna Maria City Hall.

The rental at 302 North Shore Drive is being advertised on Airbnb but is not registered with the city in accordance with the city’s vacation rental ordinance.

When issuing her ruling, Owens also gave the property owner, DLVAMI 302 North Shore LLC, until the end of the day to pay $587 in registration fees, pay an additional $150 administrative fee to help cover the hearing costs and provide the city with all documents required to register as a vacation rental.

Owens said if those conditions were not met by day’s end a $250 per day fine would begin accruing the following day and continue accruing until the matter is resolved. According to Mayor Dan Murphy, the Airbnb remained unregistered at week’s end. According to the Florida Division of Corporations website, Denise Valley has incorporated and dissolved four LLCs at that address, including two that list 302 North Shore Drive Suite C as the address.

According to the Airbnb listing, the Airbnb host is named Floyd and four of the five Airbnb reviews posted in April mention Floyd by first name only. The Airbnb listing addressed at Tuesday’s hearing lists a $97 per night rental rate and touts the property as the “best deal on the Island.”

State records list Floyd Calhoun as the registered agent for three dissolved LLCs using the 302 North Shore Drive address – including the dissolved Here Realty LLC that listed both Valley and Calhoun as registered agents.

Neither Valley nor Calhoun attended Tuesday’s hearing.

When presenting the city’s case, City Clerk LeAnne Addy said the unregistered Airbnb was discovered on Oct. 23 by the city’s contracted screen scraping firm that conducts online searches for non-registered vacation rentals.

A warning notice was sent to the LLC’s Anna Maria Post Office box on Oct. 24. A second warning was sent on Nov. 26 and a third on March 7. The last notice stated the alleged infractions would be addressed at the special magistrate hearing if not addressed within five days.

“As of today, they’re still advertising on Airbnb and they’re not registered,” Addy said during the hearing.

Addy said the property owner owes the city a $297 registration fee for 2018 and a $290 registration fee for 2019. The fees are based on the city’s eight-person maximum occupancy allowance for a three-bedroom vacation rental.

City Attorney Becky Vose said the accruing fines would become a lien on the property if unpaid. Vose said if the lien is not addressed and continues to grow the city could eventually pursue foreclosure on the property.

During Tuesday’s hearing, it was not known or noted that the property is already the subject of foreclosure proceedings initiated last July by HMC Assets. Manatee County court records list Valley, DLVAMI 302 North Shore LLC, Calhoun and additional unknown tenants as defendants in the ongoing foreclosure proceedings.

A visit to the property on Tuesday revealed a second address, 302 B, painted near one of the elevated duplex’s four garage doors. The Airbnb website includes a second listing for the property that mentions a pending full-scale remodeling effort and an anticipated total occupancy of 20-plus people.

“There is room for the entire family plus the in-laws plus the cousins,” the second listing says, noting the Airbnb rental has perhaps the largest swimming pool on the Island, spas and enough room to play volleyball.

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