The City of Miami Beach, Florida receives the November 2018 BAN Award for passing some of the harshest penalties and regulations on home-sharing in the country, threatening fines starting at $1,000 on the first offense and criminal charges as a third strike.
The law also forces online platforms to collect significant business and tax information on every home or apartment who wish to offer short-term rentals to tourists.
“Miami Beach’s draconian laws on home-sharing are nothing more than a protection racket for the hotel industry,” said Consumer Choice Center deputy director Yaël Ossowski.
“By passing the harshest penalties and regulations in the country – even up to criminal charges on the third offense – Miami Beach has teamed up with the hotel lobby to protect profits at the expense of hundreds of thousands of tourists and consumers who would otherwise use home-sharing to enjoy the beaches of southern Florida,” said Ossowski.
“There is an argument to be made about the responsible use of platforms such as Airbnb, HomeAway, and Home Exchange by homeowners, but the severity of these penalties far exceeds any perceived harm found in these communities.
“If Miami Beach keeps these rules, they are effectively banning innovation in tourism and housing and forcing consumers to only use hotels, as the costs, fees, and regulations for maintaining a home share are far too high to make sense for the average homeowner,” said Ossowski.
About the BAN Award:
Every month the Consumer Choice Center awards an institution, person, or organization with the Bureau of Nannyism or short BAN Award. The BAN Awards recognize the work of an individual or organization that has made major contributions to advocating limits on consumer choice. This award serves to recognize extraordinary abilities in disregarding consumers and evidence-based public policy. The award was created by the Consumer Choice Center to draw attention to the important role politicians, lobbies, and advocates play in limiting consumers’ choice and ignoring them in the policymaking process.
Selection criteria: The Bureau of Nannyism (BAN) is a group of consumer choice advocates that discuss nominations on a monthly base and award the nominee with the most innovative or most blunt actions against consumer choice with the BAN award.
The CCC represents consumers in over 100 countries across the globe. We closely monitor regulatory trends in Ottawa, Washington, Brussels, Geneva and other hotspots of regulation and inform and activate consumers to fight for #ConsumerChoice. Learn more at consumerchoicecenter.org.
Yaël Ossowski is a journalist, activist, and writer. He's currently deputy director at the Consumer Choice Center, and senior development officer for Students For Liberty. He was previously a national investigative reporter and chief Spanish translator at Watchdog.org, and worked at newspapers and television stations across the country. He received a Master’s Degree in Philosophy, Politics, Economics (PPE) at the CEVRO Institute in Prague. Born in Québec and raised in the southern United States, he currently lives in Vienna, Austria.