Update on short term rentals in Biloxi

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The short term rental issue in Biloxi has been a hot topic for residents and business owners, but the headaches may soon come to an end.

Short term rental is the rental of any residential or commercial dwelling for fewer than 30 days. For something that seems so simple, short term rentals have been causing a lot of uproar in the City of Biloxi. Ward 7 Councilman Nathan Barrett said, “We have had an issue with short term rentals coming up in areas throughout the city and it’s something that we have been dealing with for the past year.”

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With companies like Air BNB growing in popularity more short term rentals in Biloxi are popping up. Many of these rentals do not have the proper license to run their business. Community Development Director Jerry Creel said, “A number of units that were flying under the radar, we didn’t have them all. We had issued 16 licenses over the past three years.”

On Tuesday, after a year of discussion, the council decided to add some stipulations to the current ordinance that will make it more difficult to break the rules when it comes to having a short term rental property. “Everyone has to pay a one hundred dollar registration fee per year to get their permit for short term rental if they are in the area where short term rentals are allowed. They will also, if they break the rules or violate some terms of the agreement, it is a $500 fine per occurrence per day. We have certain regulations as far as number of parking spaces and requirements as to where these units can be.”

The council tabled this issue until their next meeting in two weeks to make sure the wording is correct due to all of the changes to the ordinance, but they will be voting on what they agreed on today. “I’m sure this isn’t the last amendment we will make to our ordinance, but it is a great step in the right direction.”

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