Ocean Springs to Allow Short Term Rentals

An ordinance to regulate short term rentals is finally in place in Ocean Springs. But not everyone is on board with the idea.
News 25’s Kristen Durand breaks down the argument for both sides of the issue.
The Johnsons fell in love with Ocean Springs years ago, while staying in a short term rental to explore the city. “We’ve always stayed in short term rentals and if we had to stay in hotels in Ocean Springs, we never would have come back for the second visit,” said John David Johnson.
While the Johnsons reside in Madison, Mississippi, they also now own a home in Ocean Springs which they rent out to tourists while they aren’t using it.
A new ordinance approved by aldermen last night will give short term rental owners a business permit, license and a tax number, along with a list of regulations to abide by. While Mayor Pro-Tem Bobby Cox voted in favor of the ordinance, he understands why fellow aldermen have concerns. “If you live in a neighborhood and you’re not on vacation, it disrupts your way of life and so when people are partying until one, two or three o’clock in the morning and walking in your backyard, climbing your fence trying to trespass on your piers, that kind of stuff can’t be allowed,” said Cox.
John David Johnson said, “We have a rental agreement that specifically says this is not a party house. This is a place for families to come experience the Mississippi Gulf Coast; it’s not a place to have a bachelor party.”
These short term rentals bring up options for tourists in Ocean Springs where there are limited hotels. Beth Riley, another short term rental owner, said, “It attracts people who spend a lot of money here. They eat out probably every single meal that they stay here, and they spend money in the shops.”
The maximum amount of rentals the city will allow is 35.

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