Judge Blocks City Of Miami From Targeting Airbnb Hosts
A Miami-Dade judge has temporarily blocked Miami’s city government from going after thousands of Airbnb hosts accused of illegally renting their homes by the day and week.
Prompted by a lawsuit filed last week by the popular home-sharing platform and five of its hosts, Judge Beatrice Butchko issued a temporary restraining order late Wednesday that bars Miami’s code compliance department from enforcing the city’s short-term rental ban in residential neighborhoods. Butchko, in issuing her order, ruled that the city was preempted by state law from enforcing its policy.
“On behalf of our Miami host community, we are grateful to the Court for giving this important matter immediate attention,” Airbnb said in a statement. “We are hopeful that it will result in relief and fair treatment for the 3,000 Miamians who responsibly share their homes on Airbnb.”
The impact and scope of Butchko’s ruling was still being parsed Wednesday evening by Miami’s legal staff. But it appears her decision protects all Airbnb hosts throughout the city — plus anyone renting their homes by the day and week through other mediums — as attorneys for the company and the city litigate their case. That could easily take months.
“We are disheartened by the court’s preliminary ruling, which disregards the city’s zoning laws that protect the sanctity of our residential areas,” Miami City Attorney Victoria Méndez said in a statement. “We will appeal.”
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