By Brian Bandell – Airbnb filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Miami against the City of Miami Beach with accusations that it’s unfairly regulating its short-term rental business.

There’s a lot at stake for Airbnb in this litigation. Miami-Dade County is by far the largest market in Florida for Airbnb hosting guests, the company has disclosed in previous reports. Miami Beach is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the county and traditional hotel rooms there can be expensive to book, so short-term home rental can be an attractive alternative. 

Airbnb hits Miami Beach with lawsuit over regulation

Airbnb hits Miami Beach with lawsuit over regulation

Miami Beach officials have been strictly enforcing the city’s rules on short-term rentals – anything less than six months and one day. The city prohibits short-term rentals in all single-family homes and in most of the multifamily buildings, and fines for violating these rules start at $20,000.

The city passed its ordinance regulating short-term rentals in September 2018. It required short-term rental platforms to take down postings in violation of the city’s rules. Miami Beach could fine a home-sharing platform $5,000 per violation of this rule.