Myrtle Beach cracks down on illegal short-term rentals

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WBTW) – The City of Myrtle Beach is cracking down on people illegally renting homes short-term. According to city spokesperson, Mark Kruea, there have been over a dozen complaints this year.

“We get complaints all the time,” said Kruea. “Sometimes the neighbors will report a neighbor who’s renting illegally. Sometimes we’ll discover them by doing our own internet research. So far we’ve been completely successful in preventing that sort of illegal activity.”

Last year, city council changed the definition of “short-term” from 30 days to 90 days. Websites like AirBnB and VRBO advertise short-term rentals in the city but not all are illegal.

“We run into a problem when somebody rents out their house short-term in an area that’s zoned for permanent residency,” added Kruea.

In 2016, the city filed lawsuits against some homeowners. One of those homes was on 78th Avenue North.

“Some of the tenants they have here, you wouldn’t want your children to walk down the street,” said Harry Summer, who lives next door.

Summer said he’s not sure what happened in the case against his neighbor but the home was sold in the spring. However, he said he still sees weekly renters along his street.

“Two houses have received threatening, cease and desist letters from city code enforcement,” he added. Summer used to keep track and report the illegal rentals to the city but he said he’s given up.

“I sort of lost interest because I’ve made complaints to the city about my neighbors across the street who do those rentals,” said Summer. “And the city wants me to bring further evidence to the point that I got the impression they want me to go across the street and get the name of the renters.”

Kruea said you can call the city’s code enforcement department to find out if short-term rentals are allowed in your area. The number is 843-918-1200.