Airbnb users warned of violating city laws

CARMEL, Ind. (WISH) – Homeowners in the Hamilton County city of Carmel who have offered their space for rent on the popular website, Airbnb.com have been warned to cease such advertisements immediately.

The city’s department of community services drafted a letter to addresses listed on the site notifying of a zoning violation.

24-Hour News 8 acquired a copy of the letter which said homes located in “Residential Single Family” zoned areas must be used as a single residence, not a business.

Carmel explained that businesses like hotels invest to meet requirements to legally operate and that operating rentals on Airbnb unfairly holds homeowners to different standards.

“Although we share in the excitement and appreciation of the many new ways in which we can connect with each other globally and do business by using modern technology for travel and entertainment purposes, we must also be sensitive to the impact these new things are having on our community – including your neighbors and our local businesses,” Jim Blanchard, the city’s building commissioner wrote in the letter.

The city offered residents to investigate applying for a zoning variance and the contact information necessary to begin that process.

“You are welcome to use your home as a residence. But you are not able to suddenly turn it into a restaurant, a dry-cleaning business, factory or – as is apparently the case now – a hotel or bed-and-breakfast,” Blanchard continued.

Blanchard demanded Airbnb users in Carmel to cease operations within 10 days to avoid further action by the Code Enforcement Inspector.

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