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Wellington cracks down on non-compliant short-term rentals

Posted at 7:45 PM, Jul 25, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-26 04:55:49-04

WELLINGTON, Fla. — There’s a crackdown on wild house parties being held at short-term rental homes throughout Wellington. Officials say they are now going after homeowners who give underage kids access to party. This comes after a major bash was hosted by a bunch of teens last month off Anhinga Drive.

The house party that was busted in June was the first one that highlighted the issue of not properly registering short-term rentals with the Palm Beach County Tax Collector’s Office. Not only can getting caught cost you money in fines, but a homeowner can also face felony charges.

“In a lot of cases it’s difficult to really tell on a regular basis if something is a short-term rental,” said assistant village manager Jim Barnes.

Barnes says they are counting on homeowners to do the right thing and become compliant before they are caught renting out their home. According to the PBC tax collector’s website, it costs $33 per property to register.

Even if you offer the property as a rental through a third-party such as VRBO, Home Away or Airbnb it’s important to create an account and follow all state and county laws regarding short-term rentals, which are six months or less.

“We don’t necessarily do sweeps specific to rental licensing or the business tax receipt for rental units,” said Barnes.

However, the Village of Wellington is hoping by partnering with the Palm Beach County Tax Collector’s Office they can prevent teens from throwing house parties at rental homes.

“They don’t care about the neighborhood, they don’t care about the house clearly they trashed that house last time they were here,” said Devin Cornell.

Cornell lives close to where the party off Anhinga Drive was held. He says he’s optimistic this crackdown will help keep neighborhoods safe.

“It could stop you know 200, 300 cars out here disturbing the neighborhood, keeping up the kids and doing dangerous stuff in the streets,” said Cornell.

The Village of Wellington says they will continue to discuss ways to be more proactive rather than reactive when it comes to cracking down on this. They are hoping neighbors will also do their part and report any property they believe isn’t compliant.

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