MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – Officials with the city of Myrtle Beach have filed a lawsuit against property owners who they said violated zoning laws by renting homes short term.
In a civil action lawsuit, the city lists three homeowners with addresses on Porcher Drive, 78th Avenue North and North Ocean Boulevard.
Myrtle Beach is certainly a vacation destination and city leaders said they have been monitoring where people are renting, and for how long, for years.
"The challenge is in a tourism town, where we are 30,000 permanent residents and yet we have millions of visitors every year, (is) balancing that residential and commercial need," said city spokesperson Mark Kruea. "And in some cases residential and commercial are right next door to each other. That's really why zoning is important in a town like Myrtle Beach. "I think the fact that neighbors complain when their neighbors do a short-term rental in the neighborhood speaks volumes as to why it's a problem."
Kruea added these are homes, not hotels.
Scott Hoback has been a property owner in the area for 10 years and said, thankfully, his neighbors are all homeowners or long-term renters who are considerate of neighbors and take care of the properties.
However, with short-term rentals, Hoback said that is not always the case.
"Well, (there is) the additional noise from the weekly renters, and they don't seem to take as good of care as the long-term renters or the residents do," he said.
From the city's perspective, the line is clear.
"The dividing line is 30 days, so anything that's 30 days is considered long-term rentals," Kruea said. "So you can rent your house out for 30 days, or two months or six months for long-term purposes."
As someone who spends a lot of his time in Myrtle Beach, Hoback can see why the city is taking action. He said many of his own neighbors are moving to the beach full time because they, too, are getting attached to the calm feel of the neighborhood.
"Laid back," Hoback said when describing the neighborhood. "It's a very quiet section of the beach and I'd certainly like to keep it that way," he said.
The city could not comment in detail about their case against the three property owners but did want to make clear a business license is needed for both short-term and long-term rentals.