MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - The city of Myrtle Beach is cracking down on properties being rented out illegally as short-term rentals in residentially-zoned areas.
"Neighbors are not happy when that house next door is having a new family in there every four, five, six days," said Mark Kruea, spokesperson for the city of Myrtle Beach.
The city doesn't allow property owners in residential areas to rent to people for any length of time under 90 days, unless they've been grandfathered in.
"A residentially-zoned area is zoned that way for a reason," Kruea said. "It's for people to live long term and when you have a turnover every week with a new family, there's lots of cars, there's lots of noise, there may be additional trash that's generated from a short-term rental. It's just not compatible."
Myrtle Beach Construction Service Director Christopher Lee said the city has processed nine complaints so far this year about property owners renting out buildings short term in areas not zoned for it.
He said the complaints don't usually start until spring break and Easter, so those complaints were mostly from the last 80 days.
One of the property owners is now under a court order to not do any short-term rentals.
Three cases are still pending and five were found to have no merit, he said.
This week alone, Lee said the city received four additional complaints about short-term rentals happening illegally, so those are being investigated.
Lee said the complaints mostly come from people living in the Pine Lake Drive area, the Golden Mile and the Highlands neighborhood near The Market Common.
Rentals longer than 90 days are allowed in residential areas. All are required to have a business license.
Century 21 Broadhurst Real Estate Agents Mark Madonna and Linda Dixon said many clients from up north looking for second homes want to rent out their properties when they're not there, so they point them toward purchasing in areas zoned for short-term rentals.
"Something they can use, block out some dates for themselves and, of course, make some money," Madonna said.
They said the market for condos is picking up because more people are looking for investment properties.
"If they're priced within the market correctly, they go real quick," Dixon said.
"The condos are lower priced, but are bringing in sometimes more money because you can get the weekly rental and over the long term over the course of the year, your annual gross income is higher," Madonna said.