- Associated Press - Wednesday, June 17, 2015

OCEAN SPRINGS, Miss. (AP) - Ocean Springs will now require a property owner who wants to rent out a home or condo to live in the city or within two miles of the city limits.

The change to the city’s short-term rental ordinance came Tuesday on 4-3 vote by aldermen.

The Sun Herald reports (https://bit.ly/1GsBVqD ) the majority of aldermen decided they didn’t want absentee homeowners renting their houses out by the day or week. The ordinance requires the homeowner to apply for a permit, but would allow him to designate an Ocean Springs resident to be the property manager and be on call at all times.

Beth Riley, a long-time proponent of vacation rentals by owners, said the latest quirk could be a deal breaker.

“It’s not fair to someone living in Madison, who’s building their vacation home in Ocean Springs,” she said. “Why can’t the aldermen live with outside owners?”

Riley said that with short-term vacation rentals, the homeowner can make enough money to improve the property and maintain it properly. When people rent out a house by the year, something that takes no ordinance, the owner can’t make enough money to pay taxes and insurance, let alone deal with the damage that long-term renters can cause, she said.

The ordinance says all homeowners within 500 feet of a property would be notified by mail that the owner was applying for a short-term rental permit. The city’s zoning board would recommend granting the permit or not after a hearing.

The board of aldermen would have the final say.

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Information from: The Sun Herald, https://www.sunherald.com

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