Saturday, September 10, 2011

New Orleans crackdown on illegal short-term rentals


When New Orleans officials this year vowed to crack down on illegal short-term rentals, they probably didn't expect to snag one of Mayor Mitch Landrieu's top political allies in the act. But when a complaint arrived in May that Henry Coaxum -- Landrieu's hand-picked chairman of theNew Orleans Business Alliance -- was operating a five-bedroom home in the Kenilworth subdivision as a guesthouse, officials demanded he shut it down.
henry_coaxum_mitch_landrieu_hilda_solis.jpgView full sizeHenry Coaxum, left, joined Mayor Mitch Landrieu, center, and Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis, right, for a news conference July 11 on a program for sparking economic growth in urban areas.
The property in eastern New Orleans, advertised on several vacation rental websites as "Malvern Villa," features an in-ground pool, an outdoor bar and a renovated kitchen. It sleeps 18 guests and rents for $600 a night, with a two-night minimum for weekday stays and a three-night minimum on weekends, according to the sites.
Under city law, owners of properties not on the approved roster of licensed and permitted short-term rentals can get slapped with a $500 fine and at least 30 days in jail if they "offer to rent ... any living accommodation" to anyone for less than 60 days in the French Quarter or 30 days elsewhere in New Orleans.

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