OCEAN CITY — The good news on the short-term vacation rental issue in Ocean City is the majority of renters are acquiring the requisite business license and likely remitting the appropriate room tax, but resort officials are preparing to go after the scofflaws that are not.
For about two years, Ocean City officials have been monitoring the proliferation of short-term vacation rentals in the resort brokered by on-line platforms such as Airbnb and VRBO, for example. The concern has largely been on two fronts including the apparent lack of room tax collection on one hand and the sanctity of the neighborhoods in which the short-term rentals were located.
Airbnb, VRBO and similar Internet sites enable property owners to rent homes, apartments and even single rooms to visitors searching for accommodations by bypassing the traditional rental companies. Just as Uber and similar companies have transformed the public transportation industry, Airbnb, VRBO and similar companies have rocked the traditional rental industry with millions of available vacation accommodations in thousands of cities across the U.S. including Ocean City.