Not enough oversight for rent-by-owner units

info@islandpacket.comJune 30, 2013 

We live next door to a "mini-hotel" in Sea Pines. Business is good. Every week, one to four new cars arrive.

According to the Packet, there are about 7,000 similar rentals on Hilton Head Island. As inconceivable as it seems, a business license is only required of those who own more than one unit not under rental company control. Individual homes could easily gross more than $100,000 per year. How many avoid the regulations? Only the town could estimate the loss in revenue, but it must be a large amount.

Perhaps more importantly, these same unmonitored units represent a potential tragedy waiting to happen. Unlike other vacation areas, such as the Outer Banks in North Carolina, there is no mandatory semi-annual or annual inspection of fire detection devices nor any established and posted maximum occupancy limits. Will the town be liable if and when something happens?

Stan Leavitt

Hilton Head Island

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