HOLLAND, Mich.- Holland is hiring some Silicon Valley software experts to catch non-resident property owners offering short term rentals without a permit.

“I couldn't more strongly recommend this,” City Manager Keith Van Beek told city council members

Wednesday night.

This spring Holland City Council approved a two-year pilot project for non-owner occupied short-term rentals.

It authorizes rental of up to 25 properties through sites like Airbnb, and to catch and stop any owners using web sites to rent their property without a permit, they are paying software company Host Compliance to find them.

“Our department does not have the technology, the staffing or the capacity to search the internet all day long,” explains housing inspector Tricia Dreier. “We are going to rely on Host Compliance. They are going to get us a list of addresses for people who are advertising property and the information we will need to take legal action if that becomes necessary.”

If they find any illegal short-term rentals the city will send a warning letter before taking legal action.

“We would just ask them to not continue to rent,” says Van Beek.

The city will also invite the property owner to apply for a permit in the pilot program. They still have 14 openings available.

“We haven’t received specific addresses about people who are operating short term rentals,” says Dreier. "It is more of a ‘I think my neighbor is doing it down the road.’ The people that have gotten their short-term rentals approved want to make sure their friends and neighbors are going through the same approval process and not trying to skirt the regulations.”

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