Carmel sends letters telling residents to take down Airbnb listings

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CARMEL, Ind. – The city of Carmel is cracking down on Airbnb users.

The city is notifying users that listing their spaces on the website is a violation of zoning ordinances. Airbnb is a housing network that allows travelers to temporarily rent homes, apartments and rooms.

4 Fast Facts

  • Carmel sends letters to people listing homes on Airbnb
  • City says renting space is in violation of zoning ordinances
  • Homeowners have 10 days to comply with order to delist
  • Homeowners can also apply for a variance

Officials said Carmel residents with Airbnb listings must remove them within 10 days or face further action from a Code Enforcement inspector. As of Wednesday morning, Airbnb had more than 180 listings for the Carmel area.

According to the city, officials have seen an increase in the number of homes in Carmel listed on Airbnb and similar websites. They’ve received a number of complaints from neighbors, homeowners associations and representatives from area hotels.

The city sent letters from Building Commissioner Jim Blanchard. (Read the letter here)

“Although we share in the excitement and appreciation of the many new ways in which we can connect with each other globally and do business by using modern technology for travel and entertainment purposes, we must also be sensitive to the impact these new things are having on our community – including your neighbors and our local businesses,” the letter said.

Homes located in a “residential single family” zoned area must be used as a single residence, not as a business.

“Your home is in an area classified as a Residential Single Family zone, which means you are welcome to use your home as a residence. But you are not able to suddenly turn it into a restaurant, a dry-cleaning business, factory or—as is apparently the case now—a hotel or bed-and-breakfast,” the letter said.

“Doing so would be unfair to your neighbors and to our local businesses and would be contrary to the community’s zoning laws.”

The letter informs recipients that there is a legal process in which they can ask for a zoning variance allowing for different use. Residents interested in applying for a variance or zoning change can contact the Planning and Zoning Department at 317-571-2417.

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