The SUV slowly approaches an apartment complex in a quiet residential section of Miami Beach, Florida. On the second floor balcony, a group is gathered.
Code Compliance Officer Vijma Maharaj approaches, her body camera recording, and tells them she has bad news. The apartment they rented on Airbnb is illegal.
While tourist-dense South Beach, where the major hotels are located, largely allows short-term rentals, it's a different story in large portions of the residential areas of Miami Beach, where rentals under six months and a day are banned.
The eight guests in this apartment are booked for two nights.
It's a scene regularly repeated in Miami Beach as the city cracks down aggressively on illegal short-term rentals.
The renters, who book via the major vacation rental websites such as Airbnb, Booking Holdings' Booking.com and Expedia's HomeAway, don't get cited by the city, but the city usually requires the guests to leave the next day or as soon as they can relocate.
Airbnb said negative incidents like these don't reflect the overwhelming number of satisfied hosts and guests in 81,000 cities and 191 countries, and its experience successfully working with lawmakers around the world.
From Miami Beach to Los Angeles, local laws vary widely, but complaints about quality-of-life issues caused by illegal short-term rentals are similar, according to public records and dozens of interviews with city officials, residents, analysts and others connected to the home-sharing industry. For years, LA has battled illegal party houses in mega-mansions. Other cities like New York have stepped up enforcement. Boston is pushing back against properties being rented out as commercial operations.
"You can't throw a rock in the country right now without hitting a city that's moving to more aggressively regulate short-term rentals," said David Wachsmuth, an assistant professor at McGill University's School of Urban Planning, who has studied Airbnb around the world.