Miami Beach Files Lawsuit to Stop Nuisance ‘Party House’
The City of Miami Beach has filed a lawsuit and Emergency Motion for Temporary Injunction against the owner and tenant of a property at 1776 Bay Drive asserting that the property has become a nuisance “party house” and illegal short-term rental that has amassed hundreds of thousands of dollars in unpaid fines and code violations.
“Despite the single-family residential character of the RS-4 district, tenant has been using the subject property as a ‘party house,’ causing frequent and reoccurring disturbances to neighbors,” according to the lawsuit, which was filed in Miami-Dade County Court on June 8. “Landlord has not taken any action to cease tenant’s disruptive parties and, on information and belief, has actually encouraged such use.”
The suit names property landlord Stephen Krause, The Nightfall Group LLC and Scott Weissman as defendants. Kraus purchased the property for $6.5 million in 2020 while The Nightfall Group was identified as the agent for the property and Weissman was identified as the tenant.
The city is seeking a temporary and permanent injunction enjoining the defendants from “maintaining a public nuisance” on the property together with court costs. The defendants were accused in the suit of operating an illegal short-term rental business with rates up to $7,650 per night. Short-term rentals are defined by the Miami Beach City Code as any rental for fewer than six months and a day.
“Since Feb. 8, 2022 alone, landlord and/or tenant have been cited with at least 45 violations total of the City Code based on activities at the subject property and have incurred substantial fines in connection with many of these violations,” the lawsuit stated.
Court documents said Weissman has a total rent obligation of $616,000 — or about $84,000 per month — under a seven-month lease that began in November 2022. The property has been listed by various names in short-term rental advertisements, including Villa Bay, The Bay Villa and Villa Valena.
“Despite there being hundreds of thousands of dollars due and owing to the city, and with interest accruing, the substantial fines imposed by Code Enforcement and the special magistrate still are not an adequate deterrent to stop landlord’s and tenant’s flagrant violations of the City Code,” the lawsuit charged.
In the coming months, the City also plans to amend its lawsuit to foreclose on liens on the property arising out of the unpaid fines. The City will seek to have the nuisance home sold at auction if the fines remain unpaid.