Miami Beach ‘Party House’ Shut Down

The owner and tenant of a multimillion-dollar “party house” at 1776 Bay Drive will cease offering short-term rentals and pay hundreds of thousands of dollars in outstanding fines to the City of Miami Beach.

“Upon review of the complaint and injunction motion, each of the defendants agreed to stipulate to a consent injunction that protects the city from any further nuisance conduct and provides for the payment of fines, the total amount of which will approximate $389,000,” Miami Beach City Attorney Rafael A. Paz said on Friday, June 9.

The City of Miami Beach filed suit against the property owner and tenant on Thursday, June 8 in Miami-Dade County Court seeking a temporary and permanent injunction to enjoin 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.

“This is a victory for the law-abiding residents of Miami Beach who had to put up with endless parties and raucous behavior in this single-family neighborhood,” said Miami Beach City Commissioner Alex Fernandez, who sponsored a resolution earlier this year endorsing efforts by the city to file lawsuits if necessary to enforce quality-of-life ordinances, including short-term rental and noise regulations. “We’re ready, willing, and able to strongly fight against the illegal commercial use of residential property to protect the quality of life in our neighborhoods.”

The suit named property owner 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 LLC was identified as the agent for the property and Weissman was identified as the tenant. Weissman will have to move out of the property no later than June 15 under the consent decree signed by all of the parties.

Under the agreement with the city, Krause agreed to “vet, in a manner to be approved by the city” any prospective tenants for the property to confirm that they do not intend to use or advertise the property for short-term rentals or other nuisance events.

Weissman agreed not to hold “any possessory or ownership interest in any property within the city’s territorial jurisdiction” for one year and not host any commercial parties or events at any residential property in Miami Beach for three years from the date of the consent decree.

Court documents said Weissman had 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 had been listed by various names in short-term rental advertisements, including Villa Bay, The Bay Villa and Villa Valena.

Since Feb. 8, 2022, the landlord and/or tenant had been cited with at least 45 violations of the City Code, according to the city’s lawsuit.

“While parties raged on at the property, including a birthday celebration with a cake featuring the City’s cease and desist notice on decorative frosting, the City’s Code Compliance Department and City Attorney’s Office were quietly amassing the documentary record necessary to establish that the property is a ‘public nuisance’ and that a court order was appropriate to enjoin any further unlawful conduct on the property,” Paz added.