Deaths at Kendall home raise issues with short-term vacation rental operation

KENDALL, Fla. – The Kendall luxury home at the center of an ongoing investigation into two deaths was part of a problematic short-term vacation rental operation.

Since June, Miami-Dade County code enforcement officers had issued a series of citations related to not following COVID-19 emergency orders pertaining to short-term rentals.

The citations at the home at 19330 SW 136 St. had triggered a three-strike rule that code compliance said puts the owner’s certificate of use in jeopardy of being revoked.

The rule, which is part of the measures Miami-Dade authorities are taking to keep coronavirus infections under control, also included a police watch order for five weeks over the Summer.

Property records show Michael P. Hanna is the owner of the home. He could not be reached for comment on Tuesday or Wednesday. Records show he is a licensed real estate broker with an active certificate of use to operate a short-term vacation rental at his home.

Mystery at Kendall mansion: Detectives ask public for help solving case of 2 deaths

On Tuesday, there were advertisements for the home on several short-term rentals including Airbnb, which profiled the home as a “Lake House Villa” with 5 bedrooms. The profile had been removed by Wednesday.

David Martinez was among the neighbors who had complained about the home’s suspicious houseguests and disruptive parties. He said the short-term rental operation had become a nuisance to the quiet family-friendly neighborhood.

As crime scene investigators gathered evidence in the home on Tuesday, Martinez said the situation was so dire that seeing a Crime Scene Investigation van there didn’t shock him.

A crime scene investigations' van is parked in front of a home where two people were found dead on Tuesday in Kendall. (Copyright 2020 by WPLG - All rights reserved.)

“We knew something was going to happen,” Martinez said.

On Wednesday evening, the death investigations were still ongoing and the police department had not released any more information about the case.

Detectives were asking anyone with information about the death investigations to call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-8477.

About the Authors:

Christina returned to Local 10 in 2019 as a reporter after covering Hurricane Dorian for the station. She is an Edward R. Murrow Award-winning journalist and previously earned an Emmy Award while at WPLG for her investigative consumer protection segment "Call Christina."

The Emmy Award-winning journalist joined the Local 10 News team in 2013. She wrote for the Miami Herald for more than 9 years and won a Green Eyeshade Award.