Your Property on Rental Websites
Local officials are reviewing short term rental websites, looking for code violations, cross-referencing the properties to be sure the owner does not have a homestead exemption, and checking to be sure the taxes are being paid for rentals of six months or less. If you advertise your property on the vacation websites, it opens your property to scrutiny by code enforcement officers and the Florida Department of Revenue. Some neighbors may complain about short term rentals, and inquire to the local government to ask if the property is complying with all local regulations applicable to vacation rentals. Also homestead exemptions are listed in the local property records. Before you advertise your home for rent, be sure you are in compliance with codes, local government laws, and neighborhood rules.
Neighborhoods Adding New Rules
Many Fl neighborhood Associations are passing rules prohibiting short term rentals. Some are changing from no rules to six month or one year minimum rentals. If you are considering offering your home for rent as a vacation rental, it is very important to consult with a knowledgeable real estate attorney to check the neighborhood rules, and know what may change in the future. Some neighborhoods do not have mandatory associations with the option to set rules.
Florida Legislature Law in 2011
In 2011, the Florida Legislature passed HB 833, which curtailed local governments’ abilities to restrict or prohibit vacation rentals. Fla. Stat. §509.032(7) prohibited local governments from imposing new regulations against short-term rentals based on their classification, use or occupancy, unless the regulations were in place before June 1, 2011. This law made it difficult for local governments to adapt existing regulations governing bed and breakfasts, hotels, and other lodgings, to the new short-term vacation rental model. The new law also caused the number of vacation rentals to increase rapidly in areas without existing vacation rental restrictions.
Amended Short Term Rental Law in 2014
As the number of vacation rental operations increased, local FL governments received many requests from concerned residents to put new vacation rental restrictions in place, but Fla. Stat. §509.032(7) prevented local governments from taking any action to address these concerns. Several groups lobbied the Florida legislature to provide amendments for local governments to regulate vacation rentals, and in 2014, the Legislature amended Fla. Stat. §509.032(7). Today, local governments are prohibited from prohibiting vacation rentals, or regulating the duration or frequency of rentals, but local governments are free to impose other reasonable regulations on vacation rentals. As a result, new ordinances regulating vacation rentals are being passed at an alarming rate.