This letter was sent to Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and Attorney General Ashley Moody and arrived at their office April 29, 2020.
On that same day, Governor DeSantis issued Executive Order 20-112, which continues the prohibition of vacation rentals in perpetuity.
There is no set duration, end date, or object standard for expiration. Our property rights are conditioned on the subjective whims of one man. As a vacation rental manager managing over 360 properties and an owner of eight short term rental units ourselves, I was appalled at the singling out of our industry in the Executive Order.
What reasoning did DeSantis use to shut down vacation rentals and allow hotels and timeshares to continue to operate–while at the same time FEMA, along with other state agencies and counties, were contacting vacation rental managers to place COVID-19 positive guests in our units?
We need your support to rectify what I believe is to be the illegal taking of property from Florida vacation rental owners.
We estimate we will need $100,000 to pay a deposit to a law firm to file a lawsuit. The minimum for those owners who wish to join us is $500. This would mean we need 200 owners participating to raise the $100,000. Our ideal Plaintiff would be an investor vacation rental owner who has more than one property and lost considerable income during the taking period. We have set up a gofundmepage to facilitate the raising of the capital for the initial deposit we believe is needed to initiate a lawsuit.
We do not know where the venue would be for a lawsuit. We believe the case would need to be brought in a county with a history of protecting property owner rights. This will need to be researched. If the court decides in our favor the State would most likely appeal. The case would likely move to the State or Federal Appellate Court, and then on to the Florida Supreme Court or U.S. Supreme Court.
We would most likely plan on asking the Coalition for Property Rights and the National Association of Independent Businesses (NFIB) to write Amicus Brief. Amicus briefs are legal documents filed in appellate court cases by non-litigants with a strong interest in the subject matter. The briefs advise the court of relevant, additional information or arguments that the court might wish to consider on our behalf.
To be transparent, the Florida Vacation Rental Management Association (FVRMA), is not supportive of our actions. To our dismay, they even suggested to the state that STR’s have a mandatory 3 day waiting period between reservations (email attached)! I am not sure who the FVRMA thinks they are representing, but they certainly are not representing my business interests.
This email is coming from me and there is no agreement in place from any attorney other than to evaluate our options. I am now just trying to gauge interest and whether we have enough support to raise at least $100,000 as the legal fees and expenses will be a lot to handle a case of this magnitude and I realize there is no way to predict how the case will turn out at this point.
The $500 payment towards the litigation would be 100% refundable if we do not get to our goal of $100,000 or if you decide you do not want to move forward under whatever engagement agreement is proposed when we get to that point.
To engage an attorney, we would have to comply with all Florida Bar ethical rules which is why I am sending this on my own to gauge interest. To start the process please visit our page on https://www.gofundme.com/florida-vacation-rental-owners-illegal-taking-fl a $500 payment towards the goal.
Contact Jeff Paglialonga at firstname.lastname@example.org.
There appears to be a solid offensive being mounted already that’s being coordinated by Joe Godar, Karen Lugo, Jonathan Beigle, etc. It’s already about to hit $30k and they have vetted attorneys and are moving forward. No slight to your efforts Jeff, but we need to all unite behind one movement/course of action with regards to our funding and time.
Very interesting how this has peeled back the cover for some brands and organizations and allowed their true DNA to be exposed. Airbnb, the Governor, FVRMA’s bewildering suggestion to institute a 72-hr buffer, etc.
Thank you for organizing this. The singling out of the short term rental industry to shut down is completely illogical. Many are single family homes and would have been the safest option for anyone seeking accommodations for any reason.
Great idea. But the go fund me link is dead.