Florida Gov. Rick Scott has signed into law a bill returning regulation of vacation rentals that allows local governments to adopt ordinances targeted specifically at rental properties, such as an inspection program or trash rules.
But unlike the initial proposed Senate bill — which was amended to protect weekly rentals while allowing prohibitions on nightly or weekend rentals — no minimum-stay requirement could be imposed under the House legislation which was enough to win over some property rights advocates.
City and county officials have been working to repeal the 2011 law that banned all local vacation rental regulations since it was enacted, but the effort gained a powerful ally this year in Sen. John Thrasher, a St. Augustine Republican who represents a community where rentals have been particularly controversial.
The version of the bill which reached Gov. Scott’s desk was a compromised version which was backed by the Florida Vacation Rental Managers Association.
“(The) vote in the House looks to be a fair compromise for all property owners,” association president Paul Hayes said in a statement. “This approach strikes a needed balance that we hope will protect Florida’s vital, $31 billion-per-year vacation rental economy.”
I live in a very nice community. I own the home across the street and was given a license by the State, County and also the City. In fact, the City employee directed me on how to obtain all 3 licenses. Now after 10 months I received a notice cease and desist by the City quoting their zoning rules.
During the City Council meeting the City Manager introduced to me the “home rule”. At that time I was unfamiliar with EXACTLY what it meant. Now that I have read it it is clear as mud. The cities can adopt rules without giving up their “grandfathered in status”. I wrote to Atty Gen Pam Bondi and she gave me information on other cities who asked questions. She could not give me legal advise, which I understand.
The Cities should be able to adopt other rules (other than trash, parking and inspection). For instance, 1. Requiring the owner to live/reside close enough to get to the property within a specified period of time ie: 30 minutes. 2) Restrict owner from placing the property in the hands of a rental management company. Management companies are the reasons we have short term rental problems. The management companies rent to just about anyone and they don’t screen their customers. Spring breakers are making it worse for people who want to rent to respectable adults, military and families who would like to have a home environment to stay in for their vacation stays.
3) Cities should be allowed to suspend or cancel the license for any property that becomes a problem or nuisance.
Because cities are scared to make any changes which may affect their grandfathered status they are standing strong on keeping the short term rentals out.