Florida League of Cities

Vacation Rentals (Oppose) 

SB 280 (DiCeglie) and HB 1537 (Griffitts) are comprehensive bills dealing with short-term rentals. Of concern to cities, the bills do the following:

Impact on Local Governments

The bills maintain the current preemption on local governments from adopting zoning ordinances specific to short-term rentals, as well as regulating the duration of stays and the frequency in which the properties are rented. 

Local Registration Programs 

The local government has 15 business days after receiving an application for registration to either accept the application or issue a written notice specifying all deficiencies. Both parties may agree to extend the timeline. If a municipality does not accept or deny an application within that 15-day window, that application is deemed approved. 

As a condition of registration, the local registration program may only require the owner or operator of a vacation rental to:

•Pay a fee of no more than $150 per unit for processing an individual registration application and a $50 per unit yearly renewal. A local government may impose a $300 fine for failure to register. 

•Charge a reasonable fee for inspections to ensure compliance with the Florida Building and Fire Prevention Code. 

•Renew their registration no more than once per year per unit, unless the property has a change in ownership.

•Submit identifying information about the owner or the property manager and the short-term rental being registered.

•Obtain a license as a transient public lodging establishment by the Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR).

•Obtain all required tax registration, receipts or certificates issued by the Department of Revenue, a county or a municipal government. 

•Maintain all registration information on a continuing basis so it is current.

•Designate and maintain a property designee who can respond to complaints and other immediate problems related to the property, including being available by phone 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

oHB 1537 ONLY – Requires the responsible party to respond to a complaint or emergency by 9 a.m. the next calendar day.

•Pay in full all municipal or county code liens against the property being registered. 

•State the maximum occupancy of the short-term rental based on the number of sleeping accommodations for persons staying in the short-term rental. 

June 1, 2011, Grandfather Provision

The bills maintain the grandfathering of ordinances that were adopted prior to June 1, 2011. Additionally, the bills clarify that cities may amend grandfathered ordinances to be less restrictive without voiding those ordinances. 

Impact on Advertising Platforms and DBPR

Advertising platforms will now be required to:

•Collect and remit all required taxes.

•Require each person listing a property as a vacation rental to include in the advertisement the state license number and, if applicable, the local registration number. They will also be required to attest that the license and registration numbers are valid.

•By January 1, 2026, the advertising platform will be required to check and verify the license number of all listings with DBPR prior to posting the advertisement. Additionally, license numbers must be checked at the end of each calendar quarter with the department.

•Remove from public view an advertisement from their website within 15 business days after notification by DBPR in writing that a vacation rental fails to display a valid license number.

•Adopt an anti-discrimination policy.

Revocation/Denial of License

A local government may revoke or refuse to renew a vacation rental registration:

•An owner’s vacation rental registration has been suspended three times.

•There is an unsatisfied municipal or county code lien, so long as the local government allows the owner at least 60 days before the termination to satisfy the lien.

•The premises and its owner are subject of a final order or judgment directing the termination of the premises’ use as a vacation rental.

•A local government may suspend a local registration for up to 30 days if a short-term rental is found to have one or more violations on five separate days for violations of another local law, ordinance or regulation in a 30, 60 or 90-day period. (Wagoner)