Florida Senate Bill 280 And Short-Term Rentals

Short-term rentals
Short-term rentals in Florida may have some more regulations soon.

Florida’s market for short-term rentals has been strong for some time and has been growing. However, with that growth comes growing pains. Local governments have struggled to regulate short-term rentals, leading to concerns about noise, parking, and the overall character of neighborhoods. Enter Senate Bill 280 (SB 280), a piece of legislation currently making its way through the Florida legislature that aims to establish a statewide framework for vacation rentals.

What’s SB 280 do for short-term rentals?

SB 280 aims to establish a statewide framework for vacation rentals. Here are some key provisions:

  • Tax Collection: Advertising platforms like Airbnb and VRBO would be responsible for collecting and remitting tourist taxes on behalf of rental owners. This would streamline the process and ensure proper tax collection for the state.
  • Licensing: Vacation rentals would be brought under the umbrella of state-issued licenses. This would give the state more oversight and allow for enforcement actions against bad actors.
  • Standardized Listings: Advertising platforms would require rental owners to include specific information in their listings, such as license numbers and occupancy limits. This would increase transparency for renters.
  • Local Registration: While SB 280 establishes a state framework, it allows local governments to maintain registration programs for short-term rentals. This gives them some flexibility in managing rentals within their communities.

5 concerns about SB 280 for short-term rentals

  • The bill allows local governments to charge property owners a “reasonable” fee to process registration applications, yearly renewals, and inspections. (However, what is a “reasonable” fee?)
  • The bill allows local governments to revoke or refuse to renew registrations under certain conditions, but no requirements to inform renters.
  • The bill imposes maximum overnight occupancy limits.
  • The bill authorizes local governments to suspend registrations for “material” violations of local law, ordinance, or regulation that do not solely apply to vacation rentals, and the violation is directly related to the vacation rental premises.
  • The bill requires that vacation rental owners appeal registration denials, suspensions, non-renewals, and revocations to the circuit court within 30 days, with the court authorized to award attorney fees and damages to the winning party.

Summary

SB 280 has passed through several committees in the Florida Senate and is now awaiting a vote by the full chamber. Its fate in the House remains to be seen. Regardless of the bill’s ultimate outcome, the debate over SB 280 highlights the challenges and opportunities associated with Florida’s booming vacation rental industry.

Are you thinking about buying or selling real estate in the South Florida area? Perhaps even considering a vacation home? We can help! Contact Natasha at Live South Florida Realty, Inc. today! Also, don’t forget to download the free Florida Home Search app for your smartphone or tablet.

By natasha moore

REALTOR® with Live South Florida Realty, Inc.