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Tampa Real Estate Lawyer > Blog > Real Estate > Florida Legislature Passes Changes To Short-Term Rental Regulations

Florida Legislature Passes Changes To Short-Term Rental Regulations


The issue of short-term vacation rentals has been a pressing one for the Florida real estate market, with multiple parties weighing in on the positives and negatives for some time. In the legislative session that ended in March 2024, though, the Florida legislature acted decisively, passing a bill that gives the state more power to regulate short-term vacation rentals through services like AirBNB and Vrbo. Both the Senate and House passed variations on the bills, though as of this writing, the governor still has to sign the bill.

Disputes Make Regulation Difficult

Vacation rentals have been a significant boon to many who own Florida properties, but not all. Through the last 10-15 years, there has been a tug-of-war between state and local governments for the right to oversee certain aspects of vacation rentals. Local governments have been permitted to handle smaller concerns like noise complaints or parking disputes, but the state has retained the rights to legislate duration or frequency of rentals.

The new bill seeks to give more power to cities, but not enough for many in local government. They argue that the disconnect over who handles what has caused problems for both their constituencies and visiting guests. A person looking to invest in the Florida real estate market may conceivably be more reluctant to purchase because they are unsure of which aspects of their property they can regulate without state approval.

Potential Problems For Renters & Owners

The new bill seeks to make changes to registrations, allowing local governments to charge a “reasonable fee” in an effort to cut down on unlicensed rentals – a report from Florida TaxWatch estimates that there are nearly double the number of unlicensed vacation rentals that there are licensed rental properties, with potential lost registration fees reaching almost $7 million by some estimates. In addition, a registration can be suspended for violations of other regulations (those that do not apply only to vacation rentals) if there have been 5 or more violations on 5 different days in a 60-day period.

If you are looking to rent or own property in Florida that could conceivably be used as a short-term vacation rental, and this bill is signed into law by the state’s governor, it may still be possible for you to rent your property – but it will be your responsibility to keep up with regulations, and you may have to be far more discerning with regard to tenants. A failure to maintain rules like the covenant of quiet enjoyment can be actionable not only for your tenants, but possibly for you.

Contact A Tampa Real Estate Attorney

While the bill has not yet been signed into law as of this writing, potential property owners and renters will have to familiarize themselves with its rule changes, and the right attorney can help ensure your property is maintained the right way. A Tampa real estate attorney from the Seward Law Office can help to clarify matters for you. Contact our office today to schedule a consultation.



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