Florida League of Cities

Vacation Rentals (CS/SB 512 – Watch; CS/HB 325 – Oppose) – FAILED 

CS/SB 512 (Burgess) and CS/HB 325 (Fischer) 

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. The bills expand this preemption to include local regulations on advertising platforms. For cities that adopted ordinances prior to June 1, 2011, the bills maintain the “grandfather” currently in place but clarify that those cities may amend their ordinances to be less restrictive or to comply with a local registration program. For cities that do not have “grandfathered” protections, the bills preempt cities from licensing short-term rentals; however, they authorize local governments to have a local registration program. 

Local governments who choose to adopt a local registration program may impose a fine for failure to register. The local government has 15 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 programs may only require the owner or operator of a vacation rental to:

•Pay a fee of no more than $50 for processing the registration application

•Renew their registration no more than once per year 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) within 60 days of local registration

•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

•Comply with parking and solid waste handling requirements. These requirements cannot be imposed solely on short-term rentals.

•Designate and maintain a property designee who can respond to complaints and other immediate problems related to the property, including being available by phone

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

CS/HB 325 was amended in committee to change the fee structure for ordinances adopted after 2014. CS/HB 325 now prohibits local governments from charging a fee for a local vacation rental registration. However, the amendment “grandfathers” in the fee structure for local governments with ordinances in place up until the bill takes effect. Going forward, local governments who receive “grandfathered” protections of their fee would not be permitted to increase them, only reduce or eliminate the amount. Additionally, the amendment includes a cure period for vacation rental owners who fail to register with the local government. The bill now mandates local governments waive the fine for failure to register if the owner becomes complaint within 30 days of receiving the notice. These provisions are not contained in CS/SB 512. 

CS/SB 512 was amended to account for collective licenses at the local level and caps the registration fee at $100. 

Impact on Advertising Platforms and DBPR

Advertising platforms must include in all listings the property’s state license number, and if applicable, the local registration number. After July 1, 2023, the advertising platform will be required to check and verify the license number of all listings with DBPR. Additionally, by that date, DBPR will be required to maintain all short-term rental license information in an electronic format to ensure prompt compliance. Advertising platforms will be required to remove unlicensed listings within 15 days after notification by DBPR, as well as collect and remit all required taxes. 

Termination/Denial of License

DBPR may revoke, refuse to issue or renew a short-term rental license or suspend the license for up to 30 days under several circumstances:

•The property owner violates the terms of any lease or applicable condominium, coop or homeowner’s association restrictions 

•The owner fails to provide proof of local registration if one is required

•The local registration is terminated by a local government for violating any of the registration requirements described above

•The property and property owner are subject to a final order or judgment directing termination of the property’s short-term rental status

•DBPR may also suspend the license for up to 30 days when the short-term rental has been cited for two or more code enforcement violations during a 90-day period. CS/SB 512 was amended to specify that these violations must be brought by a code enforcement board. (Taggart)