Florida League of Cities

Vacation Rentals (Oppose) – Passed 

CS/SB 280 (DiCeglie) and CS/CS/HB 1537 (Griffitts) are comprehensive bills dealing with short-term rentals. Here is a brief description of how the bills are different:

CS/CS/HB 1537:

•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.  

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

•Requires the responsible party to respond to a complaint or emergency by 9 a.m. the next calendar day.

•After five violations occur over a period of time, suspensions are set at 15 days, 30 days and 60 days, respectively. 

CS/SB 280:

•Pay a “reasonable fee” per unit for processing an individual registration application and renewal. A local government may impose a $500 fine for failure to register. 

•State the maximum occupancy of the short-term rental is no more than two people per room plus two, or at a minimum of 50 sq ft. per person. 

•Display their individual registration number in a conspicuous location in the vacation rental. 

•After five violations occur over a period of time, suspensions are set at 30 days, 60 days and 90 days, respectively. 

•Adds in a grandfather clause for any county ordinance that was adopted prior to 2014 and amended after 2016. Any county ordinances adopted during those timeframes are exempt from the requirements of the bill. 

Below are how the bills remain identical:

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 bills create a statewide process for the local registration of vacation rentals. Under the program, a local government has 15 days after receiving an application for registration to 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:

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

•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, seven days a week.

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

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 the subject of a final order or judgment directing the termination of the premises’ use as a vacation rental. (Wagoner)

CS/SB 280 passed the House (60-51) and the Senate (23-16) and is awaiting action by the Governor. (Wagoner)