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Loss of Local Control and Home Rule Authority

If passed, SB 522 and HB 219 will further erode our ability to control our own neighborhoods. Daily Vacation Rentals will destroy our quiet family neighborhoods, just as they have in other areas of the US.

Would you want an unregulated Daily Rental moving in next to you?

SB 522 and HB 219 mean daily strangers coming and going from the house right next door. Online platforms are not required to check and verify identification. These bills contain a provision for checking for registered sex offenders, but only after 24 hours. Would you like sex offenders moving in next to your family for a day? Our legislators voting “Yes” seem to think this is acceptable. A simple internet search for “Airbnb horror story” yields hundreds of incidents at short-term rentals, many of which have taken place in Florida.

What about parking?

In most cases, driveways in single-family neighborhoods are built to accommodate two or three vehicles. When a renovated house starts acting like a hotel, often more than three cars are parked at the property. Cars end up parked on the street, making it difficult for emergency vehicles to respond to emergencies and causing increased response times.

What about occupancy?

The state’s rules for occupancy are 1 person for every 150 sq ft. This means a 2,000 sq ft home could host up to 13 renters on a daily or hourly basis. A 3,000 sq ft home could host 30 transient daily guests. Local governments cannot regulate occupancy under these bills.

SB 522 and HB 219 worsen Housing Affordability for long-term renters and elderly populations.

Short-term rentals exacerbate housing affordability by pricing out long-term renters. In Florida, Vacation Rental properties are often owned by out-of-state investors. When foreign Vacation Rental corporations stay buying up neighborhoods for profit, fulltime residents and long-term renters lose. They end up holding the bag and paying higher taxes for code and legal enforcement of problematic short-term rentals, while out-of-state corporations elude tax and regulatory obligations. Elderly homeowners can be priced out of their long-term residences as taxes rise.

The proliferation of Daily Vacation Rentals has already destroyed communities in Florida.

The City of Anna Maria, a vacation rental friendly beach community in western Florida without existing rental restrictions, has documented an increase in Vacation Rentals from 20% in 2011 to over 60%. Similar fates await many communities in Florida if CS/HB 219 and CS/SB 522 are passed.

Deregulated Daily Vacation Rentals have destroyed communities in other states, like this dire warning from Arizona.

In states like Arizona which have deregulated Daily Vacation Rentals, entire communities have been converted from full-time family neighborhoods to transient commercial tourist areas. Schools have closed, long-term renters have been priced out of housing, and quality of life has declined. 

Our State DBPR cannot effectively regulate or enforce Daily Vacation Rentals statewide.

Currently, all entities operating as Vacation Rentals must be licensed with the State of Florida’s Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR). Preliminary research based on public records shows that current compliance with State DBPR requirements is as low as 15% or lower in many areas of Florida.

Florida’s DBPR CANNOT handle an influx of new regulatory responsibilities when compliance and enforcement rates are already so low. These bills are a handout to the Airbnb lobby, designed to benefit Big Tech, Silicon Valley, and out-of-state corporate investors, who wish to profit off our Florida neighborhoods.

Who owns Daily Vacation Rentals in Florida?

Public records show that in many areas of Florida, over 50% of Vacation Rentals are owned by entities out-of-area or outside Florida. Many are owned by registered corporations. The Airbnb lobby would like the public to believe that deregulating Vacation Rentals will allow individual homeowners to rent out rooms for extra income. The REALITY: In many areas of Florida where Vacation Rentals are legal, LESS THAN 1% of rentals are for individual rooms. The vast majority of Vacation Rentals in Florida are whole home rentals. (Source: AirDNA.co)

Who is funding SB 522 and HB 219?

Primary funding is coming from the powerful Airbnb lobby. These bills are an attempt by Big Tech and Silicon Valley to take over Florida’s residential neighborhoods. Please help us defend our family, friends, neighbors, vulnerable communities like Florida’s elderly, and our beautiful state from profit-seeking corporations who want to destroy our paradise.

Voiding of Legislation Passed After 2014

Counties, cities, and communities have adjusted to locally developed rules. Wiping out ordinances that were developed and adopted after 2014, through numerous rounds of public input and feedback from stakeholders (realtors, property managers, investors, and residents), will not lead to good outcomes.

Local authorities and regulations are better at deterring disruptive party rentals and non-licensed or non-compliant rentals than bureaucrats in Tallahassee. Florida is a large state and every neighborhood is unique. A one-size-fits-all approach to unregulated Daily Vacation Rentals is not a viable solution. 

False Equivalency in Applying Regulatory Ordinances

Vacation Rental regulation exists to protect the taxpaying residents of Florida. A property being used for a commercial purpose should be subject to appropriate regulations, especially when operating within a residential neighborhood. Most communities have regulations that prevent certain types of commercial use within residentially zoned neighborhoods. Local authorities should have jurisdiction in determining which types of ordinances are appropriate to best protect their residents, neighborhoods, and communities. 

For further reading on these topics, visit Home Rule Florida, Florida League of Cities 2021 and 2020 synopsis, or our News page.

Take Action

Contact our Legislators to request better legislation to protect our neighborhoods from unregulated Daily Vacation Rentals.

Read the Bills

See the official language, latest status, and amendments to HB 219 and SB 522.

A coalition of volunteers working to save Florida’s neighborhoods and communities. 

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