TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) – Short-term vacation homes are closer to having new rules. The Florida Senate approved a proposal Thursday putting new regulations for vacation rentals.
This comes as communities across Florida try to get a handle on vacation rental properties as sites like Airbnb and Vrbo become more popular. The biggest issues facing residents include parking, noise, and trash.
“My constituents want to know why it’s allowed in their neighborhood,” Sen. Jason Pizzo, (D) Sunny Isles Beach, said.
Many counties and cities across the state, primarily coastal destinations, are restricting these rentals to try to solve the problem. State law says they can’t ban short-term rentals.
As of last month, Bay County rentals now have to go through a registration process and have someone available to respond to emergencies.
However, that could change if the bill the Senate passed Thursday becomes law.
“We have a state interest to lay out a uniform set of regulations so there is some sort of predictability. There’s predictability for my neighbors. There’s predictability for the property owner,” Sen. Nick DiCeglie, (R) Indian Rocks Beach, said.
Sen. DiCeglie’s proposal takes away some of that local control. He said this is about property rights.
“I fully recognize that every jurisdiction is unique and different. But I also recognize some of these local governments are pushing that envelope and violating these property rights,” Sen. DiCeglie said.
Sen. Pizzo argued that the state needs to look at the larger picture and treat these properties like hotels.
“You can’t think of these things standing in a vacuum. A hotel wouldn’t put up for 15 minutes, the loitering, the lingering, and drunkenness, drugs,” Sen. Pizzo said.
The bill now goes to the House where it is expected to go through some changes.
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