Senator Manny Diaz, Jr. and Representative Jason Fischer File Bills to Establish Statewide Regulation for Vacation Rentals

    Senator Manny Diaz, Jr., District 36
    SB 1128 and HB 1011 create accountability and a partnership between state government and VR platforms
    Senator Manny Diaz, Jr. (R-Hialeah) and Representative Jason Fischer (R-Jacksonville) have filed SB 1128 and HB 1011 in an effort to create predictable and uniform regulations related to vacation rentals in Florida. SB 1128 was heard yesterday by the Senate Innovation, Industry, and Technology Committee and was approved by an 8-2 vote.
    As vacation rental platforms have increased in popularity, vacation rental owners and tourists have been in a state of flux due to rules and regulations that differ from one city or county to the other. The bills will protect consumers by creating a single, statewide system with the Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) and the Department of Revenue (DOR) which will handle vacation rental licensing, inspections and the verification of state tax registrations.
    “After years of testimony from supporters and opposition groups, the time has come for Florida to embrace regulations that provide uniformity, create accountability and continue to grow a partnership with vacation rental platforms,” said Senator Manny Diaz, Jr. “Many platforms have already been voluntarily collecting and remitting taxes to the state of Florida. This bill ensures both accountability and allows the state to realize tax dollars that otherwise may not have been collected or submitted.”
    Over the last several years local governments have attempted to restrict or outright ban vacation rentals – in violation of Florida state law. These bills will clarify the role local governments can play in regulating vacation rentals, while placing due responsibility on the platforms.
    “As we continue to cut regulations and red tape that is prohibitive to growing Florida’s economy, we must address this drawn out clash between local governments, the vacation rental industry and competing business interests,” said Representative Jason Fischer. “The proper place for the regulation of vacation rentals is the DBPR—just like the hospitality industry.”
    The bills seek to do the following:
    • Require all platforms to collect vacation rental owner or operator state-issued license numbers and tax registration numbers.
    • Require platforms to display owner or operator license and tax registration numbers in all vacation rental listings.
    • Platforms will submit data on a quarterly basis to the DBPR allowing the state and local tax collectors to verify that the vacation rental units are complaint and are paying the appropriate amount of tax on each unit.
    • Requires platforms to remove any non-compliant listings after being notified by the state.
    • Maintains state pre-emption over the prohibition, frequency, duration of vacation rentals and clarifies that local ordinances apply uniformly to all residential properties without regard to whether the property is used as a vacation rental.
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