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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    1. I am not opposed to the state regulating and collecting taxes for short-term rentals such as AirBnB. But I believe that local governments should be able to restrict short-term rentals to specific areas within its jurisdiction.

      HB 1011 is a bill redefines ALL private homes/residences as public lodging and takes away local governments ability to regulate vacation rentals (AirBnB).

      Short-term vacation rentals and long-term rentals are not the same and should not be tied together. Short-term vacation rentals are typically occupied by non-residents visiting form outside the local area. Long-term rentals are typically occupied by individuals/families that are residents of the local area. Short-term rentals are a business and should be treated as one. Treating short-term rentals, the same as long-term rentals will tie the hands of local governments

      By making the blanket statement “vacation rentals are residential in nature, a residential use, and thus permitted in residential neighborhoods” ignore the fact that cities have created zoning ordinances that categorizes different types of residential areas; such as single-family, multi-family and mixed-use zones. These zones are created with the community in mind. Unless a city prohibits long-term rentals in single family zones, vacation rentals will be allowed. If vacation rentals are residential in nature; does this mean the individuals residing at the vacation rental can claim to be a Florida resident? Can they use this address to register to vote? This bill also incentivizes single-family long-term rentals being turned into short-term rentals. And further encourages single family homes to be turned into multiple rental units and front yards being turned into parking lots. Making it easier for long-term rentals to become short-term rentals will reduce the housing inventory for residents. Cities such as Miami and Fort Lauderdale that already have a lack of affordable housing, will now have less authority to mitigate the problem.

      Florida has laws that restrict sex offenders/predators from living near parks, schools and child care centers. Hotels and vacation rentals are usually zoned in commercial/business districts zones; thus, segregating visiting guests from local neighborhoods. By allowing short-term rentals in our neighborhoods, a sex offender can easily rent a room for several nights next door to a park., school or daycare. Also, is there any restriction from sex offenders renting rooms in their home?

      Neighborhoods are social communities with personal interaction with the residents. This bill will change our neighborhoods forever. The wealthy will live in gated communities with covenants restricting short-term rentals; while the rest of us will watch as the state tears at the fabric of our neighborhoods. We do not need a revolving door of strangers in our neighborhoods.


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