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We Need Your Opinion: Short Term Rental Survey

Category: Home and Garden

March 6, 2019 — The appearance of a pair of bills in the Florida legislature has brought the issue of short term (usually vacation) rentals to the fore. It is a complex topic, and one that has powerful constituencies on both sides. The purpose of this survey is to find out where the Topretirements membership stands on the issue. We will be reporting on the results, both here at Topretirements as well as our Florida representatives. So please take a moment to answer this very quick survey. Thanks!

Take the Survey

Comments: Please feel free to give your opinion on the subject, pro or con, in the Comments section below.

Further info:

The Florida House Bill 987

Senate Bill 824

Posted by Admin on March 6th, 2019

9 Comments »

  1. I live in Florida, and have seen how investor-owned short-term rentals can destroy communities zoned single-family. When doing this survey, please be sure when you think of a “short-term rental” think in terms of entire homes owned by investors who are not present on the property (we had one person in our Florida community who owned 16 properties/lots – and he lived in St. Louis). These are the kinds of short-term rentals most people are against, not “mom and pop” situations where the owner is present and he or she or they are renting out a room or two on occasion for a little extra money. There is a huge difference between the two – one is a pure business operating in a neighborhood; the other is a small source of extra income for the owner. Need to clearly define “short-term rental.” Think investor-owned; that is the one in Florida that is causing the outcry.

    by Jan — March 7, 2019

  2. Completely agree Jan! Short term rentals damage residential neighborhoods and should be kept in areas zoned for hotels.

    by Jean — March 7, 2019

  3. We have used vacation rentals for years in resort areas in the U.S. and in major cities in Europe. We enjoyed these type of quarters so much that we thought we could buy one in the U.S. at a location we would use for our vacations and rent it out when we not using it. We purchased a large condo at a new resort in Galveston and I self-managed it for about 7 years from our home in the DFW area. After two hurricanes and difficulty maintaining reliable cleaning services and endless maintenance issues, we sold it at a loss. In my view, short term rentals belong only in resort type areas or in city areas that are used to people coming and going a lot. Short-term rentals do not belong in quiet residential areas. I would say that most of the renters that I had were family types and respected my property. However, it only takes a few that cause problems and ruin it for the neighbors. Not properly screening renters by the owner/manager, who is only interested in keeping the unit rented, leads to most of the problems.

    by LS — March 7, 2019

  4. Perhaps I misunderstood the intent of these bills — so I hope others will correct me if appropriate. It appears that the point of the bills is to move regulation of “short term rentals” to the state (rather than permit local city and county government to set their own rules and guidelines). While I have some concern for state “over-regulation” and for the ability of the state to adequately monitor the requirements, that doesn’t seem to be “bad” per se. Heath and safety is important when we rent — always “short term”. I’ve heard terrible stories of “outside investors” managing local regulations and inadequately providing for health and safety, so as a renter, I can agree with the intent. However, I do also have concern for small owners potentially being driven out of business by requirements that may or may not be appropriate to them.

    by RichPB — March 7, 2019

  5. We have been using short term rentals for 7 years. We usually stay 2 or 3 months in either Florida or North Carolina. We have grandkids in Orlando and stay at least a month in the winter and another month sometimes at the beach.
    Several years ago, Orange County tried enforcing a no-short term rental less than 6 months. This spooked quite a few homeowners who rented their homes short term. I know of several personally that either quit renting short term or even selling their house. The county wide ban is still in effect but many now disregard it. If the county wanted to enforce it all they have to do is go to any of the web sites that handle short term rentals.

    From what I gather by reading these bills, it will allow home owners to rent their homes out short term, statewide. We obviously are in favor of this law.

    by Bill — March 8, 2019

  6. Bill, a one-month rental is considered a long-term rental in most communities zoned single-family. 55+ communities may have tighter restrictions, but generally anything over a month is considered long-term. No issues with long-term rentals (those over a month).

    The concern is with people buying homes for investment and renting them out by the week (or day). They are not present and are not invested in the community. They are running a business. People chose to move into a community for just that – they want a neighborhood. Most of us want to know our neighbors and if someone relocates to a new state he/she/they are usually looking to make new connections and friends.

    And, in Florida, there can be one person per 150 feet in a house. So a 3,000 square foot house would allow 20 people to be in the house on a nightly/weekly basis. That is what the investors do – pack them in for more money.

    Thomas Jefferson is often quoted: “The government closest to the people serves the people best.”
    Most people believe this is true – one size does not fit all, and local rules are designed for the population that lives there.

    Ask yourself: Would you want to be surrounded by people who are renting week-to-week, and you don’t know your neighbors? This is what is happening in areas by the ocean and lakes (the kind of setting many people would choose if they move to Florida), and this is the area where investors would dominate if these bills are passed. Some people don’t care; most would.

    People who VISIT an area have a different outlook than those who LIVE in that area. Visitors are not personally invested in the community. It is not their home.

    by Jan — March 8, 2019

  7. This bill is one of a number that we expect to see that seeks to limit home rule in Florida. The State legislature is working to preempt home rule on the part of cities and towns. Most of these bills have originated from powerful industries with lobbyists. For example, many communities wished to ban grocery stores from using plastics bags, since so many end up in our waterways. The legislature outlawed these local bans due to pressure from large grocers. They are now trying to do this with rentals and with, of all things, plastic straws.

    by Lynn — March 9, 2019

  8. The Florida legislature is quite toxic. Totally controlled by lobbyists. I wish the voters would wake up and boot them all out! Before it’s too late and we have no state left to live in.

    by Linda — March 10, 2019

  9. Travelers to some Miami Beach neighborhoods using Airbnb are getting an unwelcome surprise – a knock on door from code compliance officers. Apparently there are some residential areas in Miami, including Flamingo Park, where rentals less than 6 months and a day are prohibited. But unwitting online renters have been steered to them anyway, and when the compliance officers find out, the surprised renters are told they must leave. Airbnb customers seem mostly affected, but those from Booking.com, VRBO, and HomeAway are also involved. See NY TImes, “Your Stay May Even Be Shorter“.
    To see the results from a similar poll to ours in north Florida, check this out: https://www.topretirements.com/blog/real-estate/in-florida-controversy-over-short-term-rentals-state-vs-local-control.html/

    by Admin — March 18, 2019

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