House Approves Vacation Rental Bill

Apr 28, 2017

Rep. Mike LaRosa is sponsoring a measure keeping local governments from writing special requirements for short-term, vacation rentals.
Credit Florida House of Representatives

The Florida House has approved a measure aimed at keeping local governments from restricting residents from renting out their homes.  Any ordinances would have to apply to all residences.

House Republicans like St. Cloud Rep. Mike LaRosa say local ordinances restricting vacation rentals conflict with private property rights.  But lawmakers on both sides of the aisle, including Rep. Patrick Henry (D-Daytona Beach), worry short-term renters will erode communities.

“If we want to address this let’s address it this way: some of these outrageous fines?  Let’s put a cap on some of the fines.  Let’s say fines can’t be but so high,” Henry says.  “But this is not the way of going about killing a gnat with a sledgehammer.   Let’s take a different approach to this and vote down on this bill.”

With the rise of online reservation sites like Airbnb, vacation rentals have become a touchy issue—especially for homeowners who bought expecting single family communities only to find transient neighbors instead.