Short-term Vacation Rental Preemption Bill Hits Snag In Senate

Mar 2, 2020

Ernie Bach of Largo, Florida, joined a group of people speaking out against legislation that would the state to preempt local governments on the regulation of short-term rental properties at the Old Capitol on Monday, March 2, 2020.
Credit Ryan Dailey / WFSU-FM

A bill allowing the state to preempt local governments on nearly all aspects of regulation concerning short-term vacation rentals, like Airbnb, has stalled in the Florida Senate.

Republican Sen. Manny Diaz's bill would let the state have the final say on regulation, including inspection and licensing of a short-term vacation rentals. Owners of a vacation rental property would only have to follow local rules that apply to all residential properties, and, under the bill, localities are precluded from making rules specific to the rental homes. 

On Monday, Diaz's bill was postponed by the Senate Rules committee. With just roughly two weeks to go in the 2020 legislative session, time is running out. Governor Ron DeSantis says he's hesitant to have the state step in to regulate short-term rentals, but Diaz thinks the bill is still viable.

On WFSU's reporters roundtable Monday, Tom Flanigan talked with Ryan Dailey about the legislation, and why a small group of Floridians gathered at the Old Capitol building to raise red flags.