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Updated: Feb 23

Do you want to know more about Florida vacation rental market? As you navigate the realm of short-term rental licensing, home for rent, and operating regulations, it is important to be well-informed. Here are eight key considerations you need to know:

What is considered a vacation rental in Florida?

As defined by Florida state law, a vacation rental is broadly described as a unit or group of units located in a condominium, cooperative, or individually/collectively owned single-family, two-family, or four-family dwelling. These accommodations serve as transient public lodging establishments but are distinct from timeshare projects. This definition encompasses various types of short-term rentals, excluding timeshares, hotels, resorts, inns, bed-and-breakfast establishments, and properties where the host resides on-site.

What are the required permits and licenses?

To operate a vacation rental property in Florida, it is mandatory to hold a current license issued by the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR). The DBPR issues short-term or “transient” rental licenses based on specific criteria:

  • Vacation Rental – Condominium. A license is granted for an individual unit or a collection of units located within a condominium or cooperative.

  • Vacation Rental – Dwelling. A license is issued for a single-family residence, townhouse, or a unit or group of units within a duplex, triplex, quadruplex, or any other residential property consisting of up to four units.

Understanding these distinctions is vital in ensuring compliance with Florida’s licensing requirements for vacation rental properties. The licensing and operational requirements for vacation rental properties in Florida vary depending on factors such as the property’s location, the number of units involved, and who operates the property or units. Here is an overview of the different types of licenses and their scope.

  • Single License. A single license covers a single-family house, townhouse, or a unit or group of units within a single building. It is held and maintained by an individual person or entity who owns and operates the property. However, licensed agents are not eligible for single licenses.

  • Group License. A group license is issued to a licensed agent and provides coverage for all units within a building or a group of buildings located within a single complex.

  • Collective License. A collective license is granted to a licensed agent representing a collective group of houses or units situated in separate locations. It is limited to a maximum of 75 units and is restricted to counties within a single district.

Regarding taxes, guests staying in short-term rentals in Florida are responsible for paying specific taxes as part of their reservation fees. Property owners or listing companies, acting on behalf of the owners, are responsible for remitting these taxes to the state. The taxes include a 6% state sales tax, along with any applicable discretionary sales surtax.

Additionally, certain counties impose their own local option taxes, such as the tourist development tax (TDT), convention development tax, tourist impact tax, or municipal resort tax. These taxes are reported to the Department of Revenue, even if paid directly to the county.

It’s important to note that different Florida counties may have additional regulations regarding the contents and exterior of short-term rental units. Some counties may require the use of noise detection devices, both inside and outside the property, and failure to comply may result in significant fines.

Additionally, specific cleaning and sanitization requirements may be mandated by municipalities, especially in light of evolving COVID-related recommendations. Staying updated with county notifications and regularly checking for updates is crucial.

Here are additional things to remember:

Displaying Licenses

Current licenses or copies of licenses must be prominently displayed in a visible location on the premises of the establishment.

Property Maintenance

The vacation rental unit must be maintained in a clean, safe, and good physical condition, ensuring it meets the required standards.

Bedding and Linens

When providing bedding and linens, it is imperative to maintain high standards of cleanliness and storage. These items must be kept in pristine condition, free from wear and tear. Mattress pads, bed sheets, and blankets should be appropriately sized to adequately cover the mattress or bed, ensuring complete protection of the entire sleeping area. Regular cleaning and changing of sheets and pillowcases are essential, either between each guest or at a minimum frequency of once a week.

Soap Provision

If soap is provided, it should be made available either in individually wrapped bars or as liquid soap in a dispenser.

Baby Cribs

Baby cribs provided to guests must meet the safety standards set by the Consumer Products Safety Commission.

Dish and Glassware Sanitization

In case dishes and glassware are provided, they must be properly sanitized between guests. Proper warewashing can be done using a three-compartment sink or a commercial dish-washing machine. If the vacation rental lacks these facilities, a notice must be posted informing guests that the dishes and glassware have not been sanitized according to public food service establishment standards, using specific language provided by the division.

Vermin Control

The establishment must be kept free of vermin to ensure a clean and hygienic environment.

Renewal of Rental License and Payment Frequency

In general, owners of Florida short-term rentals are required to renew their rental licenses and/or permits on an annual basis. There may also be a nominal application fee associated with the renewal process. The total cost, including state and local fees, typically amounts to approximately $350 per year, although this can vary depending on the specific municipality where the property is located.

At Siven Rentals, we are committed to delivering exceptional service and forging enduring relationships. We look forward to the opportunity to assist you on your journey to success. With our extensive industry knowledge and experience, we cater to the diverse needs of property owners and tenants, offering a wide array of customized property management solutions.

Should you wish to engage in a conversation or commence a fruitful partnership, we encourage you to reach out to us directly at 813-563-0842.

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