Strengthening and preserving vacation rental regulation by local governments through advocacy, education and collaboration.

House Committee Postpones VR Bill

Mar 22, 2021 | 1 comment

After the Senate scaled back its version of the bill, the House Ways and Means committee met on Monday 3/22/2021 and postponed consideration of a measure that would limit the authority of local governments to regulate vacation-rental properties.

1 Comment

  1. Ron Boyce

    Governor Desantis,

    The house sponsor for HB 219 Representative Fisher needs to come clean along with other Representatives and Senators. Do they have a conflict? Are they involved in the vacation rental business?

    Representative Fisher states that a single family home owner has property rights. Here is a scenario that will prove once and for all why Representative Fisher is incorrect. If I was to license my three bedroom single family home as a bed and breakfast in Flagler County I would be prevented from operating this transient public lodging establishment in neighborhoods that are zone for single family use.

    A single family dwelling license as a bed and breakfast is a transient public lodging establishment business. These dwellings provide areas for sleeping and eating for transient occupants on a daily or weekly basis. A bed and breakfast is license by the State and are inspected semi annually for fire and life safety. These dwellings are also supervised by on site Personel when occupied. This operation also has occupancy limits of two persons per sleeping area. These dwellings pay bed taxes and are in compliance with the ADA laws.

    But Representative Fisher wants to turn back the clock. What he is proposing is allowing a vacation rental homes to operate basically unregulated. Prior to 2014 the State was the regulatory authority. After 2014 Flagler County was allowed limited regulatory powers. Once Flagler adopted their ordinance they address concerns of their constituents and Fire / Life safety issues not being addressed by DBPR.

    Prior to 2014 DBPR never conducted one inspection inside a vacation rental home for the minimum standards of the Florida Fire Code 69A. So in 2014 Flagler County adopted their ordinance to conduct inspections. After conducting these inspections the county found that over 98 percent of these vacation rental homes where in non compliance with the Florida Fire Code. These dwellings where license by the State and operating for years. These vacation rental homes had No Extinguishers, No secondary means of egress, No CO detectors, illegal alterations to accommodate more occupants, smoke detectors missing or non functioning, No emergency lighting and No pool safety requirements. There where four bedroom vacation rental homes with occupancy exceeding 20 occupants and no requirements for the disabled. In addition there where numerous owners falsely claiming homestead tax exemption and not paying their fair share of bed taxes.

    This is what will happen again once the State takes away local control. It is more then noise, parking and trash. The vacation rental industry wants no regulatory standards. But the vacation rental homes are no longer residential dwelling being used for permanent occupancy. These dwellings are transient public lodging establishments and are operated the same as bed and breakfast establishments with the exception of not being supervised when occupants are present inside these public lodging establishments. A single family dwelling license as a bed and breakfast are required to change their certificate of occupancy from a dwelling that had an occupancy permanent in nature to a dwelling that has an occupancy that is transient. Why are vacation rental homes not bound by the same requirements?

    DBPR failed. They will fail again. They do not have the resources to inspect every vacation rental annually let alone semi annually. They do not have the ability to respond to complaints received by the public. The local governments ordinances where vetted by all stake holders and have been upheld in courts after legal challenges from vacation rental homeowners and their management companies. The bottom line here is the vacation rental industry does not want to be regulated. But what public lodging is not regulated?All these dwellings are businesses!

    After listening to testimony given by the Vacation Rental industry there business has been booming. These local ordinances that have been enacted after 2011 by local municipalities have not prevented them from expending their businesses. These ordinances where put in place to protect the public and protect all neighborhoods in Florida. Should a homeowner that does not live in a HOA or COA not be protected from these vacation rental homes? Please veto this bill if it makes it through the committee’s. Protect your constituents. Thank you,

    Ronald J. Boyce
    Palm Coast, Florida 32137

    Reply

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