Short-term rental regulations are in a constant state of change. The below resource is updated when possible, but it should not be taken as legal advice. It is critical to familiarize yourself with Florida short-term rental laws, your local government, and consult with a legal advisor to ensure you are taking the necessary steps to stay in compliance and keep your business safe and legal.
Florida, known for its beautiful beaches, warm weather, and theme parks, is one of the most popular vacation destinations in the United States. With tourism being a major industry in the state, short-term vacation rentals like Airbnb and VRBO have become increasingly common in the Sunshine State.
As a result, the demand for short-term rentals has skyrocketed, leading to the need for regulations to maintain the balance between the tourism industry and the local community. The short-term rental ordinances across the state of Florida can be complex and vary by city and county. Regulations may include obtaining a license or permit, adhering to zoning restrictions, and following safety and health guidelines. This article will provide an overview of the key state laws and requirements for short-term rental property owners, managers, and even renters.
Florida‘s vacation rental tax requirements
Remitting proper taxes on Florida vacation rental revenue is critical. Here are the key taxes to keep track of:
- State sales tax: 6% of the rent charged to guests, collected by the host and remitted to the state
- Local option tourist tax: Ranges from 1-5% depending on the county, collected by the host
- Discretionary sales surtax: 0.5% or 1% in some counties
- Commercial rental tax: Applies only in certain cities and counties, with varying rates
Additionally, each county in Florida has its own specific tax rate for vacation rentals. For example, in Miami-Dade County, the tax rate is currently set at 6%. This means that if you charge $1,000 for a weekly rental, you would need to collect $60 in vacation rental tax. So in total, hosts may need to collect and remit taxes of 7.5-12% or more on their rental revenue.
Familiarizing yourself with tax fees across Airbnb, Vrbo, and other OTAs is also key, and using an automated system to collect and remit taxes is highly recommended. These can be easily integrated into your Property Management Software (PMS).
Managers and property owners should also research tax deadlines as counties can vary. For example, Orange County tourist tax is due on the 20th for the previous month’s rentals. Keeping your business tax receipts organized and heeding local regulations will prevent you from stiff penalties and the dreaded audit.
Aside from funding tourism-related initiatives, the vacation rental tax also helps maintain the quality of the local infrastructure. The revenue generated from this tax is often used to improve roads, public transportation, and other amenities that benefit both tourists and residents alike.
Vacation rental regulations in Florida’s top destinations
Have a property in Miami, Orlando, or Tampa? How about Kissimmee or Destin? Here are the key short-term rental rules and ordinances across some of Florida’s most frequented cities.
- Permit required for rentals under 6 months. Permit fee is $100.
- Host must provide contact information to the city.
- Properties can only be rented for a maximum of 180 days per year.
- Strict rules on noise, trash, parking, occupancy limits.
- No permit required.
- Registration with the city is mandatory. Free online registration.
- Rentals limited to 3 guests per bedroom plus 2 additional.
- Noise and nuisance regulations enforced.
- Residential permit required for rentals under 30 days. Fee is $250.
- Commercial permit required for some vacation rental homes.
- Guest registration required.
- Maximum occupancy limits based on bedrooms.
- Fines for noise violations.
- Permit required for rentals under 29 days. Fee is $93.
- Maximum occupancy generally 2 per bedroom + 2 extra people per dwelling unit.
- Noise limits are strictly enforced.
- Properties must have a responsible party living within 25 miles.
- Vacation rental license required. Fee based on bedrooms.
- Maximum occupancy 2 per bedroom + 2 extra people per dwelling unit.
- Strict rules on noise, trash, parking, pets.
- Local 24/7 contact required.
- No permit or registration required.
- But hosts must comply with zoning and noise regulations.
- Maximum occupancy limits enforced.
- Fines for noise, trash, and parking violations.
- Permit required for some zones.
- Maximum occupancy 2 people per legal bedroom + 4 extra people per dwelling unit.
- Registration fees based on unit size and due at the beginning of the calendar year.
- Properties must have a responsible party living within 30 miles and be on-site within one hour if needed.
- Vacation rentals must comply with structural, building, and fire codes.
As you can see, each popular vacation rental city in Florida has its own unique rules, so property owners and managers need to carefully research the permit requirements and fees, zoning laws, occupancy limits, and noise ordinances in their local area.
Florida’s evolving short-term rental legislation
Florida’s short-term vacation rental regulations are constantly evolving. For example, in 2021, Florida passed a law preventing local municipalities from banning short-term rentals or restricting them to certain zones.
Some proposed changes include:
- Statewide registry: A proposed Florida bill would create a statewide registry for all short-term rental hosts. This could standardize regulations across the state.
- Tax changes: Florida is considering requiring services like Airbnb to collect and remit taxes on behalf of hosts, which could simplify the taxation process.
- Inspections: Some Florida cities are considering making rental inspections mandatory in order to obtain a permit. This could impose additional requirements on hosts.
Cities continue to raise permit fees and taxes on short-term rentals. For instance, Key West increased fees to $5,000 for some rental properties.
Tips for short-term rental compliance
While Florida remains a popular tourist destination, short-term rental homeowners and managers must navigate a web of city, county, and state laws that are constantly changing. Some tips to stay on top of shifting regulations include:
- Research local rental regulations thoroughly before listing a property.
- Comply with all registration fees and permit, inspection, and taxation requirements.
- Pay close attention to occupancy limits, parking rules, noise ordinances, zoning regulations, and other restrictions (and exemptions!).
- Keep up to date on new Florida bills, laws, and proposals impacting short-term rentals, and contact the Florida Department of Revenue or the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) with any questions.
With proper preparation and vigilance, hosts can successfully navigate Florida’s complex vacation rental property rules to achieve a thriving, lucrative, and compliant business in the most Sunshiny of states.
Frequently asked questions
Do I need a permit or license to operate a short-term rental in Florida?
It depends on the city. Some popular tourist cities like Miami require permits, while other areas have no permit requirements. Check your local city or county laws.
What are the fines for not complying with short-term rental regulations?
Fines vary widely, but some cities impose fines of $500-1000+ per day for operating a rental without proper registration or permits.
Do I need to collect and remit taxes on my Florida rental income?
Yes, hosts are responsible for collecting state sales tax and local tourist taxes on rentals, usually between 7.5-12% of revenue.
Are inspections required for short-term rental properties?
Currently inspections are not universal the state of Florida, however some cities may require inspections to obtain a rental permit, and more cities are proposing mandatory inspections.
Am I subject to occupancy limits and other restrictions in my rental?
Most Florida cities impose maximum occupancy limits based on bedroom count, along with other rules on noise, trash, parking, etc. These may vary based on single-family vs. multi-family properties, among other factors. Check your city’s regulations as well as any condominium HOA rules.
Learn more about short-term rental regulations across the U.S. by state.