For some St. Augustine homeowners, vacation rentals are a steady source of income, but others argue that this revenue isn’t worth the cost to the community and describe these transient rentals as a “nuisance.” Transient rentals are units or homes that are rented more than three times in a calendar year for a period of less than 30 days. A search in the St. Augustine area for Airbnb or VRBO reveals that the industry is alive and well.
While arguments can be made either for or against vacation rentals, Section 509.032(7) of the Florida Statutes states that local governments cannot prohibit the operation, nor regulate the duration or frequency, of rentals. The statute does not apply to “grandfathered” regulations adopted prior to June 1, 2011.
The latest Attorney General Opinion to address the issue came last October when a Ft. Lauderdale community sought to implement distance separation requirements and limit the number of vacation rentals in neighborhoods. In Opinion AHGO 2016-12, Attorney General Pam Bondi answered with a resounding, “no.”
Those interested in vacation rental regulation should stay abreast of pending legislation, as it is commonly the subject of proposed bills. One should also consider other sources of authority such as governing documents of any applicable condominium or homeowners association.
Author – Attorney Andrew Jackson