Community Associations and Short-Term Renting Part 1

Florida is one of the top states in the US for tourism. It’s no wonder that short-term rental market websites such as Airbnb have caused home sharing to grow in popularity. But is it against the law to rent out one’s property this way? What if the community is run by an HOA or Tampa condominium association management company? Some seem to feel that short-term rentals are a nuisance to the community. This article will define short-term rentals and discuss how they are regulated and restricted. Read part two to learn about how they affect communities and what HOA communities can do to manage them.

What’s a Short Term Rental?

A short-term rental can be anything from an overnight, a weekend stay, or a few weeks stay in a furnished home, apartment, or condo owned by someone else. Stays are usually limited to 30 days or less. The owner of the home will either rent out the entire home or a room in the property that they do not use to earn a profit. Most renters are those who are vacationing or on a business trip and prefer an alternative to staying in a hotel.

Are They Regulated?

The hospitality industry and municipalities are addressing short-term rental activity more aggressively due to competition and loss of tax revenue. In Florida, there is a mix of regulations that affect short-term rentals across the state. State law addressing short-term rentals has changed several times over the years. Associations may address short-term rentals in their governing documents and will either limit or prohibit them. Some municipality ordinances require property owners to pay a licensing fee and register with the city. If they don’t, they will be warned and fined per violation.

For more information, review the two new House Bills which will affect short-term rentals for the 2018 Legislative Session: House Bill 773 and House Bill 789.

Common Restrictions:

In places where short-term rental activity is not prohibited, municipalities and associations may impose restrictions and regulations on home and condominium owners to ensure the short-term rentals are operated legally (i.e., abiding by tax laws, obtaining approvals, zoning, neighborhood disturbances). Regulations and restrictions may vary by city and state, so be sure to check both your city and state laws as well as your association bylaws. Some of the common restrictions may include: prohibiting short-term rentals altogether regardless of zones, limiting short-term rentals per zone, and strict multiple dwelling laws.

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