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Longboat Key will require STR hosts to register starting October 1

  • Mar 22, 2023 | Jennifer Sokolowsky

Short-term rental (STR) operators in Longboat Key, Florida, will be required to register with the town under a new ordinance.

The new law, which goes into effect starting October 1, requires STR owners who offer rentals of six months or less to register with the town for a $200 fee. Registrations must be renewed every two years for a fee of $150.

Short-term rental operators will be required to post registration certificates within their rental properties and offer guests information including the owner’s phone number, the maximum number of vehicles allowed to park at the property, noise regulations, garbage and recycling information, and emergency evacuation maps.

Owners must also include registration certificate numbers in any advertisements for a short-term rental and specify in listings that guests are expected to stay at the property for a minimum of 30 days. 

With the new rules, Longboat Key aims to keep track of short-term rentals, be able to contact owners in case of problems, and maintain the town’s character. The town has identified more than 1,000 short-term rental properties with listings on vacation rental marketplaces such as Airbnb and Vrbo.

Longboat Key started regulating vacation properties with an ordinance in 1982 that differentiated between residential and tourism zoning. Tourism-zoned properties are allowed to be rented to guests for less than a month.

Tourism-zoned properties such as Sand Cay, Zota Beach Resort, Four Winds Beach Resort, and the Residences at St. Regis Longboat Key are already regulated by the state as hotels, won’t be required to register with the town under the new rules.

While Florida state law doesn’t allow local governments to ban short-term rentals entirely or regulate the length of stays or their frequency, local governments may pass rules to control negative effects of vacation rentals. The state law restricting local authority over vacation rentals was originally passed in 2011, and local short-term rental laws passed before June 1, 2011, are still valid.

Florida requires all vacation rentals to be licensed through the Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR). DBPR does not regulate hosted rentals, where the host remains on-site during guests’ stays, so hosts who rent out rooms rather than a whole unit do not need to be licensed by the state. Longboat Key short-term rentals must also obtain a town Business Tax Receipt.

In addition, Longboat Key vacation rental operators are also required to obtain a state tax certificate and register with either the Sarasota or Manatee County tax office, collect state and county lodging taxes from guests, and file lodging tax returns with both the state and the county.

Airbnb and Vrbo automatically collect and remit state lodging taxes on behalf of their hosts. They also collect and remit Sarasota County lodging taxes for their listings there, but not Manatee County taxes.

MyLodgeTax can help vacation rental hosts automate and simplify lodging tax compliance on the local and state level, including tax registration and filing. For more on vacation rental lodging taxes in Florida, see our state Vacation Rental Tax Guide. If you have tax questions related to vacation rental properties, drop us a line and we’ll get back to you with answers.

Lodging tax rates, rules, and regulations change frequently. Although we hope you'll find this information helpful, this blog is for informational purposes only and does not provide legal or tax advice.
Avalara Author
Jennifer Sokolowsky
Avalara Author Jennifer Sokolowsky
Jennifer Sokolowsky writes about tax, legal, and tech topics. She has an extensive international background in journalism and marketing, including work with The Seattle Times, The Prague Post, Avvo, and Marriott.
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