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Florida Legislature approves statewide STR regulations

  • Mar 19, 2024 | Jennifer Sokolowsky

The Florida Legislature has passed a bill that sets uniform regulations for all short-term rentals (STRs) in the state. If the bill is signed by Governor Ron DeSantis, it will become effective July 1.

The measure creates a statewide database for STRs and provides funding for the Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) to hire nine new staffers to administer the new regulations. 

The rules allow local governments to require STRs to register and charge a “reasonable” registration fee. Authorities may levy fines of up to $500 for registration violations. STR marketplaces must include valid local registration numbers in listings and provide the state information on all STRs listed.

Under the new measure, local governments may also require:

  •  Inspections of STRs along with an inspection fee
  • Operator designation of a responsible party who can be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to respond to emergencies
  • Occupancy limits of up to two people per bedroom, plus two more in one common area (more per bedroom if there is at least 50 square feet per person)

Local authorities may suspend licenses for STRs if they violate general laws that don’t apply solely to STRs five times during a 30-day or 60-day period, or after two prior suspensions.

More than 26,000 STRs were licensed in the state in 2022, according to the DBPR. But nearly 50,000 STRs operate in Florida without a license, according to a 2024 Florida TaxWatch report.The Government Operations Committee is reviewing the measure and has two months to suggest any changes.

Laws approved before June 1, 2011, unchanged under new regulations

Previous state legislation passed in 2011 barred local governments from banning short-term rentals entirely or regulating the length of stays or their frequency. In 2014, the Legislature passed another law that allowed local governments more powers to regulate STRs in areas such as parking, garbage collection, and noise. 

The latest law allows stricter local STR laws passed before June 1, 2011, and county ordinances that were introduced before 2016, as well as laws passed after that date that comply with the new state law.

Rules include lodging tax compliance

The new measure also requires STR marketplaces such as Airbnb and Vrbo that collect payments from guests to also collect and remit state lodging taxes. Florida vacation rental operators were already required to obtain a business license through DBPR, register for a state tax certificate, and collect and remit state-administered lodging taxes when they receive payments directly from guests. Hosts may also be required to register with local tax authorities and comply with local lodging tax rules.

STR marketplaces Airbnb and Vrbo automatically collect and remit state lodging taxes on behalf of their Florida hosts, but these marketplaces may not collect local lodging taxes. MyLodgeTax can help STR 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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Learn more about FL lodging tax rules