Florida lawmakers don’t reach a deal on vacation rentals

Share
vacation home sunset
Beach vacation rental home and sunset. By Dreamer Company via iStock for WMNF.

Florida lawmakers again could not reach an agreement on a plan to address vacation-rental properties, with a key senator pledging to continue working on the issue next year.

Lawmakers have repeatedly wrangled in recent years with issues about vacation rentals as the use of platforms such as Airbnb has skyrocketed.

But lawmakers have not been able to reach an agreement, in part because of constituents’ complaints about problems with vacation properties in their neighborhoods.

Residents have pointed to loud noise at “party” houses and issues such as parking and trash.

Sen. Nick DiCeglie, R-Indian Rocks Beach, sponsored a proposal (SB 714) this year that would have allowed cities and counties to register vacation rentals and suspend or revoke registrations if property owners failed to follow local ordinances.

But the House balked at giving local governments such power and this week stripped from DiCeglie’s bill the proposed authority to suspend or revoke registrations.

Under current law, the state Department of Business and Professional Regulation issues licenses for vacation rentals.

A House proposal would have allowed local governments to create registries of vacation rentals but kept sanctions against the properties in the hands of state officials.

The House plan would have allowed local officials “to know how many vacation rentals are within their jurisdiction,” Rep. Wyman Duggan, R-Jacksonville, said Tuesday.

But as lawmakers prepared to end the legislative session Friday, DiCeglie urged senators to reject the House’s changes.

He called vacation rentals “the top issue” for residents in his beachside community.

“We have just got to get this right. … We have a fundamental conversation to have. What is the proper role of government when it comes to vacation rentals?” DiCeglie said.

The senator pointed to a 2011 law that “preempts” local governments from banning vacation rentals or restricting their use.

“The vacation rental industry in 2011 is significantly different than what we are witnessing and experiencing right now in our neighborhoods. And I am committed to finding that balance to get it right because I want my neighbors to be able to sleep a full eight hours at night. I want my neighbors to know that this legislature worked their tails off to strike that balance,” DiCieglie said.

Supporters of vacation rentals argue the properties bring in supplemental income for Floridians and are an integral part of the state’s tourism industry.

©2023 The News Service of Florida

You may also like

Voting With a Purpose

Jarvis Karim El-Amin stops in to announce an epic candidate...

The Scoop: Fri. June 21st, 2024 Tampa Bay and Florida headlines by WMNF

In the past decade, there have been more than 200...

20-foot Inflatable IUD Arrives in Tampa

Americans for Contraception brought a 20-foot, inflatable IUD to Lykes...

A photo of a county commissioner, wearing a plaid long sleeve, speaking into a radio microphone.
Hillsborough County Commissioner Harry Cohen talks taxes, elections, transportation and more

Harry Cohen has served on the Hillsborough County Board of...

Ways to listen

WMNF is listener-supported. That means we don't advertise like a commercial station, and we're not part of a university.

Ways to support

WMNF volunteers have fun providing a variety of needed services to keep your community radio station alive and kickin'.

Follow us on Instagram

Bodyrock
Player position: