Vacation Rental Hosting in Florida – Brinkley Morgan Attorneys at Law

By Kyle M. Morgan, Esq.[1]

Popular vacation rental websites and Apps such as Airbnb, VRBO, Homeaway, and FlipKey have changed the way people travel. More and more people around the country are choosing to rent privately owned homes as opposed to staying in hotels. The opportunity to rent your property to travelers on these vacation rental platforms has never been greater. If you are thinking about listing a property you own in the State of Florida on a vacation rental platform, there are important State/local license requirements, tax consequences, and community association restrictive covenants that potential hosts need to be aware of.

License Requirements

The first issue all potential hosts need to be aware of is the Florida vacation rental license requirement. Florida law defines many types of lodging establishments, including vacation rentals. Airbnb and VRBO listings for example, will be categorized as vacation rentals under Florida law, but that categorization may not apply to all listings.  Section 242(1)(c), Fla. Stat. defines vacation rentals as “any unit or group of units in a condominium or cooperative or any individually or collectively owned single-family, two-family, three-family or four-family house or dwelling unit that is also a transient public lodging establishment, but that is not a timeshare project.” Transient public lodging establishments are defined under §509.013, Fla. Stat. as “any unit, group of units, dwelling, building, or group of buildings within a single complex of buildings which is rented to guests more than three times in a calendar year for periods of less than 30 days or 1 calendar month, whichever is less, or which is advertised or held out to the public as a place regularly rented to guests.”

If you are renting your entire unit, a license from the Florida Department of Business & Professional Regulation (“DBPR”) is required if your property meets the definition of a “vacation rental” and “transient public lodging establishment.”  However, if you are renting out only a single room or rooms, other than the whole unit, while you remain in the home, a vacation rental license is not required for these so called “Hosted Rentals.” The DBPR classifies vacation rentals as either a condominium[1] or dwelling,[2] and a different license is required for each. The links for both applications are listed below. If you operate both vacation rental condominiums and vacation rental dwellings, you may not combine them on the same license.  A “Collective License” may also be issued to a group of houses or units found in separate locations that are represented by the same “licensed agent,” someone that the property owner has authorized, through a rental agreement or contract, to hold out the property for rent.  All potential vacation rental hosts in Florida must be aware of these state licensing requirements.

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