Polling backs short-term rentals with state regulation
Photo Credit: Forbes

Majority wants state, not local, regulation.

With the issue of short-term rentals percolating in Tallahassee this Legislative Session, new polling says Floridians generally agree with the practice.

A mid-December survey from Mason-Dixon, lightly circulated until now, shows that 84% of those surveyed back the right to rent out homes or properties on a secondary basis.

This number, from a phone poll of 625 registered voters, was consistent across the state, across parties and genders and all other relevant demographic markers.

As well, 55% of those polled (including 63% of Democrats) believe the state should regulate vacation rentals.

The polling is well-timed, given legislation is in play in both the House and the Senate that would protect such private property rights.

HB 1011, filed by Jacksonville Republican Rep. Jason Fischer, and SB 1128, filed by Sen. Manny Diaz, would preempt the regulation of vacation rentals in the state.

The proposed legislation protects from local regulation rentals offered via an “advertising platform,” which provides software and online access to listings for “transient public lodging establishment[s]” in the state.

Just as the state regulates public lodging (hotels and motels) and food service establishments, so too would Airbnb, VRBO, and the like.

The role of short-term rentals, according to bill text, is “significant, unique, and critical” to the state’s tourism industry.

While polling and the GOP majority is with this latest preemption push, opposition will be presented from at least one vocal quarter.

The Florida League of Cities opposes the filed legislation.

The League’s Casey Cook noted opposition to new legislation (SB 1128/HB 1011) that would roll back local ordinances and bans predating 2011, creating state legality and a regulatory structure in its place.

State regulation, Cook added, has been “inadequate” in this sphere.

Short-term rental regulation has oscillated in the last decade.

Compromise legislation in 2014 allowed local jurisdictions to create some rules; however, advocates for short-term rentals have bemoaned the “patchwork quilt” of regulations.

With demonstrable support for a state-mandated solution, it is possible that locals may be largely divested of the ability to regulate these spaces.

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has written for FloridaPolitics.com since 2014. He is based in Northeast Florida. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter: @AGGancarski


  • Jan

    January 9, 2020 at 4:54 pm

    I beg to differ:

    “A recent St. Pete Poll of 1,400 Florida voters taken for Florida Politics shows almost three-quarters of Florida voters–74 percent–think local governments should be able to regulate short term rentals while only 12 percent say the state government should have that authority.” Here’s the link for this survey: https://www.floridadaily.com/news-analysis-floridians-favor-local-over-state-control-of-short-term-rentals/

    The poll Mr. Gancarski cites in this article (Mason Dixon poll) was underwritten by the Vacation Rental Management Association. Interesting, wouldn’t you say?

    Here is a question from a Mason Dixon survey also sponsored by the Vacation Rental Management Association – you can see why it is flawed:

    QUESTION: “Do you believe travelers should or should not be permitted to rent accommodations other than hotels — such as vacation rentals and bed and breakfasts — during their visits to Florida? 93% said yes.”

    Who wouldn’t say yes to that question?! That’s the kind of “evidence” presented for saying people want short term rentals in their neighborhood.

  • Amy Roberts

    January 9, 2020 at 6:00 pm

    If you wanted to live by a wedding venue would you? A Frat or Sorority House? A beach rental where it’s loud music, corn hole, and 15 cars plus 24/7. Now while I have stayed in alternative spaces, I’m quiet, respectful, and if more than one or a small group, we carpool, but we aren’t the problem. Cities can regulate their rentals. No need for lobbyists to get the State to step in.

  • Todd Santoro

    January 10, 2020 at 11:24 am

    Leave my property alone. I bought it with my money so I should be able to do what I want with it.

    • Tommy marks

      January 13, 2020 at 8:03 am

      When you use your property and it impacts my property, you cross the line here. It’s no longer just your property right when you influence others ability to enjoy their homes in a residential neighborhood. When you increase traffic, increase noise, increase transient individuals with no tie to the neighborhood… You have stepped over the line.


    January 13, 2020 at 8:21 am

    Representative Jason Fischer should be representing the Jacksonville residents that voted him into office, and not the Vacation Rental Management group. The residents do not want uncontrolled vacation rentals. The Mason Dixon survey is apparently a flawed survey that asked if “you feel you should be able to rent a room in your house.” The issue that residents object to is the investor owned full house rentals in residential neighborhoods, and not the renting of a room in an owner occupied house. The questions are posed to get a desired result and then publicized as support for something other than what was asked.

Comments are closed.


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