Republicans call for end to vacation rental ban, but no word from Ron DeSantis

The vacation rental ban continues indefinitely under Phase One.

Despite facing pressure from within his own party to lift restrictions on vacation rentals, there’s no word yet from Gov. Ron DeSantis on when vacation rentals may reopen.

In late March, the Governor suspended most short-term vacation rental reservations, curtaining off a popular getaway option for tourists. To the dismay of those in the industry, the ban singled-out those rentals but left hotels open for business. The ban has been extended indefinitely under Phase One of the state’s reopening process.

On Friday, May 8, Panama City Beach Mayor Mark Sheldon joined the rising chorus to lift the ban, at least in the Panhandle. The region is more reliant on vacation rentals for tourism than more populous parts of the state.

“As the largest City in Florida without an ad valorem tax, our vital public services rely on tourism dollars,” the Mayor wrote. “Having our 7,789 licensed short-term rentals closed drastically effects City services, and our local economy, particularly our small businesses and both local and out-of-state condo and rental owners. Small business is the lifeblood of our 14,000-resident community.”

The day before, members from the Panhandle House delegation, all Republicans, penned a letter to DeSantis asking him to OK vacation rentals. Pointing to the localized approach the Governor used to keep South Florida under lockdown, they advocated for rentals to reopen in the region.

“Our hotels, motels, inns, and resorts are reopening while vacation rentals are singled out,” the lawmakers wrote. “They employ and directly impact so many in this region, yet will be unable to handle a second consecutive month with zero income.”

While DeSantis has indicated in past press conferences that he hopes to get vacation rentals open, there has been no explicit word from him or his office as of Wednesday morning. Those aspirations to reopen the industry came before the most recent extension.

The Re-Open Florida Task Force’s report suggests vacation rentals could open to Florida residents in Phase Two, but doesn’t recommend a full reopening until Phase Three. However, the Governor has deviated from his task force on some items, including keeping gyms closed, restricting restaurant capacity to 25% rather than 50% and not immediately opening salons and barber shops, which he eventually opened this week.

“In Northwest Florida, we don’t have a 500-key hotel room every 1,000 feet,” he said, but added that he was confident in DeSantis’ “evidence-based, measured approach,” said U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz, who represents the Panhandle in Congress, during a press conference alongside the Governor earlier this month.

The state faces accusations in a legal challenge that the order unconstitutionally revoked licenses without due process and silenced renters against their First Amendment rights. DeSantis’ order also criminalizes advertising vacation rentals that violate the ban, punishable by a second-degree misdemeanor.

The original order (Executive Order 20-87), which has been subsequently extended, only applies to rental periods shorter than 30 days.

DeSantis excluded hotels, motels, inns, resorts, non-transient public lodging establishments and time shares in the order. He also carved out rentals for non-vacation commercial activities and people performing military, emergency, governmental, health or infrastructure response.

Renzo Downey

Renzo Downey covers state government for Florida Politics. After graduating from Northwestern University in 2019, Renzo began his reporting career in the Lone Star State, covering state government for the Austin American-Statesman. Shoot Renzo an email at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @RenzoDowney.


  • Theresa

    May 13, 2020 at 11:35 am

    The governor is doing the right thing. Short-term rentals bring huge groups (14 – 20 people) into mini-hotels in single-family communities. The DPBR (have tried contacting them for compliance issues – no response – is worthless). Hopefully the governor will not allow groups to congregate in our state while this pandemic is raging. So far, the governor has been cautious and wise.

    How would you like to be next to this house during the pandemic? Here is how one is advertised in our neighborhood (built by an investor with multiple properties):

    11 Bedrooms, 10 Baths, Sleeps 16

    “Appropriate for a business group as well as families, the 9,000-square-foot home offers kitchen facilities on every floor (one main kitchen and two kitchenettes), king-size beds in all but one bedroom (a kids’ room with bunk beds) and all the latest electronics.”

    No wonder DeSantis is not allowing them. Would you want this next to you?

    • AlabamaKingfish

      May 13, 2020 at 12:38 pm

      Wake up Morons the whole Virus Hoax is EXPOSED it’s the lockdown and test that is killing people go global take over!! Don’t be A Sheep and Wake the #uck Up. Open up America !!!!

      • Bort

        May 13, 2020 at 6:32 pm

        What’s the motivation? Destroy the economy? That doesn’t sound like it would be in anybody’s best interest including any supposed conspirators. I work in the vacation rental industry and our company is suffering but people need to stay home and stop pretending this is over. It’s not. Things will probably be worse 6 months from now if we open back up too early.

        • Steven Hubert

          May 14, 2020 at 7:55 am

          If you don’t think the demonrats are trying to weaken the economy prior to the election, you are an imbecile.

        • Timothy Gass

          May 14, 2020 at 11:34 am

          Do you mean stay home and close down the country like we have done in all the other mass breakouts.
          Oh I’m sorry we have never done this before. During Polio we just went to work. People got polio, people died but when I was born in the 60’s I was not born with the debt of my coward parents who stayed in there homes while the country printed money because my WWII Daddy was scarred. When We had a set back in the day, people went to war and died, and in many cases not even for this country. Men died in wars ever since time began. No one ever stopped the country from running because the country moving forward for the ones who don’t die was worth the sacrifice. This is why we don’t hide under our blankets when war breaks out. This is a war, we need our country in order to fight it. Personally I have no desire to live through this to end up with the USA being a third world country, or brought to its knees and cause our children and generations after to pay back our bills, We are the first cowards in the history of the country!
          I thought I would see the day grown men would hide in there house with women and children and allow the country to be destroyed. We have had it so good we have no idea what it means to sacrifice for anyone. We will be safe under our blankets and who cares what country and debt our Children end up with.
          Welcome to the modern USA, metro-sexual male wimp

          • Bort

            May 14, 2020 at 11:52 am

            Never thought I’d meet the toughest guy on the internet but here we are. You should probably go out there and challenge the virus to a fist fight since it’s likely you will win. I mean, your WW2 Daddy took on polio single-handed and won while a bunch of wimps probably died. Thanks for your uneducated advice, but this “metro-sexual male wimp” is not going to try to show a deadly virus the size of my balls as a way of proving his delicate manhood. Go ahead and go to work, I don’t care if people like you catch the virus and die. It just means less stupidity in the world.

          • annie

            May 15, 2020 at 11:19 am

            You know it’s survival of the fittest. Lets just get out there and live the “new normal”. I keep hearing we are waiting for the new normal. So lets just get on with it. I agree I do not want to live just so I can sit in a house I’m afraid I am going to lose whilst eating cans of old soup.

        • jason jernigan

          May 15, 2020 at 11:03 pm

          DeSantis father in law owns an interest in several hotel chains in Florida. In addition, the motivation is so these vacation rentals will go into foreclosure. then DeSantis and his crooked jew millionaire friends in Miami that helped get him elected can scoop them up. It’s payback for putting him in the governors seat. He is a corrupt governor that needs to GO!

      • Dave

        May 14, 2020 at 11:49 am

        Thhank You Alabama… for speaking on my behalf and a lot of others like me who depend on vacation rental in come for a living,. I am completely frustrated by this!

      • Jeff Ely

        May 15, 2020 at 10:45 am

        Preach it brother! I can’t believe how stupid people are.

    • Rob

      May 13, 2020 at 12:41 pm

      That’s no different than a hotel or a motel having more people. Tourism drives Florida and many local jobs. Do you not care about your neighbors able to live or do you only care about yourself? If your scared stay in the rest of us are ready to get back to life as best as we can.

      • Alabamakingfish

        May 13, 2020 at 12:50 pm

        Thank you , Do not give up your Freedom and Rights !!! We are gonna have to fight for this one, if we can stop big tech globalist takeover, we have a chance to get back to Normal? Our strength is in Christ and Knowledge of what is Really going on.. Take care

        • B Wise

          May 14, 2020 at 12:54 am

          My vacation rental beach house with a Private pool, and a private kitchen for cooking is so much safer than any Hotel. My guests have all their needs met in the house, without visiting restaurants or looking for entertainment. So unless all Hotels are shut down like my beach house is-the Governor is playing favorites. Please open Vacation Rental Houses!

          • Laura Lindsey

            May 14, 2020 at 3:34 pm

            This is so true!! I am amazed that more citizens-as-guests are not outraged at having their own rental options limited in this way. I also can’t believe that isolating for one’s own protection wasn’t an exclusion to the order. Maybe I want to rent a single family home to reduce my risk by getting away from my apartment complex, condo etc. shared spaces.

    • PMA

      May 13, 2020 at 2:10 pm

      We have a 4-6 person condo in Madeira Beach that has to cancel reservations since Mar. 16. Our mortgage is $5000 a month and it is becoming increasingly difficult to meet that on no income. The hotels, inns, timeshares, motels and resorts can be open. Total discrimination. These places can have just as many guests as the 10 you mention. People are elbow to elbow in the elevators. How is that safer? Our condo is 1st floor and has an outside door.

      • Timothy Gass

        May 14, 2020 at 11:11 am

        We have a single family home we rent, no more than 6 people. NO lobby to check in at, all reservations taken over the phone or via internet. NO personal contact with any of our guest ever. Personally i have never met even one of our guest face to face. They leave then our cleaning crew comes in and does a 5 star job before the next guest. Hotels, motels have lobby’s, breakfast bars, gyms, swimming pools, gathering areas, person to person check in, elevators, stairwells that get used by dozens of people per day without being cleaned between customers.
        I don’t believe that every time a person steps out of a elevator someone goes in and cleans the buttons and had rails. Same with the stairwells rails.
        It’s a joke that hotels and motels are open but a single family home with every thing private is closed down. We have one home to clean after one family leaves. Our reputation and rentals depend on a 5 star review.

      • Jeff Ely

        May 15, 2020 at 10:48 am

        You are 100% correct. This is totally 100% against the Constitution. You just need to open up. Don’t let these jerks run your life. It’s your business your lively hood. It’s essential to put food on your table. Open up. Don’t be a push over to these jerks. We will vote them all out of office very soon. They have 0 legal power to do what they are doing. You are the one w/ the power. OPEN TODAY.

      • divakate

        May 18, 2020 at 11:51 am

        I’m not sure who you think is “shutting you down.” Go to and you will see numerous rentals in every size and shape available NOW. I don’t see anyone shutting them down. All you have to do is drive up and down Gulf Blvd. from Clearwater to St. Petersburg and you will see every license plate imaginable, mostly from NY, VA, IL, PA,etc. Also you will see said license plates parked at various condo complexes that rent short term and Publix, Target, etc., etc. There really is no shut down around here. My neighbor is an agent and just rented to a lobbyist and his family from VA.

    • Eddie

      May 13, 2020 at 3:03 pm

      My neighbors have been having parties at their house every weekend for the past month or so. Between 20-30 people show up and party all afternoon and evening. So to answer your question, I DO have this type of a situation next door to me every weekend. How do I feel about it? I do not care what they do and neither do any of the other neighbors. Other than music, nothing is going to come through their yard, over the fence and then through the walls of my house. So if they want to have a party I dont care. The question you should ask yourself is why you are so obsessed over what other people choose to do? If you are that afraid then stay home and do not leave your house. Then you dont have to interact with people and you have nothing to be scared of. As for the rest of us, leave us alone and let us live our lives as we see fit. While you may have kids of your own, we are not your children and we dont need you trying to tell us what to do just because you are afraid.

    • lynn

      May 13, 2020 at 4:18 pm

      Seriously, that’s not the norm for short term rentals. For everyone of those large capacity house there many, many more 2 and 3 BR homes for rent. Are these rental properties paying property taxes as you are? Yet they are being denied their rights to rent their homes in a legal manner to support their business.

      Interesting how self centered and righteous some people become.


      May 13, 2020 at 4:46 pm

      1) I’ve lost revenue due to guests booking with property managers/homeowners who are ignoring the governor’s ban. I regret the environment where law-abiding homeowners are suffering not only at the hands of other homeowners not following the governor’s ban but also to resort hotels.

      2) Speaking of resort hotels, if COVID is truly a concern.. would you prefer to be in a crowded hotel with capacity elevators, packed pools, public beaches, etc. or your own private home with a private beach?

      3) The way the governor handles his press announcement and subsequent executive orders, he will NOT get my vote. He discussed ‘fear’ at a recent event addressing the press, in hindsight, he is not leading by the example he’s attempting to convey. Allow the local cities, towns dictate their policies.

      Everyone is due their opinion if I were governor and chosen his path I would jump on that plane and visit citizens here on the front lines and losing their homes. Even if he’s right, why wait for a hurricane for the pictures. The Florida panhandle direly needs a leader right now who can balance medical concerns and the survivability of the community. Above all, a governor who shows he cares beyond words.

      • Dave

        May 14, 2020 at 11:55 am

        Larry, I cannot agree with you more! I have 2 vacation rental condos, that I depend on for income and I, like the rest of us, am getting killed financially. Who is this supposed freedom loving governor that we elected. Problem is if we don’t re-elect him we would get a dem that would be even worse. At least set a date so we could open up future bookings!

        • George Smythe

          May 14, 2020 at 1:40 pm

          What no one here understands is this Governor is in the pocket of the Hotel/Motel industry. This is clearly a political move to shut down privately run vacation rentals because they are in direct competition with the Hotel/Motel industry. The Hotel/Motel industry seeks a monopoly on vacation rentals in this state. Where is free enterprise?? This is clearly the same old boys club shutting down the competition with heavy handed regulations so those close to the Governor can line their pockets with money. Private rentals are clearly a safer alternative to staying in a Hotel/Motel. Travels can social distance much easier in a private rental home. The Governors decision makes no scenes unless you consider his motive of totally shutting down the private vacation rental industry. Its the same old story, a fat check and phone call can change any law in this state.

        • Tanisha Jones

          May 15, 2020 at 2:53 pm

          This is the truth! he keeps justifying in every press briefing why he kept hotels open… plus airbnb was working with hosts for essential workers who traveled to have access to vacation Rentals that were vacant.

          many people rely on vacation rentals..not just property owners & mgt co.

          I own a cleaning service primarily for vacation Rentals like Airbnb & VRBO. I had to let go workers and have not earned any money in almost what will be 3 months the end of May.

          people are not social distancing, wearing gloves or mask when out. so I’m supposed to go broke and homeless for what?? next month I will not be able to pay monthly expenses. I still have not received stimulus check and as we know the unemployment situation is a dramedy show right now. And many small businesses were shut out of the SBA loan…which I don’t want, because I now have no way to pay back money.

          if we are not open in june for more rentals not just to florida residents (we get alot of people from Georgia) I will have to close my business I’ve operated since 2004 at the end of May or beginning of June.

          these people do not care about us. I will not whine, and wait for total destruction. I’ve dusted off the resume and pray I get hired . I’ll do what I have to do.

          I just got on to give my 2 cents, because it’s just not the property owners, it’s a trickle down situation.

          as a collective we need to elect better people

    • John and Reba

      May 13, 2020 at 8:38 pm

      We had three short-term rentals that were wiped out from a category 5 hurricane Michael. We finally had one ready to put online. It sleeps a maximum of four people. We live in Gulf County which has hand exactly one case of we should not be included with the other counties that have large problems. After losing properties and continuing to have mortgages we are in Dire Straits I do not understand the lack of Common Sense especially if hotels and motels with large groups of people in their cafeterias and lobbies and elevators and swimming pools are allowed yet we can’t have two people stay in a very clean environment. So get your facts straight before you start mouthing off

    • David Sorensen

      May 13, 2020 at 10:41 pm

      Hotels bring in huge groups. Most VRBO condos sleep 4 to 10. It’s assanine to allow hotels and resorts to remain open unrestricted, while VRBO and AirB&B owners lose 100% of our income. DeSantis is picking winners and losers in this case. The powerful hotel lobby wins while the small business owner loses. Completely unfair and I’m extremely disappointed with the “Republican” Governor.

    • Maggie P

      May 14, 2020 at 10:40 am

      That is not always the case. If so, then focus the limit large groups. My family of 4 has been scheduled to go down there since October and our rental company will not give us a refund so that is $5500 out the window unless this is lifted.

    • David

      May 14, 2020 at 3:49 pm

      So, your opinion is that businesses such as this be eliminated because you do not want them next to you. What is the difference between this and the motels nearby?

    • Charlotte Johnson

      May 14, 2020 at 5:11 pm

      One of the primary concerns is use of elevators in these high rise condos,. That is a very small confined space, if you have to share it with numerous people you do not know. I hope rental ban continues for a time.

    • Ana

      May 14, 2020 at 7:13 pm

      People are already doing that they just rent three or four hotel rooms instead of one. Get real. I live on the beach I see this every day. Evidently you don’t own any vacation rental properties. I also see all these condos cheating, they just tell them they are family. How can you open Disney and not worry about crowds!? They open Disney because they were a big contributor to his campaign. He also opened all the hotels because the multi billionaires who own all that property in Florida (miami)contributed millions of dollars to his campaign. You can look it up. It’s all on the internet.

    • Randy woodward

      May 14, 2020 at 9:57 pm

      Florida’s backbone is short term vacation rentals. Many people including retirees as myself depend on this income.
      So being ok for hotels,motels, resorts, etc. to welcome people, but not me And many around me is ludicrous. All of you locals that are opposed to it, because you don’t like vacationers period. And most of you I would dare say were that yourselves and one time.
      End this unfair treatment immediately.

    • Jeff Ely

      May 15, 2020 at 10:44 am

      Your an idiot. If you are affraid of people get out of town. You can have hundreds of people going to a hotel using the same elevator. All you sheep head to walmart w/ shortened hours so there are more people cramed into a shorter time. Do any of you think for one second. If they wanted to help they would keep every store open. make the stores stay open longer spread the people out w/ times they come in. But no they do the exact opposite. shorter times more people concentrated in a samller area. I can not believe the stupidity of the people. and you are leading the way w/ your ignorant views.

    • L smith

      May 15, 2020 at 2:03 pm

      One person is choosing who succeeds and who fails. That’s not right. He has no legal standing to exclude businesses from making money.

    • L smith

      May 15, 2020 at 2:04 pm

      One person is choosing who succeeds and who fails. That’s not right. He has no legal standing to exclude businesses from making money.

    • Hal Black

      May 15, 2020 at 5:08 pm

      Watched an interesting interview with the Destin Mayor last night. He brought up a great point; Destin was a fishing village and a vacation destination long probably long before you settled down there. If you don’t like being next to the people who generate the money/taxes/revenues to make the area viable, MOVE. Who the hell do you think is responsible for the positive growth and increased value of real estate in your neighborhood. Moron. Just thank me for making your life better. Do you really think allowing hotels to house transients makes you safer? Do you shop in supermarkets? Do you fill your gas tanks? Do you go to restaurants or bars? You are touching the things they touch. IMBECILE.

    • Maria

      May 15, 2020 at 5:40 pm

      I have been in lock down for 8 weeks . So has The 3 people Who are coming to the rental we are not going out other then the beach . So how is That not safe ? . More affection spread in a hotel !!! It isn’t birthday and I booked it last year I can’t afford to lose 4,000

  • Mary

    May 13, 2020 at 12:55 pm

    We recently met with our realtor in the panhandle. We had to stay in a hotel in Panama City since there is a ban on short term rentals. I would much rather have been in a short term rental than on an elevator with three different families (shoulder to shoulder). This ban is excluding this group and it makes NO sense. I have to wonder if someone from the short term rental community made the governor mad OR just another dirty deal behind closed doors was made! I mean…how is it safe to go to the barbershop?

    • Mary

      May 13, 2020 at 12:59 pm

      (hit send before thought was finished) how is it SAFER to go to the barbershop than to stay in your short term rental where you don’t have to interact with the public? Side note: beaches are doing a good job of social distancing (should you choose to get some fresh air)

  • Randy Copeland

    May 13, 2020 at 1:10 pm

    It’s totally ridiculous for the short-term rentals to be shut down to Florida residents especially with parties under 10 people you’re less likely to catch any kind of virus being in a house rental then you are in a hotel makes absolutely no sense at all why this ban has not been lifted if the governor was so concerned about the virus being spread he could always ban certain counties.


    May 13, 2020 at 2:13 pm

    our short term rental sleeps 4, 2bedrooms,1bath. private entrance, private parking, private laundry, no contact with others. Definitely a safer stay. This is hurting the state economy and our bottom line yet I still had to renew my license to have a short term rental. Is the state going to imburse me for the two or three months I could not rent due to the ban. Airbnb is different than short term. One house, rent a room no way.

  • jeff

    May 13, 2020 at 2:17 pm

    It is time for the Governor to explain why he is discriminating against the rental property owners and renters. It is also time for the Governor to discuss when he is going to open up the short term rentals.
    There is no logical reason to allow hotels, motels, resorts, timeshares and not allow rentals.
    I have called his office every day for 2 weeks, leaving messages asking for a reason, and have yet to received a call back.

  • Barbara Durham

    May 13, 2020 at 2:20 pm

    How can a hotel/motel be any safer than a short term rental. Most everyone in the rental is family or know each other and they are under the same roof. Think back to years ago when Legionnaire’s Disease was killing people, it was linked to hotels/motels because they breathe the same air in small confined areas. I know it happened to me and many of my family members that were at a birthday party in a rented space in a hotel. Most of us became so sick we could hardly walk from the sofa to the table for over a week.

  • Shaun

    May 13, 2020 at 2:23 pm

    I have yet to find a true justification of why the Governor has banned only vacation rentals? Also, there have been some articles published saying that when they are allowed to reopen they will require a 72-hour time frame between rentals for cleaning… are hotels being held to this rediculous requirement?

    • Louise Grant

      May 15, 2020 at 3:37 pm

      Can’t believe that this has been allowed to happen! In the UK he would have had to resign or been sacked by now!

  • devin thayer

    May 13, 2020 at 2:29 pm

    It makes Zero since for this policy. Total discrimination. Need to get short term rental s back open ASAP!

  • David

    May 13, 2020 at 2:41 pm

    I am from out of state. I have been going to Destin every year for 40 years .It is my families favorite place to vacation. Yes the virus is real and serious however the numbers and data have been blown totally out of proportion by some of the government and 95% of the media. The virus is everywhere. Both myself and my wife are essential workers. We have been out in it all along. I know many who have had it, but no one who has been seriously ill or died. Protect the at-risk. Don’t let them get out but we cannot lock up everyone or continue to shudder the economy until there is a vaccine. Herd immunity is real and must take place. If no one is allowed to move about, the herd immunity that we have for existing viruses will erode and Covid 19 will only be a part of a larger scale problem. Its just medical fact. The economy is teetering on the edge of collapse. That is real. Something has got to give. Hopefully Desantis will reconsider.

  • Beth

    May 13, 2020 at 3:21 pm

    Wondering why you would use a photo from Dauphin Island, Alabama in this article???

  • Tyler

    May 13, 2020 at 3:58 pm

    The actual recommendation gave two options as posted to their website. Option one was open to Florida residents option 2 or line 2 was open to prohibit those traveling international or from a region of high Covid. So really he has two options here.

  • Renee

    May 13, 2020 at 4:09 pm

    I have been vacationing in Marimar Beach, Fl. for the last 20 years! I am from LOUISIANA. I hear through the grapevine, that no one from Louisiana is even allowed to enter the state of Florida. This is discrimination all in its own outside of short term rental bans. I do not know 1 person that has COVID-19 and I live 2 hours away from New Orleans, how is this fair? So basically, I have been told, that even if short term rentals open prior to my vacation date, people from Louisiana are not allowed. Is this true?
    I have no clue who to believe anymore on any of this.
    thank you!

  • L

    May 13, 2020 at 4:41 pm

    What he is doing is wrong. My short term rental is a very high-quality, professionally cleaned townhome. It offers guests self Check in so they are for safer than they would ever be in a hotel. I am turning down people who want to stay here for the safety of it because of this order. It is discriminatory that hotels and resorts are allowed to stay open but Short term rentals or not. If the industry is open then all of the industry should be open. If it is shut then all of it should be shut.

  • Ron

    May 13, 2020 at 4:57 pm

    Thank you Governor! Keep this transient operation closed. They do not regulate these dwellings. DBPR only license these dwellings. They do not inspect them prior to licensing them or while they are operating.There is no on site personal present to monitor these STVR dwellings. In Flagler County over 90 percent of these STVR where in non compliance with the Florida Fire Code. In addition to being over occupied, illegal alterations, no secondary means of egress for occupants to escape.Particularly homes that have been converted into transient public lodging establishment businesses. All these dwellings should be inspected prior to licensing and twice a year. They should be held to the same standards as bed and breakfast.These dwellings pose a serious risk to the customers staying in these dwellings. Since when is a business operation not regulated? It is time for all STVR owners to be regulated properly. Let’s introduce a bill an repeal 2011 Senate Bill 883 and give back full regulatory powers to local governments. This industry is two large for DBPR to properly regulate these dwellings throughout the state. There are vacation rentals now operating illegally durning this limited phase 1 opening. This industry fabricates the facts. They are well trained by their handlers. They work off the same script. Keep these dwellings shut! Floridians do not need to battle these visitors for food and essentials in our supermarkets.
    Just received marketing material from Reunion Resort advertising occupancies up to 32 people. This is certainly not the proper occupant load in phase 1.
    You have to ask a question regarding some elected officials. Are lobbyists for this industry controlling you? It seems that AIRBNB along with the Florida Vacation Management Association and the Florida Realtor Association are.

    • Shaun

      May 13, 2020 at 5:46 pm

      Not all vacation rentals fall into your skewed view. Our beach properties are in condo complexes that are heavily regulated, inspected and insured.

    • Angela

      May 14, 2020 at 11:34 am

      Exactly, he is allowing people from all over the world to come into the State and stay. And I can’t go an hour from my house to the beach for a long weekend and stay at a privately owned Condo. This makes absolutely no sense. Total disgusted.

  • Rod Baker

    May 13, 2020 at 5:35 pm

    I was a supporter of Desantis. He has hoteliers on his committee and allowed them to gain an advantage over mom and pop STRs. I will NOT vote for Desantis ever again.

  • Ron

    May 13, 2020 at 6:19 pm

    Condo’s being used as STVR in Cinnamon Beach, Flagler county have never been individually inspected. Vacation Rentals Pros was advertising these units for occupancy exceeding 10. These units where small three bedroom units. This is why 2011 Senate bill 883 needs to be repealed. So a blanket statement that all Condo’s operating as STVR are regulated is false. If it was not for the Cinnamon Beach Condo Association these units would still be over occupied.

    So you can not justify opening STVR just because your unit is a condo vs. a home. Let’s calculate the possible occupant load. 8 people per 200 three bedroom condo equals 1600 new transient visitors. Our stores do not have enough food and essentials for their residents, now add these visitors to the equation.

    Thank you Governor for putting residents first in Florida!

  • Chris

    May 13, 2020 at 8:16 pm

    The lack of clarity and communication on this is truly unacceptable DeSantis.

    He only opened barbershops because of the publicity with the Dallas salon owner being jailed…to score some quick political points

    I can’t imagine the pressure he is under with the decisions he has to make, but that’s why I’m not Governor of the third most populous state in the country.

    He must be getting briefed on this issue but keeps his constituents in the dark. And that is the biggest mistake.

  • Theresa

    May 14, 2020 at 8:19 am

    The short-term rental industry is always clamoring that it’s “unfair” because STRs are treated differently from hotels. Yup, they sure are – STRs are allowed in communities zoned single-family – they don’t allow hotels in residential communities (even though many STRs are, in effect, mini-hotels).

    So, yes, open up the STRs – as long as they are treated like hotels – and can only be located in commercial areas. Then, you’d have my support.

    Until then, please keep them closed, Governor!!!!

    • jason jernigan

      May 15, 2020 at 11:22 pm

      no one cares what you think. its obvious you’d prefer they stay closed permanently, get out of florida, you don’t care about anyone but yourself.

  • Eric

    May 14, 2020 at 8:50 am

    The short rental ban on many buildings while allowing hotels, resorts, inns, etc., makes no sense to anyone.

    If the entire ban is not lifted, certainly the private homes/townhomes, which don’t have common areas, common elevators/elevator buttons, like condo’s should be allowed open NOW, if you feel necessary, limit it to six persons or less to prevent the gigantic homes and large groups. Private homes/ townhomes, which do have private parking, private entrances, etc should be allowed to open now, not a serious heath risk and frankly would look good as a step towards helping owners, tax revenues and our economy.

    Thank you

  • David Sorensen

    May 14, 2020 at 8:57 am

    The ignorance of people who want small businesses to close, the real estate market to collapse, and tourist tax dollars to dry up is astounding. Almost everything can open except STR.

    Whichever side you’re on, there is still NO excuse for Hotels, Motels, resorts, and timeshares to be wide open while STR are closed. I see a class action lawsuit on the horizon.

    Enjoy your higher taxes, Floridians.

  • jeff

    May 14, 2020 at 9:09 am

    Class Action lawsuit?
    Great idea.
    That would likely end up costing the state many millions.
    Gov DeSantis needs to open up the STRs now.
    WOnder how these anti-STRs would like it without the STR tax dollars and tourism dollars flowing in every year? Result – higher taxes. Much higher.

  • David Sorensen

    May 14, 2020 at 9:30 am

    Whatever your opinion, there is NO justification for allowing hotels, motels, resorts, and timeshares to remain open unrestricted, while Short Term Rentals are illegal. Please open STR’s, DeSantis!

  • David Sorensen

    May 14, 2020 at 9:32 am

    Oops, sorry I thought my last post had been removed so I shortened it.

  • Dave

    May 14, 2020 at 12:03 pm

    How are we so controlled by one man in the governors office? It shows you how afraid republican politicians are of the lame stream lying media, to completely ignore the base that elected them, while we get financially destroyed.

  • jeff

    May 14, 2020 at 12:18 pm

    There was a court hearing on this May 12.
    Steven Merryday (Chief Judge U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida) denied lifting the ban on short term vacation rentals yesterday, instead opting to hear from both sides before deciding.
    There are now two cases being considering at the same hearing. In addition to the temporary restraining order filed by attorney Patrick LeDuc, there is a case for damages (due to lost revenue) being presented by attorney Luke Lirot from Clearwater, Florida. The reason the judge combined the cases is clear. Both cases hinge on the same argument: it is unlawful to let hotels, resorts and timeshares rent units and not let private vacation rental owners/managers do the same.

  • Ron

    May 14, 2020 at 12:21 pm

    Question who is going to police occupancy in a STVR? There are no onsite personal. You can not guarantee that occupancies will not be exceeded. At least B&B’s are managed along with Hotels, Motels and Resorts.

    Another great point made above. Why are STVR treated differently then other public lodging establishments. All the comments state that this operation is a business. All lodging establishments should be regulated the same.

    If the Republicans care enough about this industry they should pass a bill to repeal 2011 Senate Bill 883 and give back local regulatory powers. This way all local governments can protect the public staying in these transient public lodging establishment businesses. By the way, why did you change the name of this operation in 2011 from Resort Dwelling to Vacation Rental?

    Every year there are politicians introducing bills to do the opposite. They continue to take away local control of these business operations. Stop treating these dwellings as single family homes. They are not homes when the owner applies for a business license from DBPR and starts charging customers for short term stays. The activity in this dwelling has changed from a permanent occupancy which is stated on their certificate of occupancy to transient. In fact all owners of STVR should be required to change their certificate of occupancy from R3 to R1.

    Governor’s decision to keep these transient businesses closed is proper. This operation has shown complete disregard of the Governor’s current order, occupancy limits, the Florida Fire Code, illegal alterations and the endangerment of the public and first responders by these illegal acts. DBPR does not have the resources to inspect these dwellings twice a year. Our local governments are the only was up to the task. They have the resources and ability to respond to complaints.

    At least we have a Governor willing to protect our communities and it’s residents durning this crisis. We know the Senators and Representatives that are bought and paid for by the vacation rental lobbyists. Governor we have your back!

    • David Sorensen

      May 14, 2020 at 1:34 pm

      A hotel is a “transient business”. A motel is a “transient business”. A resort is a “transient business”. A time share is a “transient business”. Transient businesses are open, except for privately owned STR. Business discrimination, plain and simple.

      I just walked down FWB. Umbrella services at hotels are packed. Condos next door are almost empty. That’s the only way to tell them apart. Better yet, looks like if a condo all uses the same rental company, they claim to be a “resort” so they are full too. I guess only VRBO’s get Covid. Ridiculous.

  • Theresa

    May 14, 2020 at 3:40 pm

    When all STRs are located in commercial areas, where they belong, (all of you refer to them as “businesses”) – and are treated as such, then they should be allowed.

    But, while they are located in neighborhoods zoned “single-family,” and investors claim they are residential, they should NOT be allowed to be open.

    So…are you willing to admit you are a business and willing to be treated as a business, and not be located in residential areas where you don’t belong? If not, don’t complain that you cannot open.

    We need to build homes for residents and have long-term rentals for those who want to work here but cannot afford a house. I’m sure you’ve read the research that STRs remove housing inventory for residents, and destroy neighborhoods with the building of mini-hotels that house lots of people.

    Here is one in our neighborhood: “Appropriate for a business group as well as families, the 9,000-square-foot home offers kitchen facilities on every floor (one main kitchen and two kitchenettes), king-size beds in all but one bedroom (a kids’ room with bunk beds) and all the latest electronics.” 11 bedrooms, 10 baths, sleeps 16. No wonder the governor is saying NO! Good for him.

    • David Sorensen

      May 14, 2020 at 3:49 pm

      What in the hell are you talking about? My condos are LLC businesses right next to hotels on the beach. You obviously have something against short term rentals, nothing to do with the Coronavirus. Please go troll somewhere else.

    • Hal Black

      May 15, 2020 at 5:17 pm

      Teresa, were you lobotomized or just born stupid? Ignoramuses like yourself are more liable to spread the virus than our STR. Go back to your trailer park, take a cigarette out from under your rolled up shirt sleeve and then get down on your knees and thank all STRs for making your property and community a better and more valuable place. $%^*ING IDIOT! If you are not happy with the way things WILL BE, MOVE. Oh by the way, you will be paying STR’s damages when we crush the state in a Class Action Lawsuit for violating our rights. LOL. YES, YOU WILL BE PAYING US MONEY!

  • Penny

    May 14, 2020 at 5:24 pm

    I am a retired teacher that has one vacation rental home. That is my income besides my tiny teacher retirement which is almost down to nothing because of this ban. If it goes another month I will have used up all of it. I follow the rules but I am definitely feeling discriminated against at this point. Lift the ban!!

  • Ron

    May 14, 2020 at 11:34 pm

    Governor thank you for keeping these businesses closed in our single family neighborhoods. It’s time to repeal 2011 Senate Bill 883 now! Treat all these STVR as businesses and regulate them. Keep these operations out of our neighborhoods and zoned them properly.

    Even the STVR owners are stating that they are transient lodging businesses. Businesses do not belong operating next to a single family home. These dwellings are no longer homes once they license the dwelling as a STVR with DBPR.

    • Anthony

      May 15, 2020 at 1:12 pm

      Why don’t you grind your axe in a comment section that actually supports your feelings? As for STVR’s being next to single family homes, R3 zoning in Fernandina Beach allows for it. You are only permitted STVR in an R3 zoned area. The elected leaders (key word elected) made that decision. STVR properties are also required to have an annual life safety inspection before a license can be renewed each year. Your previous argument that fire safety is ignored varies by county. You clearly don’t like STVR’s and that’s okay. This just seem like the right venue to air your complaints.

    • Hal Black

      May 15, 2020 at 5:28 pm

      Please pull DeSantis’ hotdog out of your mouth when you speak, please. Can’t wait to get your tax dollars when STRs crush the state in a Class Action lawsuit. LOL. I am going to buy up more property cause I think you are a jackas- and bring friends! This was a fishing and destination spot probably long before you got there. We have every right to make a living as do you. Moron.

  • jeff

    May 15, 2020 at 11:44 am

    Q – Do you anti-STVR peeps realize what your stance has to do with the discrimination against STVRs currently practiced by the Governor’s ban?
    A – Absolutely nothing.
    Q – Do you anti-STVR peeps realize what would happen if there were fewer or no STVRs?
    A – Property values would drop, property taxes would increase, tourism dollars would drop and the local and state budgets would have a huge deficit.

  • Richard Laine

    May 15, 2020 at 12:54 pm

    I would like to ask you to please help me, my family, and thousands of other family owned vacation rental businesses throughout the state of Florida out by signing and sharing this petition with others.

    We need to let Governor DeSantis know that it’s not right to continue to ban vacation rentals while he’s allowed hotels and motels to operate throughout the COVID-19 epidemic without any restrictions. This ban on just vacation rentals makes no sense as vacation rentals are much safer than hotels and motels. If the goal is to reduce the spread of the virus vacation rentals have fewer shared spaces then hotels and motels. There is no reason to single out vacation rentals while allowing all other forms of lodging to continue to operate. This ban is hurting family owned small businesses throughout the state of Florida for no reason.

  • Sue

    May 15, 2020 at 1:57 pm

    Lift the short term rental ban this is unjust unconstitutional. There are going to be secondary problems much worse than the virus itself these people rely on this rental income to stay afloat not to mention the revenue it brings in! This is absurd I’ve never heard of anything like this in entire 55 years! Sounds like there’s a motive for keeping the short term rental ban in place because it doesn’t make sense! Hmmm

    • David Sorensen

      May 15, 2020 at 3:27 pm

      DeSantis just said your county can send a request and safety plan via letter and he’ll approve STR on county by county basis. Hopefully Okaloosa County will send one today. Good luck.

  • Kate Foulds

    May 15, 2020 at 3:36 pm

    The real estate PlumLee here in Indian Shores has rentals available now.
    Just look online under “vacation rentals.” Why isn’t the Attorney General of Florida stepping in? They probably are not paying tax I would imagine? Several Michigan license plates, Wisconsin, NC, IL plates can be seen in parking lots of rentals.

  • Louise Grant

    May 15, 2020 at 3:37 pm

    Can’t believe that this has been allowed to happen! In the UK he would have had to resign or been sacked by now!

    • David Sorensen

      May 15, 2020 at 4:06 pm


      “We’re telling counties if you want short-term rentals, you request it. If you tell me you’re going to rent it out to people in New York City, I’ll probably not approve it…It will be on a case-by-case basis.”

  • Ron

    May 15, 2020 at 4:24 pm

    We are not talking about property zoning. When a single family home is built your builder or owner chooses a building occupancy designation. The building code occupancy designation R-3 means that this dwelling will be used for occupancy permanent in nature. When you license that same dwelling as a STVR which is a transient public lodging establishment business the same as a hotel, motel , timeshare or bed and breakfast you changed the use of that occupancy from permanent to transient.

    All of the statements above reflected that. A Vacation Rental is transient business. Since that is a fact owners of these dwellings are operating in conflict with their original certificate of occupancy. All owners who license a single family dwelling should be required to change their certificate of occupancy from R-3 permanent occupancy to R1 transient occupancy.

    Big different when you are referring to property zoning classification and building occupancy classification.

    In R3 property zoning bed and breakfast operations are not permitted. Since a vacation rental dwelling is conducting the same operation this restriction should also applied to STVR.

    The Governor is in his rights to stop these business operations in our single family communities during this pandemic. Besides he is protecting the residents from this mostly unregulated business. No on site management and no one to verify who is staying in these dwellings or the occupancy.

    I will certainly be voting for our Governor again in the next election.

    • Hal Black

      May 15, 2020 at 5:21 pm

      Your vote will not matter. He has alienated more than enough to flip the election. We will note forget and based on the lawsuits and petitions, he is in trouble.

  • Ron

    May 15, 2020 at 5:43 pm

    Do not worry. Over 90 percent of actual registered Florida voters are against these business operations in their neighborhoods. Most of these dwellings are owned by non residents of Florida owning multiple properties. We are well aware of your game.

  • David Palumbo

    May 15, 2020 at 8:42 pm

    First, My 2 condos are in a community that allows rentals as short as a week in the bylaws.
    Second, Just watched DeSantis speech from today, as David quoted he did say he won’t approve renters from NYC, but also he will approve renters from Florida. That leaves a whole lot in-between! So the county manager has to list every state he will allow and won’t allow???? How would they ever be able to enforce this. Will they require reports from the property owners of your renters??? This is no different than the restaurants in other states being required to supply names of guests!! Again, how would any of this be enforceable without being a police state!

  • Mark

    May 16, 2020 at 1:41 pm

    Are y’all not paying attention? I know several families in Florida right now. On vacation. Motels are renting to vacationers and have been for awhile.

    • divakate

      May 18, 2020 at 11:53 am

      So are condos–all along Gulf Blvd through and Plumlee just to mention a few. Why isn’t the Governor on those websites???

  • Robert

    May 18, 2020 at 12:23 am

    So a hotel with 500 guests, all from New York City, is allowed to open but a house with 2 guests from rural Wyoming can’t open. Makes sense.

  • Ron

    May 19, 2020 at 4:53 pm


    Who is going to enforce the new regulations? It is not going to be DBPR. They are not enforcing the 14 day quarantine order. There are owners and there guest staying in condo units at The Club at Hammock Beach from the NY area that where instructed at the boarder to self quarantine. But this is not happening. They are in our supermarkets, restaurants and on our beaches. Now Hammock Beach wants to operate their STVR’s. A lot of bad actors managing this property. So who is going to enforce the Governor’s order? Our county officials have no enforcement plan in place. They do not have an answer.

    • David Sorensen

      May 19, 2020 at 5:50 pm

      Okaloosa County is open for business! King DeSantis has granted his minions the right to rent their own property. What a gracious master. I almost feel as important as the Hotel next door, which has been packed throughout the Coronavirus crisis.

      Happy Days!

Comments are closed.


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