- Charlotte County
- coronavirus pandemic
- coronavirus reopening
- COVID-19 reopening
- COVID-19 virus
- Duval County
- lee county
- Levy County
- Nassau County
- new coronavirus
- novel coronavirus
- Osceola County
- Pinellas County
- short-term vacation rentals
- st johns
- St. Johns County
- vacation rental
- vacation rental ban
- vacation rentals
The Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) has lifted the vacation rental ban in eight more counties Wednesday, raising the total number of cleared counties to 16.
The department approved reopening plans submitted by Charlotte, Duval, Lee, Levy, Nassau, Osceola, Pinellas and St. Johns counties with possibly more to come before the end of the day. That’s on top of eight Panhandle county plans approved Tuesday along the Gulf coast from Escambia County to Wakulla County.
Those plans, going into effect immediately, will reverse a two-month ban placed statewide by Gov. Ron DeSantis. On Thursday, the department followed up the 16 approvals with an additional 10.
On Friday, the Governor announced individual counties could submit their plans to reopen the vacation rental industry for approval. Not every county has submitted plans, according to a DBPR spokeswoman.
“If you tell me you’re going to rent them out to people from New York City, I’m probably not going to approve that, OK?” DeSantis said in Jacksonville. “If you’re saying that, you know, you’re going to rent it out to people in other parts of Florida or something that would be manageable or if there’re ways in there that clearly you have an eye to safety, then I’m fine.”
Signed amid concerns about spring breakers, the original executive order noted that vacation rentals are attractive destinations for out-of-state visitors, then the driving source of COVID-19 infections. During his Friday press conference, DeSantis elaborated on why he let hotels stay open for business.
“Part of the thing is I have National Guard — I’ve got all these National Guard I’ve got to put up,” DeSantis said. “I’ve got other people I’ve got to put up, so we needed to have an ability to have hotels, so it’s a little bit different situation.”
The vacation rental ban includes a carveout for those performing military or government duties and emergency, health or infrastructure responses. Additionally, those on business trips or staying more than 30 days may rent.
DeSantis’ Re-Open Florida Task Force, which included representatives from the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association, Walt Disney World Resort and the Fontainebleau luxury hotel in Miami Beach, last month recommended including restrictions on vacation rentals for most of the state’s reopening process. The panel did not include voices from the vacation rental industry.
The task force recommended that hosts only be allowed to rent to Florida residents and be banned from accepting reservations from international travelers or from visitors who live in cities that are known hot spots for COVID-19. The task force did not recommend restrictions for hotels, motels, resorts and time-share developments.
May 21, 2020 at 7:52 am
The Task Force really needs a voice from the Vacation Rental Industry that will represent all of Florida. Vacation Rental businesses are registered, inspected, tax paying professional entities like hotels, Motels, and other accommodation businesses that were permitted to remain open. The distinction should have been made between professional Vacation rental businesses and homeowners renting out properties through Airbnb and other booking channels. Through the booking channels, there is no control as to where your guests come from and property owners are penalized for cancelling any reservations. While these booking channels provide more income and travelers, they also attract guests from all around the country as well as international guests.
I know for a fact Airbnb, Booking.con, and others are booking trips in Florida and have been throughout the prohibition period. In the community I manage properties at, several owners have been renting their properties with these booking channels while my business sits idle following the rules. Talk about a slap in the face. These people care less about your laws and more about their pocket books. Again, the distinction needs to be made between professional PM’s and homeowners. Our businesses depend on it as primary income, not secondary income. We need a voice.
May 21, 2020 at 8:11 am
I own a second home on Amelia lsland that is sometimes rented through a professional agency. I agree completely with the distinction proposed by Stephen.
May 21, 2020 at 8:32 am
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May 21, 2020 at 2:05 pm
I am helping send out certified letters for friends that live next to short term rental owners and Airbnb for loss of use of THEIR PROPERTY. Short term owners and Airbnb who willingly endanger the health of a neighbor on that neighbor’s private property is civil and criminally liable. The Governor was doing most of the short term rental owners a favor by closing them. If a neighbor gets sick or dies from the short term rental property, the owners should be arrested and charged accordingly. Having 50-200 different people over a month on a condo’s balcony or in a small backyard qualifies as loss of use because their is a reasonable expectation that one of those people has coronavirus. The lawsuits against short term rental owners should be enough for them to wait this out.
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