Municipal regulation of short-term vacation rentals is relatively new issue but I would greatly appreciate if someone who has direct experience in this matter could voice their opinion or provide some links on whether at the end of the day it is worth regulating short-term rentals on top of existing noise/parking/trash ordinances that apply to everyone.
The reason I’m asking, we are a pretty small tropical Florida town (perm. population 16K, seasonal – 40K) and short-term rentals is a constant political issue. For the past 5-6 years it goes around in circles and keeps ending up in my department and we waste time on series of work-shops, hearings, memos and after considering very few pros (political side – City is doing something) and endless cons (additional staff, additional rules and regs, potential property rights lawsuits where municipalities almost always lose, less visitors) everyone agrees that lets stay out of the business of regulating short-term rentals based solely on them being short-term and rely on existing noise/parking/trash ordinances. Finally, according to the rental websites we have about 650 of those properties and yes, we get complaints, but it is not about noise, or parking or trash, but just the fact that there is a short-term rental next door or that girls in little bikinis are walking with noodles to the beach and giggle and talk too loud. Well there is nothing (democratic) government can do about it!!
Anyway, I am working on the memo to say that hey, my dept spent whole 2006 and then 2009 on this and we all agreed to do nothing. Now we are back. Here’s pros, here’s cons and now that those regs have been enacted in other places, we can look and say that from municipal stand point at the end of the day it is just additional ordinance and an additional government employee. Let alone – 1. State of Florida bans municipalities from regulating short-term rentals based solely on their use if not passed prior to July 1, 2011 and 2. short term rentals have to and do register with the County, pay bed taxes and pay sales taxes to the State.
Thank you and opinions that I am completely wrong are welcome as well.