Two bills now being considered by the Florida Legislature would preempt local regulation of local short-term vacation rental ordinances to the State.
CS/SB 1128: Vacation Rentals
GENERAL BILL by Commerce and Tourism; Diaz
Vacation Rentals; Preempting the regulation of vacation rentals to the state; prohibiting a local law, ordinance, or regulation from allowing or requiring inspections or licensing of public lodging establishments, including vacation rentals…
CS/HB 1011: Vacation Rentals
GENERAL BILL by Government Operations and Technology Appropriations Subcommittee; Fischer; La Rosa; (CO-INTRODUCERS) Daniels; Sabatin
Vacation Rentals; Preempts regulation of vacation rentals to state; prohibits local law, ordinance, or regulation from allowing or requiring inspections or licensing of vacation rentals…
These bills nullify the few local sensible rules, such as in Indian River County, now protecting communities from being overrun by illegal “motels.”
In the House, HB 1011 was approved on February 4 by the House Government Operations and Technology Appropriations Subcommittee by a 8-5 vote. The bill will be heard next in the House Commerce Committee which is its final committee assignment.
On February 11, 2020 SB 1128 passed the Senate Commerce and Tourism Committee by a vote of 3-2. It now moves to the Rules Committee and then to the floor.
Both “companion bills” will surely be combined for a vote this Legislative session.
Property owners who choose to use their property as a vacation rental have constitutionally protected property rights, according to the bills.
Both bills exempt local regulations enacted prior to 2011, such as Vero Beach, which has a 30-day rental ordinance enacted prior to 2011.
As one reader wrote, “While both bills exempt local regulations enacted prior to 2011, it makes no difference as both 1128 and the House version state renting is a CONSTITUTIONALLY PROTECTED PROPERTY RIGHT setting the stage for ANY AND ALL ORDINANCES whether prior to 2011 or not to be challenged in FEDERAL COURT ON CONSTITUTIONAL GROUNDS !”
Local governments insist they have the jurisdiction under the Florida Constitution’s “home rule” provisions.
This legislation is a similar move as the 2017 “Small Cell Statute,” that preempted municipalities’ ability to control the use of their own property, specifically utility poles.”
The HB 1011 and SB 1128 would preempt local regulation of vacation rental properties just as the Small Cell Statute preempts municipalities’ ability to control the use of their own utility poles.
In Arizona, Governor Doug Ducey signed a bill in 2016 that forced cities and towns to allow short-term rentals from companies such as Airbnb and VRBO.
But Democrats in Arizona submitted the first House bill of the 2020 Legislative session, which would repeal protections for such rentals.
“This is the only law like it in the country,” said lawyer and Realtor Greg Hague, who supports the repeal being proposed.
“These are unregulated motels,” by Blanc and Lieberman. “These are businesses in residential zoning.”
Homes rented through online sites such as Airbnb and VRBO have become a nuisance in places as diverse as midtown Phoenix and Sedona, with full-time residents complaining about noise, parties, rude or drunken behavior and dangerous driving in usually quiet neighborhoods.
The ultimate determination regarding which “home rule” prevails – local governments’ or homeowners’ – may be determined by the courts.