Fort Lauderdale cuts Airbnb rental fees by more than half

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An Airbnb supporter in a T-shirt waits his turn to speak at the Miami Airbnb committee meeting on Thursday, March 23, 2017.

Fort Lauderdale eased its regulations against short-term rental owners on Wednesday, making it easier to legally own a vacation rental on platforms like Airbnb.

City commissioners voted to reduce the fees for applying to become the legal owner of a vacation rental, set in 2015, from $ 750 to $ 350. The renewal fee will also drop from $ 500 to $ 160.

The city will reward vacation rentals where the owner lives in the home with a reduced renewal fee of $ 80.

Since its vacation rentals ordinance passed in August 2015, Fort Lauderdale has struggled to achieve compliance from local rental owners due to high fees.

“We’re trying to bring some relief to this,” Fort Lauderdale Mayor Jack Seiler said at the committee meeting on Wednesday.

The commission went back and forth to add further relief to vacation rentals when the owner is present in the home after Commissioner Dean Trantalis expressed concern over waiving an annual inspection required for short-term rentals .

“I receive complaints every week from people who live in our communities, especially the dearest communities, who feel their neighborhoods are being ransacked by people renting in and out of the neighborhood with cars, people and cars. celebrations, ”Trantalis said. “What are we doing for our communities here? ”

The city agreed to amend the ordinance to waive the annual renewal inspection requirements for owner-occupied properties, as long as the property did not violate the city’s short-term rental rules during the period. last year. Instead, owners will need to provide an affidavit of compliance with city bylaws.

“Our history has shown from our staff that owner occupied properties do not have the same impact as non-owner occupied properties,” Seiler said. “So to encourage people to say watch, sign up, and if you’re there, we usually don’t have to respond. The police are not there because of noise, traffic or pollution.

According to the Fort Lauderdale Code Compliance Department, 236 Certificates of Compliance have been issued through March. This represents about 5% of all short-term renters in Fort Lauderdale, according to previous Airbnb estimates based on listings on its site and VRBO rental platform.

Miami Mayor Tomás Regalado proposed in February to pass an ordinance almost identical to Fort Lauderdale’s, but with a $ 250 filing fee. The ordinance was dropped as the city voted instead to affirm its zoning rules, which largely ban short-term rentals, in March.

Earlier this month, Miami-Dade and Broward counties signed tax deals with Airbnb to collect the 6% Miami-Dade city tax and the 5% Broward city tax.

This story was originally published April 20, 2017 6:42 pm.

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