Ron DeSantis ‘opposes’ preventing local control over Airbnb

TALLAHASSEE — Gov. Ron DeSantis on Monday expressed concerns about legislative proposals that would further restrict local governments from regulating short-term vacation rentals.

DeSantis said he hasn’t made up his mind on the bills (HB 1011 and SB 1128) but is “leaning against” the effort.

“We have almost 22 million people. We are a very diverse state. For us to micromanage vacation rentals, I’m not sure that’s the right thing to do,” DeSantis told reporters after a ribbon-cutting ceremony at Florida A&M University.

“These are things where you’ll have kind of a quiet neighborhood,” DeSantis continued. “Then you will have someone doing this and there will be parties and some residents will get angry. My view would probably be that it should be determined locally.

DeSantis, who has lived on the east and west coasts of the state, said he has expressed his views with members of the Legislative Assembly.

The House bill, sponsored by Rep. Jason Fischer, R-Jacksonville, and Rep. Mike La Rosa, R-St. Cloud, has authorized its committees and is ready for consideration by the full House. The Senate measure, sponsored by Sen. Manny Diaz Jr., R-Hialeah, must be approved by the Rules Committee before it can go to the full Senate.

Last week, the House Commerce Committee reconciled the two bills by adding language that would require online platforms such as Airbnb to collect and remit taxes on vacation rental properties, ensure that only rentals duly authorized are announced and to provide the State with specific information. regarding rentals.

In exchange, inspection or licensing regulations would be “pre-empted” by the state’s Department of Business and Occupational Regulation, removing regulatory authority from local governments.

Local governments would be able to regulate issues such as noise, parking, and garbage, as long as vacation rentals are treated the same as other neighborhood homes.

Fischer said Thursday that the proposal is about protecting property rights and that many issues with vacation rentals are nuisance-related and can still be resolved locally.

“Nothing in this bill encourages the situation of a party house,” Fischer said. “Nothing here would prevent local governments from passing a noise ordinance and enforcing those noise ordinances. These good neighbor orders are still allowed, they simply cannot target vacation rentals.

Under current law, cities and counties cannot prohibit vacation rentals or regulate the length or frequency of rentals. But local governments are allowed to license and inspect properties.

Condominium and homeowner associations would be excluded from the new rules.

Jacksonville Beach Mayor Charlie Latham told the House Commerce Committee last week that the problem had exploded in recent years as businesses began buying homes in single-family neighborhoods to use as “business entities.”

Florida Association of Counties lobbyist Eric Poole told the committee that the existing rules are already “friendly” to Florida’s vacation rental industry, which generated $1.2 billion last year. revenue from 6.6 million guests.

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