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Big Win for Florida Property Owners

Florida Gov. DeSantis vetoed Senate Bill 280, which would have allowed the state to impose stricter regulations on vacation rentals

Over the last few months, groups like the Florida Alliance for Vacation Rentals (FAVR) have been urging the governor not to sign the bill, stating that it would result in property owners paying for more regulations and bigger government.

Denis Hanks, the Executive Director of FAVR, praised DeSantis for stopping the bill. “This bill had a big government in it. It would have created a database to be developed, enforcing new occupancy limits, and more importantly, the regulatory complex between private enterprise, local governments, and state government would have resulted as a colossal failure,” says Hanks.

Vacation rental lodging is the fastest-growing lodging sector in Florida, with 27% of the US vacation rental market in the Sunshine State.

The Florida Realtors also applauded DeSantis for the veto.

“Several issues in the bill could have harmed Florida’s tourism industry,” Florida Realtors® president Gia Arvin said.

Arvin said a concerning provision within the bill was that it permits local governments to levy unspecified fees on property owners to process registration applications.

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“They can charge property owners a reasonable fee to process registration applications, but there’s no defined limit on that fee,” Arvin explained. “This lack of fee regulation raises concerns regarding the potential financial strain it may place on property owners and, consequently, on vacation rental rates.”

Furthermore, the proposed bill enables local governments to suspend property owners’ registrations for what it terms “material violations” of local laws, yet fails to provide a precise definition of what constitutes such violations.

Arvin also raised the alarm about the lengthy and resource-intensive appeals process mandated by the bill.

“If they’re [homeowners] suspended, they have to appeal registration denials through the circuit court,” she said. “This bureaucratic hurdle could add unnecessary complexity and strain on property owners, potentially discouraging them from entering or continuing in the vacation rental market.”

Hanks said members of his community emailed thousands of letter to the Governor’s office to oppose the Senate bill.


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