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Property Management Blog

Short Term Rentals

My name is Tiea Vincent, and I'm the broker and owner of Roundtable Property Management. Short term rentals are really popular here in Florida. But right now, everything's just in chaos. The last couple years, the Realtor party has been lobbying in Tallahassee for regulations on short term rentals. We haven't had a lot of traction in the last couple years, but this year looks like it might be our year. Currently, there is two bills, one in the Senate, one in the House that would put regulations on short term rentals. Now, my opinion of this is an unpopular opinion. When I talked to other property managers, oftentimes I hear them say, "we don't want government regulations, we don't want anyone else telling us how to do our jobs and what to do in our business". But the thing is, is without some regulations, then everyone does whatever they want and there are no guidelines. I'm not a huge fan of the way that this House bill and Senate bill are written, but I understand that everything comes in baby steps. So while this might not be the absolute perfect bill, it is going to get us on the path to the right direction of what we need. 

Right now, the government has no requirements or restrictions on short term rentals. What this bill would do is say that those decisions are put down to the local level, so long as is they treat all residential properties the same and don't make special rules for just short term rentals. It also says that short term rentals will need to be registered with the state of Florida. This will mean that anyone who does not register their short term rental with the state will not be allowed to advertise on any of the advertising platforms. So I want to give you some examples of what chaos looks like when no one's in control, no one's putting restrictions on you, what it looks like. I should preempt that, this bill does not regulate your cam managers or your condos. I would like them to further the bill to have that regulation. But right now we're focusing on getting the first step. 

So here in Jacksonville, I manage several properties that are in these different areas of town. There are areas out at the beaches that are not allowed to have short rentals at all. The government won't allow it, and then other areas do. Imagine if you bought an investment property there a year ago for the sole purpose of renting it out. And the government comes in and says in this area, you're not allowed to do that and now you're stuck with a home that you can't make income producing. I also have a community where homeowners are allowed to have pets, but the tenants are not. There are a few communities where you are only allowed to have one lease for the entire twelve month span. Now that lease could be a one week lease. It could be a twelve month lease. But what happens is, let's say we put a 12 month tenant in there and he's military, and five months from now he gets military orders and breaks his lease and moves away. That homeowner can not re-rent their home until the end of the twelve months. It has to sit vacant and make no money. I have several communities that the tenants are not allowed to drive commercial vehicles into the community. The homeowners can, but the tenants can't. Which means that those really good tenants that have great paying jobs from Comcast or JEA or Amazon or U.P.S. when they're driving their work vehicles home, they can't come home to your home. They are allowed to turn around and buy the house next door and bring their vehicles home at any time. But they can't park it in your driveway and pay your rent. 

These are just some of the crazy examples that we're seeing here in Jacksonville. And the beauty of the government stepping in is as well it's not a political thing, it's not Republican or Democrat. When they get together to create these bills, they try to make them as fair as possible. That way, both sides are happy and they come up with a fair and balanced proposition. With the government stepping in this allows us to have some type of guideline to go off of. It keeps all of us on the straight and narrow and on the same path. So my point to this is have an open mind. Every time the government gets involved, it doesn't necessarily have to be a bad thing. And at this point, if someone doesn't get involved and guidelines are enacted, then really the homeowners and the tenants are gonna be the one paying the price. So if you have any questions about this bill coming up or anything else with property management and your short term or long term rental, please feel free to give me a call.