It’s called SB280 and some local elected officials believe the new Bill takes control regulating vacation rentals out of the hands of municipalities and puts it in the hands of the state. Vacation rentals are big business on Fort Myers Beach.
The bill says that the maximum overnight occupancy of a vacation rental cannot exceed two people per bedroom, plus an additional two persons in one common area, or more than two persons per bedrooms if at least 50 square feet per person, plus an additional two persons in one common area, whichever is greater.
The bill also gives a vacation property owner up to 15 days to fix a problem with their property. And, they must have a “capable” person available to respond to complaints or emergencies 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
The Senate version of the Bill allows local governments to charge a “reasonable registration fee” for a vacation rental. The House version of the Bill allows local governments to charge a $150 annual registration fee. Fort Myers Beach charges a $300 annual registration fee.
The Senate bill also includes violations and suspensions:
– One or more violations on five separate days during a 60-day period amounts to a 30 day suspension.
– One or more violations on five separate days during a 30-day period amounts to a 60 day suspension.
– One or more violations after two prior suspensions amounts to a suspension of 90 days
The Senate Bill does not say who will enforce the new state-wide rules. The Bill passed 27-13 in the Senate. Senator Jonathan Martin, who represents Southwest, Florida voted yes on the Bill. The House Bill is slightly different than the Senate Bill so that will have to be reconciled before it’s sent on to Governor DeSantis.