A Palm Beach Property [Photo Credit: Tessa Wilson]

Florida counties impose diverse rental restrictions

US: Though the state of Florida reopened its rental sector after having been previously shuttered, many individual counties have still levied diverse restrictions against vacation rentals.

Though regulations aim to slow the spread of Covid-19, the lack of uniformity across the counties confuses many operators.

Governor Ron DeSantis lifted restrictions on state rentals on the condition that the various substituent counties submit reopening plans to the state before proceeding. According to the state Department of Business and Professional Regulation, 53 counties have had their plans signed off at this point.

However, the diversity of restrictions has been difficult to manage for those operating across counties. Differences in limits of inhabitants, wait times between visits, and allowances of out of state visitors make many companies hesitant to reopen fully.

Denis Hanks, executive director of the Florida Vacation Rental Management Association, said to Daily Business Review: “Some people find it problematic because they’re operating in multiple counties and they have to continue to look at and monitor those numbers, because those numbers are always changing. We’ve seen some states come off the list and then go back on the list.”

“Monitoring the case rates can be confusing for property managers and owners.”

In many counties, rentals are restricted to out of state visitors until the state moves into its second phase of reopening. Governor DeSantis announced last week the state’s plans to move into the second phase, hoping to revive the state’s economy.

Property managers have been hamstrung by the new santitation requirements, citing increased costs. Many split these costs across property owners, guests and managers alike to keep business flowing.

Others are noting a significant uptick in business, making the need for consistent regulation even clearer. Gretchen Kornituk, owner of Suncoast Beach Vacations, noted her business was at 98 per cent occupancy, with most of her guests native Floridians.

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