Short Term Rental Regulations in the City of West Palm Beach

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    short term rental regulations west palm beach

    The Development Services Department of the City of West Palm Beach exclusively facilitates a smooth permit request and short term rental regulations process between the City and local renters. The same restrictions apply whether you plan to list your property as a “short term” rental on a platform or if you wish to enter into a rental contract with tenants.

    The following is a complete guideline for West Palm Beach’s short term rental regulations so that anyone can be a responsible host when using platforms like Airbnb, VRBO, and similar services. This rundown should give you a good start in understanding your local laws.

    Rental License Application

    A Rental Tax Application is necessary for all rental units in the City. This application assists in ensuring that rental units explicitly meet and maintain the City’s minimal housing standards. Property owners can find this form in the Development Services Department – Business Tax section of the City’s website

    Along with this application, property owners must also submit a zoning evaluation, which verifies the number of units requested and includes the following:

    • A scheduled inspection with code compliance for all rental properties. 
    • A fire inspection, if three or more units are under the same roof.

    Property owners must ensure that they take the following steps to make inspection more efficient and effective.

    The Interior

    • The environment inside the property is clean and safe.
    • All of the appliances, electrical work, windows, plumbing, and basic facilities are functioning well.
    • Window screens are either in place or available for installation. 
    • There are no signs of any insects or rodents.

          The Exterior

          • The environment outside the property is clean and safe.
          • There is no outdoor storage.
          • All of the parking spaces have been entirely paved.
          • The landscapes have been properly maintained.
          • There is a safe egress route available (no tripping hazards)
          • Property owners have appropriately displayed the property’s address numbers on the outside. 

                  Applicants can also contact Code Enforcement at (561) 822-1465 after submitting their Rental License Application. 

                  Types of Rental Properties

                  Type 1: Owner-occupied (Single-Family, Multi-family or Duplex)

                  Concept –

                  • Owner-occupied or linked with an owner-occupied principal residence.
                  • Involves the rental of an entire dwelling unit.


                    • If property owners rent out only part of the unit, it must contain a sleeping room with a shared full bathroom. Only a single party of individuals can stay in the unit, and the owner is usually present during the rental.

                    Requirements –

                    • Applicants should provide documentation that the property is either owner-occupied or connected to an owner-occupied principal residential unit. 
                    • Property owners must document the deed with Palm Beach County Clerk and Comptroller’s Office. Moreover, the ownership information on the application must match the deed.

                    Type 2: non-owner-occupied (Single-Family or Duplex)

                    Concept –

                    • Are single-family or duplex homes 
                    • Are neither owner-occupied nor associated with an owner-occupied principal residence.
                    • Include the rental of an entire dwelling unit. 

                    Requirements – 

                    • The City of West Palm Beach has established a maximum percentage of short term rentals that can lawfully operate in each census tract.
                    • Property owners must document the deed with the Palm Beach County Clerk and Comptroller’s Office. Moreover, the ownership information on the application must match the deed.

                    Type 3: non-owner-occupied (Multi-family)

                    Concept – 

                    • Are non-owner-occupied.
                    • They are a part of a multi-family use property (such as apartments, condos, and so on).
                    • Include the rental of an entire dwelling unit. 

                    Requirements – 

                    • The applicant must provide documentation on the number of buildings on the property coupled with the total units per building.
                    • Applicants must adhere to any current geographic restrictions. 

                    Waste and Yard Maintenance 

                    According to City of West Palm Beach ordinances, landlords or renters are responsible for the property’s overall maintenance. Property owners or agents must check their contracts to see who is responsible for keeping the property free of trash, bulk objects, as well as overgrown vegetation. 

                    Guidelines for Sanitation:

                    The City provides a free garbage can, with either a capacity of 48 gallons or 96 gallons to every home in West Palm Beach. If one requires an additional garbage can, the City will charge them $11.60 per month in addition to a $75 delivery cost. Tenants must place their can(s) on the curb with the lid opening facing the street after 5:00 p.m. on the day before pick-up day. Furthermore, they must ensure there are no obstructions or objects in the way of the sanitation vehicle from receiving the trash can.

                    Hence, to help keep the property and area in good conditions, the City’s Public Works Department has put together a list of do’s and don’ts:


                    • Fill trash in heavy-duty bags with secure ties.
                    • Tenants must shut the lid entirely.
                    • Ensure all aerosol cans are empty.
                    • Put pet waste in a bag suitable for disposal. 
                    • Rinse your garbage can with water and soap/bleach now and again to keep it from stinking. 


                    • Fill building or bulk materials such as wood, plaster, or concrete in the can.
                    • Put flammables or propane tanks in the trash container. 
                    • Tenants must ensure they do not dispose of any dead animals in a garbage can.
                    • Tenants should not dispose of hazardous materials in the garbage can (such as rechargeable batteries, chemicals, paint, fire extinguishers, medical waste, phone, etc.)

                    Note: Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day are the only holidays when pick-up service is unavailable. For this reason, tenants can put extra garbage bags next to their bin after these three holidays. However, on all other holidays, pick-up services will carry out regularly scheduled services. 

                    Tips for Recycling

                    • Paper products go in the yellow bins. Metal, plastic, and glass go in the blue containers.
                    • Tenants should not place plastic bags, Styrofoam, and aluminum foil in the blue bin.
                    • Flatten cardboard boxes to a size of 3’ x 3’ or less.
                    • Occupants should not place recycle bins on top of other things. Moreover, they must not place garbage in recycling containers.
                    • Occupants must not dispose of hazardous trash in boxes.

                    Residential Property Code Compliance in West Palm Beach

                    The Code Compliance Division of the City of West Palm Beach exclusively preserves the peace and beauty of the City’s communities. The division has adopted particular short term rental regulations that establish standards for properties within the City limits to achieve this. Consequently, these short term rental regulations control substandard conditions of dwelling units, waste and garbage collection, yard management, and parking locations. As a result, the community is cleaner and more appealing, with higher property prices and lower crime rates, and vandalism.

                    Frequently Committed Code Violations

                    • Yard Maintenance Standards

                    Every property owner is responsible for maintaining suitable yard conditions. Trees must be trimmed so that they do not hinder motorists’ views or passage.

                    • Non-Functional Motor Vehicles

                    Vehicles that are disabled or do not have a valid license must be kept in a garage. So automobiles that do not have a valid license plate or aren’t safe to drive on public roads. 

                    • Garbage, Junk, and Debris

                    Large items should be disposed of correctly and not left in the yard for an extended period of time. For example, auto parts, appliances, furniture, tree limbs, and other items fall into this category. 

                    • Unpaved Parking

                    All licensed vehicles must be parked on a driveway or paved surface that has been approved. 

                    • Commercial Equipment 

                    Commercial vehicles and equipment are not allowed to be parked or stored in residential areas in West Palm Beach. Tenants may not park any commercial vehicle weighing more than 10,000 pounds in a residential area. 

                    • Outdoor Storage

                    Outdoor storage is not permitted for any equipment, furnishing, or materials not regularly used outdoors. 

                    • Illegal Dwelling Units

                    Rental property owners must get a rental license and undergo an inspection. Furthermore, the City has prohibited adding units to the interior or exterior without the required permits.

                    Other Short Term Rental Regulations

                    As a responsible host, you must comprehend and abide by other vacation rental rules and regulations that bind you. These include leases, community rules, HOA rules, or other guidelines. Feel free to reach out to your landlord, housing authority, or community council to find out more. You can also visit West Palm Beach’s official website or contact us to get more information about other regulations.