Short Term Rental Regulations in the Town of Lauderdale-By-The-Sea

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    Due to the significant impact of a rental on the neighboring communities, vacation and short term rentals are an important subject in the Town. The following is a complete guideline for Lauderdale-By-The Sea’s short term rental regulations so that anyone can be a responsible host when using platforms like Airbnb, VRBO, and other similar services. This rundown should give you a good start in understanding your local laws. 

    Vacation and Short Term Rentals

    The Town Code establishes the following distinctions between the two proprietary types of short term rentals and their different regulations:

    Short Term Rental: A dwelling or group of dwelling units rented to guests more than three times in a calendar year for less than 30 days or one month, whichever is less.

    Short term rentals include the following units:

    • A duplex/two-family dwelling.
    • A multifamily dwelling of three or four dwelling units.
    • A mixed-use development with one to four dwelling units.

    Vacation Rental: A lease or rental of a single-family or townhouse dwelling to a person with no ownership interest in the dwelling for compensation or remuneration for no less than seven days.

    The vacation rentals category does not include the following:

    • Rentals of at least three consecutive months. 
    • Hotels, motels, or similar transient uses. 

    Short Term Rental Certificate

    Property owners willing to rent their residences as vacation rentals or short term rentals must first apply for a rental certificate from the Town. They must also renew this short term rental certificate annually. Each dwelling unit operating as a vacation rental or short term rental requires a separate rental certificate. Moreover, each dwelling operating as a vacation rental or short term rental shall pay an annual fee.

    Short Term Rental Certificate Application

    Each property owner seeking a rental certificate or renewal of a rental certificate must submit an application form, coupled with an application fee. The application must include the following:

    1. The name, address, and phone number of the owner(s).
    2. The address of the vacation rental or short term rental dwelling.
    3. The designated rental agent’s name, address, and phone number. 
    4. The owner’s sworn affirmation that they have understood the requirements of this section. 
    5. Proof of compliance with Florida Tax and Revenue Act, Public Lodging Establishments, Uniform Fire Safety Standards for Transient Public Lodging Establishments, Florida Fire Prevention Code, and the Florida Administrative Code.
    6. A copy of the inspection report by the Town. 
    7. A floor plan and site sketch of the dwelling unit, including parking areas. 
    8. The number and location of designated parking spaces that are legally available for vacation rental or short term rental guests, excluding public parking spaces.
    9. A statement of whether or not pets will be allowed in the dwelling. 
    10. The owner’s agreement to do their best to ensure that the dwelling’s usage as a vacation rental or short term rental does not disrupt the neighborhood’s residential character. Furthermore, it does not interfere with the rights of residents to the peaceful atmosphere of their homes. 

    Inspections/Re-Inspections 

    Before the issuance of a rental certificate, the dwelling must be inspected for compliance with zoning, building, housing, density, life/safety, and fire codes or regulations. If violations are found, they must be corrected, and the dwelling must be re-inspected before the rental certificate can be issued. For the purposes of the Business Tax Receipt, property owners can seek a combination inspection.

    Vacation rentals and short term rentals must be properly maintained and inspected at least once a year. 

    Code Violations 

    Suppose a code enforcement special magistrate finds a vacation rental property owner in violation of zoning, building, housing life/safety, or fire code or regulation. In that case, they must pay an administrative fee for each required inspection or re-inspection of the dwelling.

    Each day a property owner rents out a dwelling for vacation rental or short term rental without a rental certificate is a separate violation of this section. 

    Rental Agent

    The property owner can designate a rental agent for their vacation rental or short term rental. They must submit the agent’s name, address, and phone number on the rental certificate application or renewal.

    The owner of the property can act as a rental agent. Or the owner may designate any person 18 years of age or older as their agent who is:

    • A person who is regularly present at a business located in the Town to conduct business. 
    • The person must be a resident of the Town. 

    A person must first submit a written certification to the Town to be a rental agent. Above all, the certificate should state that they agree to undertake the obligations outlined in the paragraph. The following are the duties of a rental agent:

    1. To resolve any problems emerging from the vacation rental or short term rental use.
    2. Be available at the specified phone number 24 hours a day, seven days a week. 
    3. Be able and ready to arrive at the dwelling within three hours of the Town notifying them of any issues.
    4. Receive service of any notice or violation of this section. 
    5. To ensure continuous compliance with the requirements of this section. Moreover, agents must monitor the vacation rental or short term rental dwelling at least once a week. 

    Maximum Occupancy

    A vacation rental or short term rental dwelling’s maximum occupancy must not exceed two people per bedroom, plus two people for every additional 200 square feet of interior living space, for a total occupancy of no more than ten people.

    Regulations for Rental Occupants 

    • Property owners or agents must provide a copy of this section in writing to the occupants of each vacation rental or short term rental dwelling. The document should also include the Town’s pet, noise, and waste restrictions.
    • Occupants may only park in the spaces designated on the rental certificate sketch. 
    • If any nonresident evacuation order is posted, all occupants must evacuate the vacation rental or short term rental.
    • Occupants may use the pool, the pool deck, and other outdoor facilities from 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.
    • Between 10:00 p.m. and 8:00 a.m., the use of any machine or device producing any sound shall be permitted only within a fully enclosed short term rental unit. Sound shall not be audible at the short term rental property line. 
    • Covered garbage container(s) provided by the Town’s waste hauler must be present in each vacation rental or short term rental. 

    Revocation or Suspension of Rental Certificate

    A violation of this section can result in the revocation or suspension of a rental certificate. 

    • Suspension: The Town Manager has the authority to suspend the rental certificate for a period of up to six months. They could also suspend it until owners or agents meet the specified requirements or cure violations.
    • Revocation: The Town Manager has the authority to revoke the rental certificate. After a property owner’s rental license has been revoked, the owner may not reapply for a rental certificate for any property until the basis for the revocation has been resolved. In fact, they must resolve the revocation within six months of the revocation date. 
    • Penalty: If the property owner continues to allow vacation rental or short term rental use of the dwelling after such revocation or suspension, each day of continued use shall be a continuing violation subject to a fine.

    Other 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 set up by tenant associations. Feel free to reach out to your landlord, housing authority, or community council to find out more. To get more information about other regulations, you can also visit Lauderdale-By-The-Sea’s official website or contact us.