Many of our second home owner clients rent their properties out to offset carrying costs, and popular websites such as Airbnb, VRBO and HomeAway have made it easy for owners and travelers to arrange bookings and payments for short term rentals. However, there are important State and local license requirements to be aware of before offering your home or condominium as a short term rental.
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“Similar to a hotel, vacation rentals in Florida
are also subject to sales tax. Vacation rental owners must register with the Florida Department of Revenue and collect, file and remit sales tax.”
You need to be aware that if your property is rented for less than 30 days at a time or more than 3 times in a calendar year, it is considered a vacation rental and a license from the Florida Department of Business & Professional Regulation is required. You also need to be aware of the local laws and regulations where the property is located or risk a code violation. For example, local governments in our area have adopted ordinances requiring a 24-hour contact person who will be held responsible for making sure tenants follow the regulations on noise, the number of guests, trash removal, and parking. Other ordinances include fines for not properly registering the property as a vacation rental, and a mandatory inspection of the property.
Similar to a hotel, vacation rentals in Florida are also subject to sales tax. Vacation rental owners must register with the Florida Department of Revenue and collect, file and remit sales tax. While some vacation rental platforms collect Florida sales tax for their hosts, not all do. Be sure to identify which sales tax is being collected for you, or if you are required to collect sales tax on your own. Vacation rental owners are also required to file an annual tax return with the State and any local tax jurisdiction with which you have registered.
Finally, it is important to be mindful of condominium and homeowners association rules and restrictions governing rentals. Florida law has consistently upheld such restrictive covenants as reasonable, and not a violation of the owner’s rights. Using your property as a vacation rental can be financially rewarding, and being mindful of licensing, taxes and private restrictions can avoid costly legal problems.