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Short Term Rentals in Fort Lauderdale: Everything You Need to Know

Short Term Rentals in Fort Lauderdale: Everything You Need to Know

Fort Lauderdale, with its picturesque beaches and lively atmosphere stands as a premier destination for short-term rentals with platforms like Airbnb shaping the accommodation landscape. The city's allure has drawn both hosts looking to capitalize on its popularity and visitors seeking a unique experience.

Like many jurisdictions the city has specific short-term rental laws and taxes emphasizing the need for hosts to stay informed and compliant. Understanding Fort Lauderdale's evolving regulatory framework is mandotary for a harmonious coexistence between the rental market and the city's community.

Today's blog focuses on the legal regulatory framework you need to succeed in this market.

Fort Lauderdale as a Tourist Destination in 2024

Known as the 'Venice of America' Fort Lauderdale offers a laid-back Florida experience with pristine beaches, diverse shopping historic districts and a rich tapestry of arts culture and entertainment offering a less populated and more affordable getaway compared to Miami or Orlando.

A report from August 2023 indicates that Fort Lauderdale ranks third nationwide for tourism growing by 173.51% from 2021. However, South Florida's tourism industry has faced challenges since the pandemic Fort Lauderdale remains a major player in the regional tourism market.

For Florida the revenue forecast shows strong financial growth through 2024 for tour operators and is projected that the revenue in Florida will amount to approximately 1.3372 million U.S. Dollars by 2024. According to HVS Market Pulse Fort Lauderdale is positioned for a strong recovery as a popular tourist and yachting destination in South Florida.

The growth of tourism is a positive sign for Fort Lauderdale, positioning the city as a thriving destination for both domestic and international visitors.

Short Term Rental Potential in Fort Lauderdale

The short-term rental market in Fort Lauderdale performed well in 2023 with an average occupancy rate of 60% and a peak of 78% in March according to HeartHomes. According to the most recent AirDNA data in Fort Lauderdale as of January 2024 ,

  • Average daily rate (ADR): $206.3
  • Average occupancy: 36%
  • Annual revenue: $20.6K
  • RevPAR: $110

Airbnb Rules in Fort Lauderdale

Airbnb Rules in Fort Lauderdale

Vacation rentals in Fort Lauderdale are subject to short term rental laws regulations and taxes on the city county and state levels.

Airbnb Laws and Regulations in Fort Lauderdale

In Fort Lauderdale, a "vacation rental" pertains to a single or multi-family residential unit leased to transient guests for durations under 30 days occurring more than three times annually.

  • This classification extends to transient public lodging establishments as defined by Florida Statutes (F.S. 509.242) with the exclusion of timeshare projects. To ensure adherence to land use and zoning requirements these properties fall under the regulatory purview of Fort Lauderdale's Zoning Code requiring hosts to consult the code for compliance assurance.

While this definition allows for a range of property types accessory dwellings are not permitted in some zoning districts to be used as vacation rentals.

All vacation rentals in Fort Lauderdale must be registered with the city. Before property managers can obtain their application however they must first apply for and obtain state and county licenses.

Fort Lauderdale Ordinance Amendment

The Fort Lauderdale Commission approved a vacation rental ordinance amendment on September 19 2023.

The approved amendments are as follows:

  • To notify owners/responsible parties and transient occupants of noise emanating from vacation rentals every vacation rental must be equipped with a noise level detection device. Data generated by this device will be retained for one hundred eighty (180) days and made available to the City upon request.
  • A $250 civil penalty for each uncontested violation and $325 for each contested violation will be assessed.
  • The addition of language specifying the maximum penalty for operating a vacation rental during a suspension as $5000 per day for repeat violations and $15000 per day if the special magistrate finds the violation irreparable.
  • Limitation of certificate of compliance suspension times to twelve (12) months is removed.

State and County Licences

To operate legally in Fort Lauderdale all business operators including hosts of short-term rentals are obligated to secure a license. This entails the application for state and county licenses submission of evidence validating property ownership or business entity particulars and the completion of the vacation rental application using the LauderBuild platform.

Fees

  • The initial registration fee amounts to $350 covering up to four rental units within a single structure.
  • For subsequent renewals non-owner-occupied rentals incur a fee of $160 while owner-occupied rentals face a renewal fee of $80.

Department of Business and Professional Regulation

Homestead properties that are owner-occupied and involve room rentals are exempt from the licensing requirements of the Department of Business and Professional Regulation in Florida. To claim this exemption property owners need to provide a notarized letter affirming that their property meets the specified criteria.

Department of Revenue

Since Airbnb collects and remits the State of Florida sales tax for each stay you must submit a notarized letter attesting to this and include the name of the platform.

Broward County Business Tax Receipt

Broward County Tourist Development Tax

Since Airbnb collects and remits this tax you must submit a notarized letter attesting to this and include the name of the platform.

Vacation Rental Registration Process in Fort Lauderdale

To register your vacation rental property in Fort Lauderdale follow these steps:

Lease agreement submission

  • Provide a blank/sample copy of the lease agreement for your guests ensuring it includes all required information outlined in the Vacation Rental Ordinance.
  • Include a photograph or sketch of off-street parking clearly stating "No on-street parking."

Application Submission

Complete your vacation rental application on LauderBuild.

Processing and Communication

  • After submitting the application it will be processed.
  • Expect an email containing your vacation rental account number and an invoice for registration payment.

Business tax account

  • Upon approval a City of Fort Lauderdale Business Tax account will be generated.
  • An invoice for the business tax will be issued.

Payment and inspection appointment

  • Pay the registration and business tax fees.
  • Once paid you will receive an appointment for a property inspection.

Property inspection

  • The property inspection ensures compliance with regulations.

Certificate of compliance

Upon passing the inspection a Certificate of Compliance is issued within three business days.

Airbnb Rules in Fort Lauderdale

Other Regulations in Fort Lauderdale

Noise audibility limits

No noise should be plainly audible from the rental property line for a continuous period of one minute.

  • The audibility limit is set at 25 feet between the hours of 10:00 pm and 7:00 am.
  • For the period from 7:00 am to 10:00 pm the audibility limit extends to 50 feet.

As per the amendment in September 2023 all short term rentals these regulations aim to ensure a peaceful environment and minimize disturbances for both residents and neighbors.

Parking

The key regulations include the following

On-site parking requirement

Parking must be provided within the property or in designated parking spaces.

Restrictions for guests

Guests are prohibited from parking on the street.

Driveway blocking

Parking is not allowed in a manner that obstructs or blocks another driveway.

Among the objectives of these regulations are to improve traffic flow prevent congestion and maintain a safe and accessible environment for residents.

Occupancy regulations

There are strict regulations governing the occupancy of short-term rentals ensuring the safety and comfort of both residents and guests.

Here are the key occupancy regulations,

Sleeping occupancy

The maximum number of persons allowed to stay overnight is limited to 2 individuals per bedroom.

Verification process

During property inspections the authorities verify and enforce the occupancy limits.

Gathering occupancy

The maximum gathering occupancy for events or gatherings is set at 1.5 times the sleeping occupancy.

Total limit

The total gathering occupancy must not exceed 20 persons. The regulations aim to prevent overcrowding maintain neighborhood tranquility and maintain safety standards.

Trash disposal

Trash disposal is regulated in Fort Lauderdale to maintain cleanliness and aesthetics

Approved receptacles

All trash must be disposed of inside City-approved receptacles.

Timely placement and removal

Trash carts cannot be placed outside before 6pm on the scheduled pickup day.

Prompt removal

Trash carts must be removed before midnight on the same day of pickup.

Tax Obligations

As a vacation rental business owner in Fort Lauderdale, compliance with tax regulations is crucial.

Here's a summary of key tax obligations,

Tax Types

Operators of short-term rental properties in Florida are required to adhere to tax responsibilities encompassing a 6% Broward County Tourist Development Tax 6% Florida Transient Tax and a 0.5-1.5% Florida Discretionary Sales Surtax. Additionally upon approval of the Vacation Rental Application obtaining a City of Fort Lauderdale Business Tax Application is a mandatory step.

Florida transient rental tax

6% of the total listing price including cleaning fees for reservations lasting 182 nights or shorter.

Florida discretionary sales surtax

Applicable to the total listing price.

County-specific tax

Broward County Tourist Development Tax: 6% on the total listing price including cleaning fees.

Calculation basis

Taxes are calculated on the entire listing price incorporating cleaning fees.

Airbnb collection and remittance

When listing your short-term vacation rental on Airbnb the platform automatically collects the mentioned taxes directly from guests. Airbnb then remits these taxes to the relevant authorities on your behalf.

To Sum Up

Short-term rentals in Fort Lauderdale offer a lucrative investment opportunity for both property owners and visitors. The city's dynamic real estate market and beautiful beaches make it an attractive property investment destination.

However, property owners must comply with local regulations and undergo thorough home inspections. As Fort Lauderdale continues to thrive, short-term rentals contribute to the city's growth and foster a welcoming environment for travelers to create lasting memories. Short-term rentals in Fort Lauderdale offer property owners a flourishing business opportunity and a personalized, immersive experience for visitors. .

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