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.
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 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 ,
Vacation rentals in Fort Lauderdale are subject to short term rental laws regulations and taxes on the city county and state levels.
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.
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.
The Fort Lauderdale Commission approved a vacation rental ordinance amendment on September 19 2023.
The approved amendments are as follows:
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.
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.
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.
Since Airbnb collects and remits this tax you must submit a notarized letter attesting to this and include the name of the platform.
To register your vacation rental property in Fort Lauderdale follow these steps:
Complete your vacation rental application on LauderBuild.
Upon passing the inspection a Certificate of Compliance is issued within three business days.
No noise should be plainly audible from the rental property line for a continuous period of one minute.
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.
The key regulations include the following
Parking must be provided within the property or in designated parking spaces.
Guests are prohibited from parking on the street.
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.
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,
The maximum number of persons allowed to stay overnight is limited to 2 individuals per bedroom.
During property inspections the authorities verify and enforce the occupancy limits.
The maximum gathering occupancy for events or gatherings is set at 1.5 times the sleeping occupancy.
The total gathering occupancy must not exceed 20 persons. The regulations aim to prevent overcrowding maintain neighborhood tranquility and maintain safety standards.
Trash disposal is regulated in Fort Lauderdale to maintain cleanliness and aesthetics
All trash must be disposed of inside City-approved receptacles.
Trash carts cannot be placed outside before 6pm on the scheduled pickup day.
Trash carts must be removed before midnight on the same day of pickup.
As a vacation rental business owner in Fort Lauderdale, compliance with tax regulations is crucial.
Here's a summary of key tax obligations,
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.
6% of the total listing price including cleaning fees for reservations lasting 182 nights or shorter.
Applicable to the total listing price.
Broward County Tourist Development Tax: 6% on the total listing price including cleaning fees.
Taxes are calculated on the entire listing price incorporating cleaning fees.
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.
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. .