On February 23rd, the City Commission of Wilton Manors unanimously passed the Vacation Rental ordinance, requiring all owners of vacation rental property to register their property with the city. The new ordinance places strict requirements for these owners which are intended to maintain a stated quality of life of all city residents, insure the safety of the transient residents occupying such properties, and to protect the values of real estate in the neighborhoods where vacation rentals operate.
The city debated the ordinance, along with public comments, for over 2 hours. The ordinance passed with little modification and was passed with the intention of modifications based on how the program is implemented by city officials. In addition, the city attorney has been requested to research the legal standing of adding a clause to the ordinance that would limit the number of vacation rentals on one street to no more than 50% of the homes.
The ordinance’s definitions cover all single-family homes, townhomes, two-family units (duplexes), and mult-family residential properties such as condos. “Vacation Rental” is defined as any property, “that is rented to guests more than three times in a calendar year for periods of less than (30) days or (1) calendar month, whichever is less, or which is advertised or held out to the public as a place regularly rented to guests, but that is not a timeshare project.” Beds & Breaksfast properties as defined by the city are excluded, in addition to any property where the owner resides as their permanent residence. This appears to open a loophole for owners who live in their home, but rent out a cottage or 2nd room on sites like Airbnb.
VACATION RENTAL STANDARDS
The code requires adherence to city, county and state statutes regarding single-family housing, pools, fencing, fire & safety, occupancy rules, sexual offender/predator laws and waste handling. The property cannot be in violation of any section of the Code of Ordinances of the City of Wilton Manors, nor can any property with unsatisfied liens recorded as a result of violations of any section of the Code of Ordinances of the City of Wilton Manors.
The City of Wilton Manors is creating the application and has not yet set the application fee. However, the code states the application will ask for the following information:
- Legal Description of Property
- Name, Address, Phone Number of Owner
- Name, Address, Phone Number of Responsible Party
- Website address of any and all websites advertisements placed by the Owner
- Legal Description of all other property owned
If the owner of the vacation property is not going to be the person the city should contact, then the owner must designate a “Responsible Party” at the time of application. That person must:
- Reside in Broward County, Florida
- Be available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to address problems
- Be close enough to respond to emergency calls within 1 hour of notification
- Post notice of ordinance near main entrance and Inform all guests of the specifics prior to occupancy.
- Maintain property in compliance with all building codes
- Promptly address any violations
- Maintain property free of garbage/litter
- Keep a register of all guests, which shall be open to inspection by city
CERTIFICATE OF COMPLIANCE
In addition to the registration application, the property owner must also perform the following in order to obtain the Certificate of Compliance:
- Register & Obtain a business tax receipt from the City of Wilton Manors
- Register & Obtain a business tax receipt from Broward County
- Register & Obtain a Florida Dept. of Revenue certificate for purposes of collecting/remitting tourist development tax, sales surtaxes and transient rental taxes
- Register & Obtain license as a transient public lodging establishment from the Florida Dept. of Business & Professional Regulation
- Signed affidavit demonstrating maintaining initial and on-going compliance with Vacation Rental Standards of the code
- Signed affidavit that property is not in foreclosure.
In the coming weeks, the City of Wilton Manors will formalize the process for registration. You can view the code and get more information directly from the City of Wilton Manors web site or by calling (954) 390-2180.