At the Sept. 20th City Commission meeting, the Commission passed a revised Vacation Rental ordinance that is a vast improvement over the original ordinance passed in 2015. Included in the revised ordinance are a number of new aspects that include:
- Protection against renting to known sexual predators
- Property inspections by the City for life safety issues
-Increase in permit fees and an increase in penalties
The vacation rental problem continues to grow and plague not just Hollywood but municipalities all over the country. More and more cities are outlawing the practice in their residential neighborhoods. Unfortunately for Hollywood and other Florida cities, the Florida Legislature passed a law in 2011 that does not allow cities to outlaw the practice. This is a result of heavy lobbying and campaign donations by Airbnb and other out-of-state rental companies that are making obscene amounts of money by converting our single family homes into hotels.
The state does allow cities to regulate this undesirable activity with permit programs that include inspections, etc. Many vacation rentals end up being illegally converted homes that have more bedrooms and bathrooms than listed with the property appraiser. In addition, a home converted into a "hotel" needs to be treated exactly the same as any other business in Hollywood that requires inspections for life safety items.
The HLCA thanks the Commission and Staff for their diligence and their desire to protect the sanctity and integrity of our residential neighborhoods in Hollywood by beefing up the 2015 ordinance. We remind Lakes residents that if you know of a vacation rental near you, let us know the address. We will check with the City to make sure they are properly permitted and inspected.