Sunday, September 18, 2011

Fort Lauderdale eyes boom in short-term rentals

A “beautiful cottage” in Sailboat Bend rents for $230 a day. A “modern castle” on the Middle River advertises for $10,000 a week.

Hundreds of Fort Lauderdale property owners are regularly renting their homes for less than a month — and possibly violating murky city rules. Internet sites specializing in vacation rentals are packed with Fort Lauderdale houses available for a night or a week, replete with promises of tropical gardens, deluxe pools and convenient shopping.

It’s a booming business that has city officials debating whether they should strengthen their regulations or legitimize the practice. Some other South Florida communities like Boca Raton deal with short-term rentals the same way as Fort Lauderdale, but questions of whether rules should change has taken place from Hollywood to West Palm Beach.

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