Saturday, October 8, 2011

LITIGATION OVER SHORT-TERM RENTAL LAWS IN THE FLORIDA KEYS

A 2006 document detailing legal activity around vacation rental regulation attempts in the Florida Keys


Introduction
In the past decade, many local governments in Florida both within and outside of the Keys have either enacted short-term rental ordinances or have modified existing ordinances to further limit property owners’ short-term rental rights. In many cases, passage of the new restrictions has prompted substantial litigation, significantly burdening the coffers of local governments to the point that some governments have agreed to compromise with the property owners through settlements and rule modification. This paper focuses specifically on short-term rental restrictions in the Keys and the ensuing litigation.

Under Section 380.052 of the Florida Statutes, the Florida Department of Community Affairs is legally obligated to review proposed land development regulations for areas that have been designated as “Areas of Critical State Concern.” In reviewing land development regulations for these areas, the Department must determine whether the regulations are consistent with the “Principles for Guiding Development” for each area. Under Florida law, the Keys have been designated as an Area of Critical State Concern.  This designation and DCA’s oversight have proven to be a major stumbling block for property owners challenging short-term rental laws. 

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