ROUND-UP: Governor Vetoes CS/SB 280 Bill in Florida, NYC Approves Only 2,242 Str Hosts, Barcelona to Ban Str by 2028

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Governor Ron DeSantis has vetoed the Vacation Rental Bill (CS/SB 280) in Florida- STR Industry Rejoices Over the decision

A new ray of hope for the future of short-term rentals in Florida. Governor Ron DeSantis has officially vetoed the latest Vacation Rental Bill (CS/SB 280), which the Florida Senate passed. This move is a promising sign for short-term rentals in the state. If the bill had passed, it would have severely restricted local governments’ ability to regulate vacation rentals.

After the bill was initially passed by the Florida Legislature, a statewide, all-member Call for Action was initiated by Florida Realtors and Advocates from across the vacation rental industry, including property management companies, urging the governor to veto the bill and allow stakeholders more time to develop solutions. This effort led to thousands of emails and calls to the governor’s office expressing opposition to the bill.

In his statement, Governor DeSantis said, “The effect of this provision will prevent virtually all local regulation of vacation rentals even though the vacation rental markets are far from uniform across the various regions of the state.” 

“Going forward, I encourage the Florida Legislature and all key stakeholders to work together, understanding that vacation rentals should not be approached as a one-size-fits-all issue,” he added.

What Did the Bill (CS/SB 280) State?

The Florida Legislature on March 7, 2024, narrowly passed the bill Florida lawmakers passed Senate Bill SB 280 despite significant concerns by a variety of stakeholders, including REALTORS, CS/SB 280: Vacation Rentals. It required advertising platforms, like Airbnb and VRBO, to collect and remit specific taxes for vacation rental transactions. This would have shifted the responsibility of tax collection from individual owners to the platforms.

The bill also defined the term “advertising platform” to clarify which entities would be responsible for these regulations. Additionally, it proposed adding licensing for vacation rentals to the list of activities regulated by the state, rather than local governments. 

This would have standardized the licensing and regulation process across Florida, rather than having different rules in each city or county.

Furthermore, the bill mandated that advertising platforms ensure anyone listing a vacation rental included specific information and attested to its accuracy. Lastly, the bill granted the state’s regulatory division the authority to revoke, refuse to issue renew, or suspend vacation rental licenses under certain conditions. It also included an appropriation of $4,321,901 to support the implementation of these regulations.

SB 280 would have overstepped, effectively turning into a tool to:

  • Impose unlimited fees on short-term rental owners, effectively acting as a “tax.”
  • Suspend and revoke vacation rental registrations based on vague or undefined violations.
  • Require short-term rental owners to appeal disciplinary actions through the court system.

Florida Realtors’ Take on Veto of the Bill

The Florida Realtors’ President Gia Arvin expressed gratitude for the veto.
“We thank Gov. DeSantis for vetoing SB 280 and giving us the time we need to continue to work on a solution to this complicated issue,” Florida Realtors 2024 President Gia Arvin said. “We’re confident that, together, we can establish a regulatory framework that supports responsible vacation rental practices and contributes positively to our communities while protecting the rights of Florida homeowners,” he added.

This statement adds depth to the local realtors’ disapproval of the bill and highlights their appreciation for the governor’s decision to veto it.

A Wave of Relief Among Florida’s STR Owners and Property Managers Over Veto Decision

Following Governor Ron DeSantis’s veto of the Vacation Rental Bill (CS/SB 280), there is a palpable sense of relief among short-term rental owners and property managers in Florida. This decision has been welcomed with open arms. With the veto, the threat of increased restrictions and potential disruptions to their businesses has been lifted, allowing them to continue operating under the current, more flexible regulatory framework. 

The veto is widely seen as a positive step, allowing stakeholders more time to work towards a balanced regulatory framework that supports both responsible rental practices and the rights of homeowners. For many in the short-term rental industry, this move signals a brighter and more stable future.

Navigating NYC’s Short-Term Rental Rules: Just 2,242 Short-Term Rental Hosts Approved

Since the introduction of Local Law 18 last September, New York City has seen a significant reduction in short-term rentals. 
This law aimed to increase oversight and control over the short-term rental market, addressing concerns about housing shortages and neighborhood disruptions, however, this has led to a low supply of short-term rentals, which is dwindling tourism and severely impacting the incomes of STR owners and property managers. It’s a big hit to their pockets!

The low supply of short-term rentals is largely due to the complex and often frustrating process that rental owners and property managers must navigate to comply with these regulations. Many potential hosts are either struggling to meet the rigid requirements or are discouraged from applying altogether.

NYC’s Short-Term Rental Supply Plummets Amid Stringent Regulations

The supply of short-term rentals (STRs) in the city is at an all-time low.

According to AirDNA, the number of Airbnb listings for stays under 30 days took a nosedive from 22,246 in August to 8,039 in September when the city started enforcing Local Law 18 (LL18). By October, listings fell even further to a low of 2,646. Although they have gradually increased since then, reaching nearly 4,000 in May, this number is still about 82% below the level from last August.

Adding to the housing crunch, the city’s home vacancy rate has hit a historic low of 1.4%, the lowest it’s been in over 50 years, This low vacancy rate can drive up home prices and rents, making it harder for residents to find affordable housing.

The strict enforcement of short-term rental regulations is shrinking the STR supply, contributing to higher housing costs, and adding pressure to an already tight housing market. 

Latest Developments in NYC’s STR License Application Process

It’s not great news for NYC’s short-term rentals. With an already limited supply, this new license crisis is just making things worse. Sadly, the supply can’t be increased given the ongoing situation.

As of June 10th, the office in charge of approvals (OSE) finally cleared the pile of long-due applications for short-term rentals. It had received 6,395 total applications for short-term rentals, according to OSE.

They got through almost all of them (99.5%!), either (approved – 35.4%), rejecting some (denied – 25.2%), or sending applications back for fixes (returned – 38.9%).

  • Approved (35.4%): 2,242 host applications, got the green light from the OSE. If your application falls into this category, congratulations! You can proceed with listing your short-term rental.
  • Denied (25.2%)1,595 applications, Unfortunately, were rejected by OSE.
  • Returned (38.9%): 460 applications were just returned, this is the biggest group. The OSE sent these applications back because of issues like incomplete information or errors.

But the Real Question Here is: Have These Strict Laws Worked? 

Well, not really. The intended benefits have not materialized, and instead, the regulations have led to a significant decrease in available rental options, potentially impacting the tourism industry and the city’s overall economy.

Airbnb, represented by Jay Carney, the head of the company’s policy unit, argues that the law isn’t solving the real issues. He points out that hotel prices are skyrocketing, and there’s no noticeable improvement in rent prices or affordable housing availability, according to Skift.

So, while the city claims victory, Airbnb and many hosts believe the new law is creating more problems than it solves.

BARCELONA TO BAN SHORT-TERM RENTALS BY 2028

As we discuss the rules, regulations, and bans related to short-term rentals across the US states of FL, and NYC, it’s important to note that Barcelona is now facing similar challenges!

Thibault Masson recently put together an article on the recent Barcelona ban, the announcement that has truly sent shockwaves through the short-term rental community, and Barcelona in particular. 

Every short-term rental owner and property manager in Barcelona is feeling stunned and worried about the implications.
Here are the key highlights from the blog that you should be aware of!

  • Policy Change Announcement and Reasons:
    Discover the major policy change announced by Barcelona’s mayor Jaume Collboni to revoke all tourist apartment licenses by 2028 and the claimed reasons behind this move.
  • EU and EHHA’s Standpoint:
    Find out the European Holiday Home Association’s (EHHA) stance on the ban and its potential conflicts with the EU’s Services Directive.
  • APARTUR’s Reaction:
    Understand the concerns and opposition from the Associació d’Apartaments Turístics de Barcelona (APARTUR) regarding this new ban.

Read the entire article here!

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