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Navigating Florida’s State and Local Rental Restrictions

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When purchasing Florida real property as a rental, investors must know and understand which rental restrictions affect the desired property. The state, counties, municipalities, and, if applicable, governing homeowners or condominium associations impose requirements and regulations. These restrictions can impact a rental property’s profitability, so an investor should research the property before entering into a contract to purchase or before their due diligence period expires.

Determining Jurisdiction: Where Is Your Property Located?

The requirements and restrictions vary greatly by jurisdiction, so determining which jurisdiction a property is located in is the first step in the analysis. For example, a property situated in Unincorporated Manatee County (located outside of a city such as Bradenton or Anna Maria) will have different requirements and restrictions than a property located within city limits. To determine the applicable jurisdiction, search the property address on the appropriate County property appraiser’s website. A section labeled “jurisdiction” or “municipality” will identify whether the property is in an unincorporated area of the County or within a specific city.

Following Jurisdictional Requirements and Restrictions: State of Florida

In the next step, you should identify and follow the requirements and restrictions for the jurisdiction. In the State of Florida, all rental properties must be registered with the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation and the Florida Department of Revenue.

Sarasota County and Municipal Specifics: City of Sarasota and Coastal Island Overlay Districts

Properties located in Unincorporated Sarasota County have a 30-day minimum rental restriction but no additional registration requirements. In comparison, properties located in the City of Sarasota have a one-week minimum rental restriction and properties located in Sarasota’s Coastal Islands Overlay District, such as St. Armand’s Key, Coon Key, Bird Key, Otter Key, Lido Key, and portions of Siesta Key, have no minimum rental period, but have maximum occupancy restrictions and registration requirements above and beyond the State requirements. Property owners in these areas must also physically post specific information within the properties.

Manatee County and Municipal Specifics: Palmetto, Anna Maria, Bradenton Beach, Bradenton, and Holmes Beach

Properties located in Unincorporated Manatee County or the City of Palmetto have no restrictions beyond the State registration requirements. For properties located in the City of Anna Maria, the City of Bradenton Beach, and the City of Bradenton, there is no minimum rental period, but there are maximum occupancy restrictions and registration requirements. The City of Holmes Beach has a varying minimum rental period depending on the property’s zoning. Each of these municipal jurisdictions also mandates property owners to post specific information within each property, and some require advertising, parking, and information within rental agreements.

Homeowners and Condominium Associations: A Layer of Rental Rules and Restrictions

Finally, homeowners and condominium associations can have additional restrictions related to rentals. Some associations prohibit all rentals, while others require that an owner live in the property for a certain period before they can rent it out to tenants. Even then, many associations prohibit rentals less than one year in duration and have a tenant approval process. The rules vary widely among different associations, so it is imperative for investors to review an association’s Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions as part of their due diligence.

As you can see, the requirements and restrictions vary across the different jurisdictions. The above is only a small glimpse of what may apply to rental properties. Contact your trusted real estate attorneys for additional information on community association or a more thorough analysis on a specific property.

Picture of T.R. Smith, Esq.

T.R. Smith, Esq.

T.R. Smith is an experienced attorney who has been practicing law since his admission to the Florida Bar in 2013. He focuses primarily on real estate transactions but has experience in civil litigation, probate, estate planning, and business law.

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