Questions from Readers

Question from readers – rules for renting my condo via Airbnb

Question: I am considering renting my condo in Sarasota, Fla., via Airbnb.  Are there any rules/regulations/laws I should be aware of?

Thank you, Megan, Sarasota, Fla.

Answer: You should be aware of any current restrictions in the documents that might be used to restrict short-term rentals. Assuming the association is fine with short-term rentals, you should make sure you have the proper premises liability coverage and also take certain steps to inform your short-term rental guests about safety precautions and association rules. Many Airbnb host owners forget that their guests will treat their home like a hotel room, which usually means much more wear and tear on the unit and the common elements as well as often riskier behavior including the use of flammable material.

Some associations are not looking to prohibit short-term rentals but they are passing restrictions that include fees for guest registration, use of parking and the common recreational facilities and more. Find out from the association manager or a board member if your association is charging additional fees.
You must understand that even if your governing documents are currently short-term rental-friendly, that can change in the future. While monetizing your unit in this way can be friendly to your wallet, it might not be so friendly to your neighbors who live full time in the community.
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Donna DiMaggio Berger is a shareholder at Becker & Poliakoff in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. She is also a member of the College of Community Association Lawyers.

1 Comment

  • Many owners are unaware that there are State and county taxes on rentals less that six months (181 days). It is a 5% state sales tax and whatever the local county tax is (i.e. 7% in Sarasota and Manatee County). Owners need to register their rental unit with the state and county. We require guests pay the taxes on short term rentals. Also, some towns (Longboat Key) require owners pay an annual occupational
    License fee if they rent their condo.
    Hope this helps.
    Bonnie Wiedeman, Property Manager
    Wagner Realty, Longboat Key FL

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