Last month, the city of Sarasota finalized rules pertaining to vacation rental properties on homes in the city that reside on barrier islands (such as Lido, Bird Key, St. Armands Circle, and northern portions of Siesta Key). The city passed rules in response to a growth of what some residents allege as “Hotel Houses.”

RASM was involved throughout the ordinance writing process to ensure the rules created the least amount of burden as possible for property owners. The ordinance in its original form called for hefty fines, numerous inspections, unreasonable duties on property owners, and excessive and unnecessary safety requirements. While we argued throughout the process that this ordinance would be unnecessary if the city enforced its current codes and rules (noise ordinances, trash ordinances, parking, etc..), the Commission was intent on moving forward. Luckily, RASM along with a handful of vacation rental owners, were able to help craft the final product into a workable ordinance for property owners.

Details on NEW Vacation Rental Rules

The City Commissioners made slight revisions to the ordinance on second reading, so the final language has not been made public yet, but below are some key provisions to be aware of if you or a client operate a vacation rental in the barrier island territory. The program is set to start in the beginning of 2022.

  • Registration program for vacation rentals (less than 1-month stay), which includes one-time $250 fee.
  • Initial inspection, then one inspection every four years.
  • Agent or homeowner is responsive to complaints and ability to cure violations within a reasonable time.
  • Standard safety requirements: emergency numbers available, smoke detectors, extinguishers, etc.

When city officials release the final language of the ordinance, we will share that information to our membership. If you have any questions or want to talk in more detail, don’t hesitate to reach out to me at 941-952-3410; maxwell@myrasm.com.