Protect our Annual Rentals after Hurricane Irma

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Sen. Greg Steube, R-Sarasota, introduced Bill 1400 last week that would strip local governments of the right to regulate short-term vacation rentals such as Airbnb and give all such power to the state.

Stuebe’s bill states property owners have “constitutionally protected” rights to use their residential properties as vacation rentals. This is wrong. Our local communities have the right to create laws that protect and ensure the quality of life of our neighborhoods. We do this everyday by having laws that prevent home owners from opening bars, restaurants or running businesses from their homes. Our laws are written locally to protect our needs. Politicians in Tallahassee do not know or understand the importance of these laws for our way of life and they should not have the ability to supersede them. 

The Lower Keys of Monroe County have laws that prevent short term vacation rentals under 30 days. This law helps cohesion in our small neighborhoods by creating a community who knows and is engaged in preserving our unique Keys lifestyle. Normally by restricting rentals to monthly or yearly leases, this has helped maintain enough housing stock to create affordable housing. With the recent devastation by Hurricane Irma, we have lost a significant amount of affordable rentals. If the remaining rentals become available on a daily basis, we will see a drastic change over night. Weekends will be filled with significantly more traffic as neighborhoods will be over run with visitors. Right now our Sheriffs Office, Hospitals and tourist industries are filled with vacant positions because housing is unaffordable. This will only get worse if this law is allowed to pass.

Please contact Senator Flores and ask her to vote No on Bill 1400, the Florida Vacation Rental Act. Also please share and inform your neighbors so we can preserve our local laws and our way of life.