Downtown Orlando Vacation Rental Rules For Buyers / Owners

Considering A Purchase For A Short Term Rental?

Short Term Rentals OrlandoOrlando treats AirBnB and VRBO Vacation Rentals as what they are... short term rentals.
Recently the Orlando Sentinel ran an article out of the Sun Sentinel which included what is currently going on the Federal scene regarding regulations and added a little info regarding the intentions of many Florida cities and municipalities:

Cities say they are trying to keep neighborhoods from becoming more like tourist districts, even though state law prohibits cities from banning vacation rentals outright.

A short-term rental, in most cities, is defined as a neighborhood property that is available for rent for less than 30 days, three or more times a year.  Read More...

Take a look at the current rules for Orlando Short Term Rentals

Short-Term Rentals
Due to the increasing popularity of online short-term rental websites such as Airbnb and VRBO, the City of Orlando is experiencing a growing number of homes being rented out in whole or in part for short-term stays. Short-term home rentals are generally defined as the rental of a residential property (house, condominium, room, garage apartment, etc) for periods of less than 30 days.

The City allows short-term rentals in the following situations:

  • Bed & Breakfast – in certain zoning districts (most multi-family residential districts, and non-residential areas), an owner-occupied home or apartment can be rented for lengths of stay ranging from one night to seasonal. Bed & Breakfast businesses must also comply with any state licensing or mandates in order to operate in the City of Orlando.
  • Commercial Dwelling Unit – in certain zoning districts, residential zoning districts excluded, a room or home can be rented for a length of stay between seven and 30 days. This is a typical “seasonal” rental or traditional short-term rental use.
  • Hotel/Motel – stays less than seven days have been considered hotel/motel uses since 1991, and are limited to non-residential zoning districts.

Most short-term rentals are not allowed in the City of Orlando.

With the increased popularity of short-term rentals, City Planning officials have explored changes to the City’s ordinances related to short-term rentals; however, state laws limit the City’s ability to amend our ordinances.

In 2011, the Florida legislature passed new laws preventing local governments from passing new rules for short-term rentals, and further refined this preemptive language in 2014. The statute provides that local rules that existed prior to 2011 are “grandfathered” and are unaffected by the state’s new laws.

Can I rent out my entire home as a short-term rental?
Most standard residential zoning districts do not allow for short term rentals.

If your home is located in a non-residential zoning district, or zoning districts where multi-family residential is allowed, you may be able to rent out your home as a Commercial Dwelling Unit for a length of stay between seven and 30 days. A business tax receipt is required from the City’s Permitting Services Division to establish this commercial use.

An accommodation that allows for a stay less than seven days is considered a hotel/motel, which are not allowed in most residential zoning districts.

Can I rent out a room in my home, condo or apartment or a garage apartment as a short-term rental?
If you occupy your home or apartment full-time, and your residence is located in a multi-family zoning district, you could apply to make your residence a Bed & Breakfast for lengths of stay ranging from one night to seasonal. The residence is required to be owner-occupied and sometimes requires a Conditional Use Permit from the City Planning Division.

An accommodation that allows for any stay less than seven days that is not a Bed & Breakfast is considered a hotel/motel. These are not allowed in most residential zoning districts.

I thought Orange County is collecting Tourist Development Taxes on short-term rentals. Doesn’t that mean short-term rentals are allowed in Orange County?
The Orange County Comptroller has negotiated an agreement to have Tourist Development Taxes remitted on Airbnb rentals. This does not allow for the operation of Airbnb rentals in all areas of Orange County. In fact, Orange County’s zoning and short term rental ordinances only allow for short-term rentals in approximately 4% of the county.

What should I do if my neighbor is renting out his or her residence, or part of his or her residence, and I have complaints?
The City is currently enforcing the illegal use of short-term rentals on a complaint basis. Complaints from residents about short term rentals have included: too many vehicles at the residence, noise and garbage impacts, and their dissatisfaction for having people coming and going often. If you have a complaint about your neighbor’s short-term rental operations, please contact the City’s Code Enforcement Division at (407) 246-2686 or

Can my Homeowner’s Association regulate my ability to rent my home on a short-term basis?
If your residence is within a homeowners association (HOA), you should check whether there are further limitations on the use of the property through their particular HOA’s Rules & Regulations, Covenants and Restrictions (CC&Rs). 

The City does not enforce these contractual obligations of a HOA, but it is common that most homeowner associations require minimum rental periods of six months or greater.

Orlando Florida Short Term RentalNow I will admit, I have received 2 calls in the past few weeks from potential buyers who are interested in purchasing a home, specifially for the use of short term rentals, and I informed them of my perception of the above information. Sure we can look at the AirBnB website and see that people are renting out entire houses...  (Orlando is in the process of finalizing a work-around that allows, owner occupied short term rentals, where a homeowner can rent out a portion of their home, if the host is "ON-SITE" at the time of the rental) 
Ordinance No. 2018-3 Homesharing_FINAL_12-21-17.pdf

Here is a key fact that exists, if this passes: 

The Land Development Code's accessory use Section in Chapter 58 is proposed for an amendment to incorporate these requirements, which includes

  • a registration process via planning official determination;
  • a subordinate area or number of bedrooms will only be allowed in residential zoning districts to control their negative secondary effects. 

In other words, the entire unit cannot be rented out as a short-term rental, nor a majority of bedrooms on the site
The property owner or tenant (if approved by notarized permission of the property owner) must be present when hosting guests from only a single party.

Elements of Orlando’s Proposed Program. 

Hosted Short-term Rental regulations will be drafted into the “accessory use” section of Chapter 58 of the City’s Land De-velopment Code, separate and apart from the Commercial Dwelling unit standards, and contain the following: 

  1. Only hosted visits—where the resident is present, is allowed. A use where the entire unit is rented for a short-term rental is only allowed as a Commercial Dwelling Unit under existing code requirements, which have zoning location limitations. 
  2. Only a single booking is allowed at a time; otherwise, the use will be considered a Bed and Breakfast, which are limited in their location, are sometimes required to obtain a Conditional Use Permit, and have further state licensing requirements. 
  3. On-line registrations and annual payment of fees to the City will create an opportunity to easily comply with City requirements and will count towards the Business Tax Receipt requirements of the City; posting of the registration to the on-line platform provides transparency to neighbors and easier enforcement by City staff. 
  4. Ensuring that the property remains as a residential use allows our residents to supplement their household incomes, without exacerbating the City’s housing crisis. A subordinate amount of bedrooms devoted to short-term rental or the use of an on-site accessory cottage ensures that the short-term rental use remains an accessory use to the primary residential use of the property.
  5. Proof of residency requirements ensures that the unit is the hosting residents’ primary residence; two forms of proof of residency will be required (e.g. OUC bill, driver’s license, etc.). 
  6. The Planning Official shall be authorized to promulgate reasonable rules and regulations regarding the implementa-tion of the above elements of the above short-term rental program. 

Related Code Amendments. 

Since the City is reconsidering how and where short-term rentals are allowed within the City, two additional related code amendments are proposed to slightly modify the Bed and Breakfast and Commercial Dwelling Unit standards: 

  • The Bed & Breakfast requirements of the City requires that the property owner live on site; it is proposed that a pro-prietor live on-site. Since the hosted short-term rental proposal both allows tenants and property owners the ability to host, it makes sense that the City would not restrict Bed & Breakfasts exclusively to owner-occupied properties. Additionally, there is no appreciable difference in neighborhood impacts whether a proprietor or property owner is operating the Bed & Breakfast.
  • Should state law allow the City to modify our Commercial Dwelling Unit regulations, it is reasonable that the mini-mum seven night stay be deleted so that no minimum night duration stay is required. This will provide for a proper avenue for home sharing of the entire unit to occur in multi-family, mixed-use and activity center zoning districts, where these uses—including hotels/motels, are appropriate. This provision also allows the City to come into closer conformance with state law which seeks to limit a city’s power to have a duration (stay) requirement. A business tax receipt and other approvals are required to operate such a use according to current City codes. LDC2017-10011_-_Short_Term_Rentals.pdf

My Opinion>

Now while I will continue recieving calls for what I believe are top areas for short term rentals, I simply have to advise that these buyers are assuming risk until this officially passes and is implemented. Right now the proposal was suggested to go into effect July 2018. But again as you can see from the number of rentals that are available on numerous websites,  as well as the overwhelming positive feedback that Orlando homes, and Owners do not disappoint.... some owners and investors are taking the risk and enjoying reduced competition.

What remains to be seen is, once this passes will there be an influx of investors ready, willing and able to abide by the law, and will that create another buying opportuntity that further increases property values in Downtown Orlando?

Here are links to what I believe to be the top areas of Orlando for these types of investments based on my research and beliefs.

College Park homes for sale
Downtown Orlando homes for sale
Winter Park homes for sale

Brady Pevehouse
 specializing in Downtown Orlando Homes For Sale  Show Less...

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