Longboat Tightens Reins on Short-Term Rentals


Longboat Key, Florida | June 28th, 2018 – Longboat Key residents ever-protective of the town’s high sense of community would be happy to note that local officials have taken a new step to strictly enforce the town’s code imposing a ban on renting out a residence for less than 30 days.


Early this June, the Town Commission passed an ordinance empowering code enforcement officers to issue fines at any point when a violation of the rental ban is found. This new implementing rule would be in addition to the policies that Longboat Key homeowners and condo owners’ associations have adopted to limit or regulate short-term rentals.


Like Traffic Tickets


Longboat Tightens Reins on Short-Term Rentals - Judy Kepecz-Hays Selling Luxury Real EstateThe town code citations are like traffic tickets issued to erring car drivers. A town code enforcement officer may issue a fine not only to a residential property owner violating the rule on rentals. Under the new ordinance, local code enforcement officers may also issue fines on after-hours construction work with no appropriate safety measures, conducting commercial business on town-owned property, and violations of town rules protecting sea turtles, including light restrictions and beach furniture removal.


A first-time violation of any of these town code rules may be meted a $100 fine. The fine’s amount increases with a repeat of the same violation, that is, $250 for a second offense and $500 for a third infraction. The fines though may not exceed a total of $5,000, as per the limit set under the Florida Constitution.


Those who got a citation, just like anyone who receives a traffic ticket, has the right to contest the fine imposed. A special magistrate that the town is hiring will decide on contested fines. This magistrate will replace Longboat’s Code Enforcement board set to be abolished by next fall.


A Favored Policy


Longboat Key is notably one of a few Florida municipalities with a well-established set of ordinances and codes controlling and limiting to some extent the use of residential properties as short-term rentals. These policies are welcomed by locals and old-timers, as well as prospective residential buyers who prefer to live within a close-knit and friendly neighborhoods in contrast to beach resort towns crowded with tourists.


There are plenty of Longboat Key residents are who are a bit wary about short-term rentals which could ruin the small-town character of many of the local neighborhoods. These fears rose with the filing last year of a bill in the state legislature that would have forced cities to allow short-term rentals in single-family neighborhoods.


Happily for many Longboaters, adoption of this proposed measure failed in the last session of the Florida legislature early this year. Significantly, this bill is being opposed by the Florida League of Cities and such opposition is expected to remain if the proposal is filed anew.


In Protection of Traditional Neighborhoods


The Florida cities league is particularly wary about the fast-rising number of short-term rentals in places where there are no regulations on such practices and are now seeing these rentals completely dominating residential neighborhoods. It was observed as a result that many traditional Florida neighborhoods are losing their quaint character and many long-time residents are leaving.


Fortunately, short-term rentals on the whole are regulated in Longboat Key. But just the same, renting out properties also form part of the local real estate market under certain conditions. Contact our team at Judy Kepecz-Hays team to learn more about buying or selling residential properties. We can tell you more about the current market not only on Longboat Key but also in Sarasota and her islands.


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