Florida bill affecting vacation rentals moves through legislature

Listen up if you own or plan to stay at a Florida Airbnb.

SB522, a bill moving through the state legislature, could affect how you do business.

State Representative Anthony Sabatini supports the bill, citing that "property rights are fundamental. We don't need nanny-state local governments in cities and counties punishing and hurting small property owners who own homes that want to make a second income."

Currently, the law lets cities and towns have a say in regulating how vacation rentals operate. At its heart, this bill would strip them of that power and give it to the state.

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State Senator Linda Stewart said that the bill is a bad idea, telling FOX 35 "I'm not a big fan of interfering with local government and the rules that they put forward."

Stewart added that cities and towns know best what their citizens want and can put rules in place.

"There are some neighborhoods where it's perfectly fine and some communities embrace it," she said. "And there's others that simply don't want the extra amount of people coming into their neighborhood and parking their cars, staying up all hours of the night, and things like that."

Sabatini said people should be able to do what they liked with their property and if a city wanted to pass laws limiting visitors or noise levels in a community, it cannot single-out vacation rentals.

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"If there's trash being put out, if there's crimes being committed, they can police all those things. What they really want to police is the idea that they don't want anyone they don't know going into a home that's nearby them, and that's just ridiculous," he explained.

Similar bills have failed before in Florida's legislature. SB522 is working its way through committees at the moment.

Tune in to FOX 35 Orlando for the latest Central Florida news.