The Division of Hotels and Restaurants provides the following information as a general guide for Vacation Rental and Timeshare Project licensing in Florida and does not represent this to be all requirements for maintaining a license. For complete information, we recommend you refer to applicable laws and rules and our licensing webpage.
Florida law defines a vacation rental as:
any unit or group of units in a condominium or cooperative or any individually or collectively owned single-family, two-family, or four-family house or dwelling unit that is also a transient public lodging establishment but that is not a timeshare project. [Section 509.242(1)(c), Florida Statutes (FS)]
Vacation Rental – Printable Brochure
Florida law defines a timeshare project as:
a timeshare property, as defined in chapter 721, that is located in this state and that is also a transient public lodging establishment. [Section 509.242(1)(g), FS]
Do I need a license for my rental?
If renting rooms: Renting a single room or rooms other than the whole unit is not classified as a public lodging and would not require a license from DBPR, Division of Hotels and Restaurants. Please be advised your business may still be subject to city, county or other local authority jurisdiction.
If renting the entire unit: Yes, if you are renting an entire unit more than three times in a calendar year for periods of less than 30 days or 1 calendar month, whichever is less, or if it’s advertised or held out to the public as a place regularly rented to guests.
The Division of Hotels and Restaurants licenses vacation rentals in one of the following classifications:
- A Vacation Rental – Condominium license will be issued for a unit or group of units in a condominium or cooperative.
- A Vacation Rental – Dwelling license will be issued for a single-family house, a townhouse, or a unit or group of units in a duplex, triplex, quadruplex, or other dwelling unit that has four or less units collectively.
Vacation rentals and timeshare projects are licensed based on the number and location of the property/unit and who operates the property/unit:
- A Single license may include one single-family house or townhouse, or a unit or group of units within a single building that are owned and operated by the same individual person or entity, but not a licensed agent.
- A Group license is a license issued to a licensed agent to cover all units within a building or group of buildings in a single complex.
- A Collective license is issued to a licensed agent who represents a collective group of houses or units found on separate locations. A collective license is limited to 75 units or less and is restricted to counties within one district.
Note: “Licensed Agent” does not mean the operator of a management company must hold a license from the Division of Real Estate. “Licensed Agent” means that the operator of a management company has been “licensed” by the property/unit owner to hold out the property/unit for rent on a transient basis. The “license” can be in the form of a rental agreement or contract between the two parties.
Apply for a License
The fastest way to obtain a Vacation Rental license is to apply online using the links above. Online applications are usually processed in one to two business days and the digital license is emailed immediately after approval. Please know that each rental unit address must be submitted through the license holder’s DBPR Online services account.
Adding or Removing Rental Units from the License
All rental unit changes are made through the license holder’s DBPR Online services account. Rental unit addresses are submitted during the initial online application process. Later units are added or removed as needed by logging into the license holder’s DBPR Online services account, selecting the license from the menu and choosing to ‘Update the Number of Units On My License (Add/Remove)’. Due to the large number of rental unit addresses and frequency of updates we are unable to accept rental unit changes via paper or email. For assistance using DBPR’s Online services see: Create an Account / Link a License.
- Apply online, a DBPR Online services account is required to submit and update rental unit addresses
- The number of units and number of rental location addreses should match. If you intend to include ten rental units for your license be sure to submit ten rental location addresses.
- Fees are based on the application date and your license will expire on the next renewal date. In some cases this can lead to paying for your initial application and then in days or weeks paying again to renew for the next license year. Wait to apply if you don’t plan on operating until after the next renewal date. Check renewal dates, application dates and how they may affect your fees here: Fee Calculator
- If claiming the Disabled Military Veteran discount include your honorable discharge and proof of disability. Upload both documents with your online application or include if mailed, they’ll be reviewed prior to approval.
License fees can be determined by visiting our fee calculator.
The establishment must display all current licenses or copies of licenses in a conspicuous place on the premises.
Keep the unit clean, safe and in good physical condition.
If provided, bedding and linens must be clean, unworn and properly stored. Size mattress pads, bed sheets and blankets appropriately to the mattress or bed so that the entire sleeping area of the mattress is covered. Sheets and pillowcases must be in good condition, and cleaned and changed between each guest or once a week, whichever occurs first. Bedding items, such as mattresses, comforters and pillows must be thoroughly aired, disinfected and kept clean.
If provided, make soap available either in individually wrapped bars or as liquid soap in a dispenser.
Baby cribs provided to guests must meet safety standards established by the Consumer Products Safety Commission.
If you provide dishes and glassware, you must sanitize all of them between guests. Proper warewashing requires a three-compartment sink or commercial dishmachine. Vacation rentals and timeshare projects that do not have the facilities to comply with this requirement must post a notice informing guests that the dishes and glassware have not been sanitized according to public food service establishment standards. The notice must include the specific language on the notice available from the division.
Keep the establishment free of vermin.
Additional Requirements for Buildings of Three Stories or More
Unless exterior balconies and stairs are “common elements” of a condominium, you must file a Certificate of Balcony Inspection with the division every three years. For exemption to this requirement, the vacation rental-condominium licensee must provide proof to the division that these areas are common elements.
Notice to Agents Holding Collective or Group Licenses
Rule 61C-1.002(4)(a)2.e., Florida Administrative Code (FAC), states:
In the case of a collective license or group license, the licensed agent shall be responsible for all violations pursuant to Chapter 509, FS, and Chapters 61C-1 and 61C-3, FAC, if violations occurred while the unit or dwelling was listed under the licensed agent or as reflected in records filed with the division.
In 2019 section 509.096 was added to Chapter 509, Florida Statutes. This section requires all public lodging establishments to provide annual training on human trafficking awareness to employees of the establishment who perform housekeeping duties in the rental units or who work at the front desk or reception area where guests check in or check out. The training must be provided for new employees within 60 days after they begin employment in a housekeeping or reception area role, or by January 1, 2021, whichever occurs later. For more information please visit our Human Trafficking Awareness page.
The division records readily observable fire safety items during inspections. The division reports any item that may violate fire safety requirements to the State Fire Marshal and local fire safety authorities. Please contact them to ensure your establishment meets fire safety requirements.
General guidelines are:
- Install smoke detectors in every living unit.
- Specialized smoke detectors for the hearing impaired must be available at a rate of one per every fifty rental units or fraction thereof. There is a maximum requirement of 5 hearing impaired smoke detectors for each license.
- The electrical system must be proper and safe. Do not use extension cords.
- All units must comply with the requirements of NFPA 101, the Life Safety Code.
- If a majority of the rental units within a single building of three stories or more with interior means of egress or greater than 75 feet in height, Vacation Rental-Condominiums require automatic fire sprinklers installed according to NFPA Chapter 13.
All requests for public records, complaints, forms, and applications for licenses can be obtained by contacting the Customer Contact Center.
Steven von Bodungen, Director
Division of Hotels and Restaurants
2601 Blair Stone Road
Tallahassee, FL 32399-1011