Division of Hotels and Restaurants
Guide to Vacation Rentals - Dwellings
The Division of Hotels and Restaurants provides the following information as a general guide for vacation rental - dwelling 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 website.
This webpage replaces our brochure: DBPR Form HR 5025-753, Guide to Resort Dwelling Licensing.
Florida law defines a vacation rental as
. . . any unit or group of units in a condominium, cooperative or time share plan 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. [Section 509.242(1)(c), Florida Statutes (FS)]
The Division of Hotels and Restaurants licenses vacation rentals in one of the following classifications:
- 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. A single license is not issued to a licensed agent.
- A GROUP license is a license issued to a licensed agent to cover all rooms or 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 units found on separate locations. A collective license is limited to 75 units or less and is restricted to counties within one district.
"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. That the “license” can be in the form of a rental agreement or contract between the two parties.
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 you provide bedding and linens, they must be clean, unworn and properly stored. Mattress pads, bed sheets and blankets must be appropriately sized 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 comes first. Bedding items, such as mattresses, comforters and pillows must be thoroughly aired, disinfected and kept clean.
If you provide soap, it must be 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, they must be washed, rinsed, and sanitized between each guest. Proper warewashing requires a three-compartment sink or commercial dishmachine. Vacation rentals that were licensed before July 1, 1994, and that do not have the facilities to comply with this requirement may post a notice informing guests that the dishes and glassware have not been washed and sanitized.
Keep the establishment free of vermin.
Add all units to the state license before renting to guests.
Licensees must file periodic updates with the division indicating which units have been added and/or dropped from the license.
The Florida Building Code and Florida Fire Safety Code specify additional requirements, including occupancy limits, emergency lighting and exits, fire-safety information, smoke detectors, and fire extinguishers. Please contact your local buidling and fire safety authorities to ensure your establishment meets those codes.
Notice To Agents Holding Collective or Group Licenses
Rule 61C-1.002(4)(c) 5.g., 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.
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 guest areas.
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 rentals require automatic fire sprinklers installed according to NFPA Chapter 13.