Islamorada Vacation Rental Rules and Regulations: Use and Occupancy Restrictions

Islamorada Vacation Rental Rules and Regulations: Use and Occupancy Restrictions

Islamorada, a jewel in the Florida Keys, is a sought-after destination for vacationers seeking a serene and picturesque retreat. To preserve the tranquil charm and ensure a harmonious experience for both residents and visitors, the Village of Islamorada has implemented comprehensive vacation rental rules and regulations. These guidelines cover aspects such as minimum stay requirements, parking regulations, occupancy limits, and safety standards. Below, we provide an in-depth look at Islamorada vacation rental rules and regulations.

Investment Appeal of Airbnb in Islamorada

Islamorada, often referred to as the “Village of Islands,” is a premier destination in the Florida Keys known for its stunning beaches, vibrant coral reefs, and a myriad of recreational activities. Its unique blend of natural beauty, coupled with its reputation as a fishing paradise, makes it an attractive location for both tourists and real estate investors. Here are several reasons why investing in an Airbnb property in Islamorada is an appealing venture:

High Demand for Vacation Rentals

Occupancy Rate: With an average occupancy rate of 53%, peaking at 69% in March, Islamorada’s picturesque location and year-round pleasant climate make it a top choice for vacationers seeking a tropical escape. The high influx of tourists creates a consistent demand for short-term rentals, especially during peak travel seasons, ensuring a steady income stream for investors.

Premium Rental Rates

Rental Statistics: The average daily rate stands at $692.9, reaching up to $763 during February and March. Due to its luxury appeal and limited accommodation options, Islamorada can command premium rental rates. Vacationers are willing to pay a higher price for the unique experience of staying in a beautiful island property. This can result in a higher return on investment compared to other, less desirable locations.

Outdoor and Recreational Activities

Islamorada offers a plethora of activities, such as fishing, snorkeling, diving, and boating. Additionally, it boasts world-class restaurants, shops, and cultural attractions. The availability of these activities enhances the overall vacation experience, making short-term rentals more attractive to prospective guests.

Exclusive and Scenic Properties

The real estate in Islamorada is characterized by its exclusivity and scenic views. Properties often feature waterfront access, private docks, and luxurious amenities. Such features not only attract a higher number of bookings but also allow for premium pricing, contributing to the impressive RevPAR (Revenue Per Available Rental) of $386.6 and $703 on weekends.

Strong Local Economy

The local economy of Islamorada is bolstered by tourism. The community is supportive of the tourism industry, which adds to the stability and growth of the local real estate market. This economic stability ensures that property values, currently averaging at $1,313,310 (up 4.2% over the past year), remain strong, making it a secure investment choice.

Substantial Revenue Potential

According to AirDNA data, properties in Islamorada have an average annual revenue of $118.7K, with the potential to earn as much as $12,900 in March, the best month for revenue. With 714 active rentals, the competition is balanced, allowing for substantial revenue opportunities for well-managed properties.

Tax Benefits and Incentives

Florida is known for its favorable tax policies, which include no state income tax. Investing in real estate in Islamorada can provide various tax benefits, including deductions on mortgage interest, property taxes, and operating expenses related to running an Airbnb.

Growing Popularity

Islamorada is increasingly becoming a popular spot not only for vacationers but also for remote workers who are looking for scenic retreats to balance work and leisure. This growing demographic further increases the demand for short-term rental properties.

In conclusion, investing in an Airbnb in Islamorada offers the potential for high returns due to the combination of strong demand, premium rental rates, and the overall appeal of the location. With its unique charm and advantageous economic conditions, Islamorada stands out as an exceptional choice for property investment in the short-term rental market. For investors seeking a blend of high yield and geographical allure, Islamorada is truly an enticing prospect.

Islamorada Vacation Rental Rules and Regulations: Use and Occupancy Restrictions

Application for Vacation Rental License and Annual Registration

Vacation Rental License & Annual Registration | Islamorada, FL

License Application Process

To operate a vacation rental in Islamorada, property owners must apply for a Vacation Rental License and complete the annual registration. The application process includes several steps and requires various documents:

Completed Vacation Rental License Application: This form must be fully filled out and submitted through the CityView portal.

  1. Application Fee: The application fee is $1,325.00, payable through the portal or at the Village’s cashier’s office. The license period runs from January 1 to December 31 each year.
  2. Property Record Card: A property record card from the Monroe County Property Appraiser must be submitted. This can be obtained online here.
  3. Proof of Tourist Development Tax Payments: Copies of all paid and filed monthly Monroe County Tourist Development Tax receipts for the most recent 12 months must be provided. This can be accessed through the Monroe County Tax Collector’s website here.

If the tourist development taxes have been paid by a rental company, additional documents are required:

  • Initial Sales Tax Certificate Registration.
  • Rental Agreement: A signed agreement between the property owner and the rental/property management company.
  • Monthly Breakdown of Rentals: Includes the price per unit and the sales/tourist taxes for the most recent 12 months.
  • Proof of Payment: Copies of checks remitted to the property owner or a copy of Schedule E of the property owner’s tax returns for the most recent 12 months.
  1. Local Business Tax Receipts: A copy of each yearly Monroe County Local Business Tax receipt, demonstrating vacation rental use for the most recent 12 months, is also required. This can be obtained from the Monroe County Tax Collector’s website.
  2. State Licenses: Copies of the most recent state licenses from the Florida Division of Hotels and Restaurants and the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation must be submitted. These licenses are required by Chapter 509 of the Florida Statutes for public lodging facilities.
  3. Owner’s Affidavit: A signed and notarized Vacation Rental License Property Owner’s Affidavit must be included with the application.
  4. Life Safety Inspection: A life safety inspection must be completed and passed prior to the issuance of a vacation rental license. This inspection is scheduled through the Village’s CityView Portal within 30 days of application processing. Inspections are conducted by the Village’s Fire Inspector on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Compliance with Rule 69A-43, Florida Administrative Code, and the Florida Fire Prevention Code is mandatory.

Vacation rental licenses are not transferable in the event of a property sale. New owners must apply for a new license.

Islamorada Vacation Rental Rules and Regulations: Use and Occupancy Restrictions

Islamorada Short-Term Rental Use and Occupancy Restrictions

Seven-Day Minimum Stay Requirements

To maintain the residential character of neighborhoods and minimize disruptions, vacation rentals in Islamorada must be rented for a minimum of seven days. This rule helps ensure that the community does not experience frequent turnovers that can be disruptive to long-term residents. Exceptions to this rule are only allowed in tourist commercial (TC) zoning districts, where shorter stays may be permitted.

Parking Regulations

Designated Parking Areas

Vacation rental properties must provide designated parking areas for motor vehicles and vessel trailers. Parking on the street, or in a way that extends over the right-of-way or sidewalk, is strictly prohibited. The number of vehicles and trailers must not exceed the maximum number of permitted parking spaces specified in the rental application. Furthermore, only vehicles belonging to registered occupants may be parked overnight on the property.

Overnight Parking and Vehicle Use

No recreational vehicle (RV), sport utility vehicle (SUV), or any other motor vehicle or vessel parked on the vacation rental property may be used for sleeping, liveaboard use, or other overnight accommodations. This regulation ensures that all occupants are housed within the rental property itself, maintaining the neighborhood’s integrity and safety.

Dock and Vessel Regulations

For properties with dock areas, the total length of moored vessels must not exceed the length of the shoreline. Additionally, vessels must not be moored against one another or create navigational obstructions or hazards. This rule is crucial for maintaining safe and orderly waterways, ensuring all users can enjoy the local marine environment without interference.

Trash and Debris Management

All trash and debris must be stored in covered trash containers to prevent litter and wildlife issues. Each vacation rental must be equipped with an adequate number of covered trash containers to meet the needs of its occupants. Compliance with local trash and recycling provisions is mandatory, and the schedules for garbage and recycling pick-up must be clearly posted within the rental agreement and in the rental unit.

Occupancy Limits

The maximum occupancy of any vacation rental unit is limited to two adults per bedroom. For these purposes, children over six years of age are considered adults. The occupancy limit must also comply with the Florida Fire Prevention Code or any other occupancy limits set by the Village building official. This regulation helps prevent overcrowding and ensures a comfortable stay for all guests.

Building and Fire Safety Codes

All vacation rental units must adhere to building and fire safety codes applicable to Public Lodging Establishments as required by state law and local codes. This includes having functional smoke detectors, fire extinguishers, and clearly marked evacuation routes. Regular inspections are conducted to ensure compliance with these safety standards, providing peace of mind for both property owners and guests.

Occupancy Documentation

Written Agreements and Display of Regulations

Before occupancy, renters must receive a written copy of the use and occupancy restrictions. This document, along with a rental agreement, must be signed by the responsible occupant. A copy of these regulations must be prominently displayed within the rental unit in no less than 16-point type, including a warning in bold type that violations can result in immediate eviction and fines.

Rental Agreement Requirements

Rental agreements must include the home address and phone number of each occupant, the property manager’s address and 24-hour contact number, and the phone number at the vacation rental unit. A copy of the rental agreement must be kept on the property and made available upon request by any authorized local official.

Signage and Advertising

Permit Signage

Each vacation rental property must display a sign indicating an effective annual permit and permit number. This sign should measure between two and four feet in height and be placed prominently, as determined by the Planning and Development Services director.

Advertising Compliance

All advertising for vacation rental units must include the state and village license numbers. Advertising unlicensed rental units is a violation of these regulations and can result in penalties.

Islamorada Vacation Rental Rules and Regulations: Use and Occupancy Restrictions

Evacuation Protocols: Hurricanes and Evacuation Orders

In the event of a hurricane warning or a non-resident evacuation order issued by the National Weather Service, National Hurricane Center, or local authorities, all vacation rental units must be immediately evacuated. This measure is crucial for ensuring the safety of all occupants during severe weather events.

Fire and Life Safety Requirements

Detailed Safety Measures

Vacation rental properties must comply with a comprehensive list of safety measures, including:

  • House Numbers: Clearly visible from the roadway, contrasting in color from the background, and at least 6 inches in height.
  • Guardrails and Handrails: Securely mounted and properly maintained.
  • Stairs: Proper tread configuration with no loose carpet or tiles.
  • Smoke Detectors: Mounted in every sleeping area and on every level of the dwelling, hardwired and interconnected.
  • Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCIs): Present where required, especially near water sources, and functioning correctly.
  • Electrical Receptacles: Ensuring proper polarity and no missing or broken cover plates.
  • Pools: Fenced with locked gates.
  • Egress Windows and Doors: Operational and meeting size requirements.
  • Emergency Phone Number List: Clearly posted within the unit.
  • Fire Extinguishers: Properly placed and of the correct size, with at least one per floor in multi-story residences.
  • Emergency Lighting: Battery-powered and providing illumination for at least one hour.
  • Carbon Monoxide Detectors: Required where gas appliances or attached garages are present, hardwired and interconnected.
  • Secondary Means of Egress: Required if discharge is not at ground level.
  • Floor Diagrams: Reflecting the actual floor arrangement, primary and secondary exit locations, and room identification.
  • Procedures for Reporting Emergencies: Clearly posted within the unit.
  • Supplemental Audio/Visual Alarms: Available upon request for visually or hearing-impaired occupants.
  • Occupancy Load Sign: Indicating the maximum number of occupants permitted.
  • Egress Lighting: Ensuring safe evacuation routes.
  • Fire Safety Information Pamphlet: Describing evacuation procedures, smoke detector information, and emergency reporting procedures.
  • Private Fire Protection Systems Certifications: Documentation showing proper maintenance and certification for buildings with fire alarms or suppression systems.
  • Dedicated Land Line: Required for emergency service contact.

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By adhering to these detailed guide to Islamorada vacation rental rules and regulations, Airbnb owners can ensure a safe, legal, and pleasant experience for their guests. Compliance not only protects the property owner from legal issues but also enhances the overall satisfaction and safety of the renters.