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Duval County, Florida Short-Term Rental Regulation: A Guide For Airbnb Hosts

Duval County, Florida

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Starting a Short-Term Rental Business in Duval County

To legally operate a short-term rental in Duval County, which includes the city of Jacksonville, property owners must navigate a set of zoning, licensing, tax, and safety requirements.

The City of Jacksonville defines a short-term rental as any property rented on more than three occasions per year for durations of 30 days or less. STRs are permitted in zoning districts where residential uses are allowed, including single-family homes, duplexes, and townhouses.

However, to operate legally, hosts must:

  • Obtain a Short-Term Vacation Rental Certificate from the City of Jacksonville Planning and Development Department. The application requires submitting documents like a boundary survey, sample lease agreement, and property compliance inspection. The initial and annual registration fee for each property is $150.
  • Acquire a vacation rental license from the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR). Applications can be completed online through the DBPR website.
  • Obtain a business tax receipt from both Duval County and the State of Florida. The county business tax receipt serves as a local business license.

Hosts must also collect and remit the applicable 6% state sales tax, 6% county tourist development tax, and any city occupancy taxes on their short-term rental income.

The city enforces additional rules like maximum occupancy limits of two adults per bedroom plus two, minimum stays of one night, and prohibitions on events/parties. Hosts are required to provide guests with a local contact available 24/7 and post their permit number and contact info in the unit.

Enforcement of these regulations can be strict. Jacksonville has a dedicated Short-Term Rental Enforcement Team that investigates complaints and can issue fines of up to $500 per day for violations. However, some Airbnb hosts on Reddit and Bigger Pockets forums report being able to operate without issues, suggesting enforcement may vary.

One Bigger Pockets user shared their challenges in getting clear answers from the city on STR rules in the Avondale neighborhood of Jacksonville. They were trying to determine if STRs were allowed, the minimum night stay (heard 7 nights but couldn't confirm), and owner-occupancy requirements.

On the Jacksonville subreddit, a post discussed a 2019 bill that would have increased regulations on Airbnb hosts in the city. One commenter felt that "converting a house into a rental property should require following existing business rules."

Another Reddit thread debated the legality and impact of apartment units being used as Airbnbs. Commenters advised checking HOA bylaws and Duval County's short-term rental laws. Some complained about the nuisance of living near Airbnb units, while others felt corporations buying up units to use as STRs was exacerbating housing affordability issues.

Overall, while short-term rentals are legal in much of Duval County with the proper permits and tax registrations, the regulatory landscape can be complex to navigate. Prospective hosts should carefully research the requirements for their specific property to ensure full compliance with local rules. Consulting with the Jacksonville Planning Department and/or a local attorney well-versed in STR regulations is advised.

Short-Term Rental Licensing Requirements in Duval County

To legally operate a short-term rental in Duval County, which includes the city of Jacksonville, property owners must navigate a set of licensing, registration, and permitting requirements:

1. Short-Term Vacation Rental Certificate: Property owners or licensed agents must obtain a Short-Term Vacation Rental Certificate from the City of Jacksonville Planning and Development Department for each STR property. The application requires submitting documents like:

  1. Completed application form
  2. Notarized affidavit of compliance
  3. Boundary survey or photo showing parking
  4. Sample short-term rental lease agreement
  5. Proof of owner/agent identification
  6. Property compliance inspection report
  7. Local Business Tax Receipt forms
  8. Articles of Incorporation/Organization if owned by a business entity

The initial application and annual renewal fee is $150 per property. Certificates must be renewed annually by October 1st.

2. Local Business Tax Receipt: Hosts must acquire a Local Business Tax Receipt from the Duval County Tax Collector's Office, which serves as a business license. The annual fee is currently $79.20 per rental property.

3. Florida DBPR Vacation Rental License: Hosts are required to obtain a vacation rental license from the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR). Applications can be completed online through the DBPR website. License fees vary based on factors like rental type (condo vs. dwelling) and number of units.

4. Tourist Development Tax Registration: STR operators must register with the Duval County Tax Collector and the Florida Department of Revenue for the collection and remittance of the 6% county Tourist Development Tax and 6% state sales tax on short-term rental income.

Completed applications for the Short-Term Vacation Rental Certificate should be submitted in person or by mail to:

City of Jacksonville Beach
Planning and Development Department
11 North 3rd Street
Jacksonville Beach, FL 32250

The certificate application review process typically takes 5-10 business days. Hosts found operating an STR without proper licensing may face fines of up to $500 per day and revocation of their rental certificate.

In summary, the key requirements for running a short-term rental in Duval County include obtaining a Short-Term Vacation Rental Certificate from the city, registering for state and local tax collection, and securing business licenses at both the county and state levels. Failure to comply with these licensing and registration mandates can result in significant penalties.

Required Documents for Duval County Short-Term Rentals

To legally operate a short-term rental in Duval County, property owners must submit a comprehensive application packet to the City of Jacksonville Beach Planning and Development Department. The required documents include:

Short-Term Vacation Rental Certificate Affidavit: A notarized document signed by the property owner or licensed agent agreeing to maintain compliance with the city's short-term vacation rental standards. It covers aspects like safety, parking, waste management, emergency contacts, and other regulations.

Application Fee: A non-refundable fee payable to the "City of Jacksonville Beach" to cover the cost of processing the application. The initial application and annual renewal fee is $150 per property.

Local Business Tax Form: A form specific to short-term vacation rentals that must be completed for each rental property. The annual fee for a Local Business Tax Receipt is currently $79.20 per property.

Duval County Business Tax Receipt: Proof of a valid business tax receipt from Duval County for each rental property, which serves as a local business license.

Duval County Tourist Tax Certificate: Documentation showing registration with the Duval County Tax Collector for the collection of the 6% county Tourist Development Tax on short-term rental income.

Florida Department of Revenue Certificate: A certificate of registration (DR-1C for collectives) from the Florida Department of Revenue for the collection and remittance of the 6% state sales tax on rental income.

Florida DBPR License: A valid vacation rental license from the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) for transient public lodging establishments. Applications can be completed online through the DBPR website.

Lease Agreement and Required Postings: A blank sample short-term rental lease agreement (if available) and copies of required postings for guests as per city ordinance.

Parking Documentation: A boundary survey or photo showing the location of the required off-street parking spaces for the rental unit.

Owner/Agent Identification: A valid photo ID of the property owner or licensed agent submitting the rental application.

Business Entity Documents: Articles of Incorporation (AOI) or Articles of Organization (AOO) if the rental property is owned by a business entity.

Property Compliance Inspection Report: A completed property inspection report from the local fire marshal prior to the issuance of the Short-Term Vacation Rental Certificate. Inspections are required for initial applications and modifications.

By submitting these required documents and meeting the city's criteria, property owners can obtain a Short-Term Vacation Rental Certificate and legally operate their short-term rental in Duval County, Florida. Incomplete applications will not be accepted by the Planning and Development Department.

Duval County Short-Term Rental Taxes

Short-term rental operators in Duval County are required to collect and remit several types of taxes:

Florida State Sales Tax: The state of Florida imposes a 6% sales tax on the total rental amount for stays of six months or less. This tax is remitted to the Florida Department of Revenue.

Duval County Tourist Development Tax: Duval County levies a 6% tourist development tax on short-term rentals. This includes a 4% Tourist Development Tax and a 2% Convention Development Tax. These taxes are collected by the owner/manager of the rental unit and remitted to the Duval County Tax Collector on a monthly basis.

Discretionary Sales Surtax: Some Florida counties impose an additional discretionary sales surtax on transient rentals. The surtax rate varies by county from 0.5% to 1.5%. This tax is collected along with the state sales tax and remitted to the Florida Department of Revenue.

In total, short-term rental operators in Duval County should expect to collect and remit 12-13.5% in state and local taxes on their rental income. It's important to note that these taxes are in addition to any income taxes owed on the rental profits.

Possible Write-Offs and Deductions

Short-term rental hosts may be able to deduct certain expenses related to operating and maintaining their rental property. Some common deductible expenses include:

  1. Mortgage interest
  2. Property taxes
  3. Insurance premiums
  4. Utilities
  5. Repairs and maintenance costs
  6. Cleaning and supplies
  7. Advertising and platform fees
  8. Depreciation of assets like furniture and appliances

Hosts should keep detailed records and receipts for all rental-related expenses. Consulting with a tax professional is recommended to ensure proper reporting of income and deductions.

By understanding the applicable taxes and allowable deductions, short-term rental operators in Duval County can ensure compliance with local regulations while maximizing their profits. Staying informed of any changes to tax rates or reporting requirements is also key to long-term success in this market.

Florida Wide Short-Term Rental Rules

In addition to local regulations in Duval County, short-term rental hosts must also comply with state-wide rules set by the Florida Legislature and various state agencies. Some key state-wide requirements include:

Licensing: Short-term rental operators must obtain a license from the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR). The DBPR maintains a state-wide registry of all licensed vacation rentals.

Taxation: Hosts are required to collect and remit the 6% state sales tax on short-term rental income to the Florida Department of Revenue. Short-term rental booking platforms like Airbnb and Vrbo are now required to collect and remit state taxes on behalf of hosts.

Occupancy Limits: State law sets a maximum overnight occupancy of two people per bedroom, plus two additional people in one common area, or more than two per bedroom if there is at least 50 square feet per person, plus two in a common area, whichever is greater.

Responsible Party: Rentals must designate a person who can respond to complaints 24/7 and be available by phone at all times.

Advertising Requirements: Rental platforms must include the property's DBPR license number and any local registration numbers in all listings and advertisements.

Inspections: While not required state-wide, the state allows local governments to mandate property inspections and charge an inspection fee as part of the permitting process.

Violations and Suspensions: The state can suspend licenses for vacation rentals that violate general laws not specific to short-term rentals five times in a 30 or 60 day period, or after two prior suspensions.

Preemption of Local Laws: State law prevents local governments from prohibiting short-term rentals entirely or regulating the frequency and duration of stays. However, local ordinances passed before June 1, 2011, are grandfathered in.

It's important to note that Florida's short-term rental regulations are constantly evolving. In 2024, the state legislature passed Senate Bill 280, which, if signed into law by the governor, would introduce additional state-wide rules and requirements for vacation rental hosts and platforms. Duval County hosts should stay informed on the latest developments in state short-term rental legislation.

Does Duval County Strictly Enforce STR Rules?

Based on discussions among Airbnb hosts on Reddit and Bigger Pockets forums, Duval County appears to take a relatively strict approach to enforcing its short-term rental regulations compared to some other Florida cities.

The city of Jacksonville has a dedicated Short-Term Rental Enforcement Team that investigates complaints and issues citations for violations. Hosts found operating without proper permits and licenses can face fines of up to $500 per day and potential revocation of their rental certificate.

One Bigger Pockets user shared their challenges in getting clear answers from Jacksonville officials on STR rules in the Avondale neighborhood, such as whether rentals under 7 nights were allowed and any owner occupancy requirements. This suggests the regulatory landscape can be complex to navigate.

On the Jacksonville subreddit, a 2019 post discussed a proposed bill to increase regulations on Airbnb hosts in the city. One commenter felt that "converting a house into a rental property should require following existing business rules." Another called it "big-government overreach". The bill aimed to require $1M insurance policies and limit rentals to 3 bedrooms/6 adults with the owner present.

In a separate Reddit thread, hosts debated the profitability of Airbnb vs long-term roommates in Jacksonville. One noted the city requires a minimum 7 night stay for STRs and deducts a percentage of the Homestead tax exemption for the rental portion of an owner-occupied home.

Overall, the consensus is that Duval County is less Airbnb-friendly than some other major Florida destinations. While determined hosts do still operate STRs, they must be diligent about compliance with permitting, tax collection, and other local rules or risk facing strict penalties. The county's enforcement stance makes it one of the more challenging jurisdictions for vacation rentals.

How to Start a Short-Term Rental Business in Duval County

Starting a short-term rental business in Duval County requires navigating a set of zoning, licensing, tax, and safety requirements. Here are the key steps to get your rental business up and running:

Determine zoning compliance: Verify that your property is located in a zoning district that allows short-term rentals. In Duval County, STRs are permitted in districts where residential uses are allowed, including single-family homes, duplexes, and townhouses.

Obtain a Short-Term Vacation Rental Certificate: Apply for a Short-Term Vacation Rental Certificate from the City of Jacksonville Planning and Development Department. Submit the required documents, including a boundary survey, sample lease agreement, and property compliance inspection report. Pay the initial application and annual renewal fee of $150 per property.

Acquire a state vacation rental license: Obtain a vacation rental license from the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR). Complete the application online through the DBPR website. License fees vary based on factors like rental type and number of units.

Register for taxes: Obtain a business tax receipt from both Duval County and the State of Florida. The county business tax receipt serves as your local business license. Register with the Florida Department of Revenue for the collection and remittance of the 6% state sales tax and 6% county tourist development tax on your rental income.

Comply with regulations: Adhere to all short-term rental regulations, including maximum occupancy limits of two adults per bedroom plus two, minimum stays of one night, prohibitions on events/parties, and posting your permit number and local contact info in the unit.

Tips for success:

  1. Carefully review the city's Short-Term Vacation Rental Certificate application packet to ensure you provide all required documentation and meet safety standards.
  2. Consult with the Jacksonville Planning Department and/or a local attorney well-versed in STR regulations to navigate the complex regulatory landscape.
  3. Maintain detailed records of all rental-related income and expenses for proper tax reporting. Consider working with a tax professional.
  4. Provide an exceptional guest experience to garner positive reviews and ensure repeat business. Invest in quality furnishings, amenities, and regular property maintenance.

By following these steps and prioritizing regulatory compliance and guest satisfaction, you can build a successful short-term rental business in Duval County. While the process may seem daunting, the potential for profitable rentals in this popular Florida destination makes it a worthwhile endeavor for savvy investors.

Who to Contact in Duval County about Short-Term Rental Regulations and Zoning?

For questions about short-term rental regulations and zoning in Duval County, contact the following departments:

City of Jacksonville Planning and Development Department

  1. Phone: (904) 255-7800
  2. Email: planninginfo@coj.net
  3. Address: 214 N. Hogan Street, Jacksonville, FL 32202

The Planning and Development Department handles short-term rental permits and can provide guidance on zoning requirements. Some key contacts:

  1. Andrew Hetzel, City Planner III: (904) 255-7821
  2. Bruce Lewis, City Planner Supervisor: (904) 255-7820
  3. Kaysie Cox, City Planner III: (904) 255-7823

City of Jacksonville Tax Collector's Office

  1. Phone: (904) 630-2064
  2. Email: taxcollector@coj.net
  3. Address: 231 E. Forsyth Street, Jacksonville, FL 32202

The Tax Collector's Office handles business tax receipts (BTRs) for short-term rentals, which serve as the required business license.

Duval County Tax Collector

  1. Phone: (904) 630-1916
  2. Tourist Development Tax: (904) 630-7625
  3. Address: 231 E. Forsyth Street, Room 130, Jacksonville, FL 32202

Contact the Duval County Tax Collector to register for and remit the required 6% county Tourist Development Tax on short-term rental income.

In addition to these official resources, short-term rental hosts in Duval County may find the following online groups and communities helpful for discussing regulations and sharing experiences:

  1. Bigger Pockets Jacksonville Short-Term Rental Forum
  2. Airbnb Community Center - Jacksonville Topics
  3. Jacksonville Airbnb Hosts Facebook Group

These forums allow hosts to ask questions, get advice from experienced operators, and stay up-to-date on any regulatory changes impacting short-term rentals in Jacksonville and the surrounding areas. Local meetups and events may also be coordinated through these online communities.

By engaging with both county officials and the host community, short-term rental operators in Duval County can ensure they remain in compliance with all applicable regulations while running successful and profitable businesses.

What Do Airbnb Hosts in Duval County on Reddit and Bigger Pockets Think about Local Regulations?

Airbnb hosts in Duval County have shared their experiences and thoughts on local short-term rental regulations across various online forums:

On the Jacksonville subreddit, hosts discussed a 2019 bill that would have increased regulations on Airbnb rentals in the city. One commenter felt that "converting a house into a rental property should require following existing business rules". Another called it "big-government overreach" and said "Just what Jacksonville needs. /s".

In a separate thread, Jacksonville residents debated the legality and impact of apartment units being used as Airbnbs. Commenters advised checking HOA bylaws and Duval County's short-term rental laws. Some complained about the nuisance of living near Airbnb units, while others felt corporations buying up units to use as STRs was exacerbating housing affordability issues.

A Bigger Pockets user shared their challenges in getting clear answers from Jacksonville officials on STR rules in the Avondale neighborhood. They were trying to determine if rentals under 7 nights were allowed and any owner occupancy requirements, but found the regulations complex to navigate.

On an Airbnb Community Center thread, a Jacksonville host asked for clarification on the city's STR permit process and fees. Another host replied detailing the required steps - obtaining a certificate from the city, registering for state and local taxes, and securing a state vacation rental license.

Overall, the sentiment among Duval County hosts seems to be that while short-term rentals are legal with the proper permits, the regulatory landscape can be confusing and burdensome to navigate. Some feel the rules are too strict and discourage Airbnb activity, while others believe STRs need to be better regulated to protect housing affordability and neighborhood character. Most agree that clearer guidance from the city on STR requirements would benefit both hosts and residents.

Disclaimer: While we here at BNBCalc strive to keep all of our regulation guides updated and accurate with all the latest local laws, we still do not suggest using them as your sole or primary source for local regulations. We also do not recommend you rely on the third-party sources we link to or reference, and we are not responsible for any of the information on these third-party sites. These guides are for entertainment purposes only and only provide basic information and should not be considered as legal advice.

We highly recommend directly contacting the responsible parties for each and hearing what their officials have to say. Ultimately, it's your responsibility as an investor to ensure you fully comply with the local laws, and it's best to speak with professionals before making an investment decision.

⚡️
Reveal your property’s rental profitability

Buy this property and list it on Airbnb.