Many Hollywood residents say their quality of life has been reduced by vacation rentals in their neighborhoods. They are angry about loud parties taking place on a regular basis next door. Others believe they should be able to rent out their property to people who want to enjoy short-term stays.
Because of an increase in the number of visitors using short term vacation rentals and the growing number of transient people settling into residential areas, there have been more complaints from residents about the rentals.
Under current state law, city governments can’t prevent people from renting their homes or rooms in their houses. According to the Sun-Sentinel, in 2011, Florida passed a law prohibiting cities from banning vacation rentals. A bill that would have restricted what cities can do to regulate vacation rentals died during the recent legislative session, but is expected to reappear next year.
But during a recent Hollywood City Commission meeting, an ordinance to revise the definition of a vacation rental and require compliance inspections of vacation rentals passed on first reading.
Social media is a big boost for a growing number of homeowners who can market their property online and supplement their income by renting out a room or cottage. But a growing number of business people are setting up party venues in Hollywood’s residential neighborhoods. The party naturally comes with loud music and a lot of people.
Residents complain of loud parties that continue past midnight, music blaring through open windows at all hours, partiers park on the street and the swale and litter found the next day scattered all over residential lawns.
The issue of vacation rentals and party houses was also a hot topic during a town hall meeting in June, when Florida Senator Gary Farmer and State Rep. Joe Geller spoke to concerned residents.
Gary Farmer said cities should enforce their rights. “Cities can stop this by enforcing their zoning regulations,” he said.
Under city policy, condominium or cooperative unit or group of units, single family home, duplex, triplex, and four-family home or dwelling unit are considered vacation rentals (not a timeshare project) when rented to guests more than three times in a calendar year for periods of less than 30 days or one calendar month, or advertised to the public as a place regularly rented to guests located in a single family residential area.
Joe Geller said there needs to be a balance between the rights of homeowners who might want to hold an event or rent a property, and the rights of neighbors who want to live in peace and quiet.
“If a homeowner is holding too many loud parties, the cities should treat it as a nuisance and enforce nuisance ordinances,” Geller said. “Cities can prevent this.”
Hollywood city officials want safety and operational requirements for these rentals. This will include Initial inspection to verify compliance: A Code Officer’s inspection will ensure that the property is in compliance with building codes and city ordinances for property standards. There will an Inspection every three years upon renewal of license. All outstanding violations must be complied prior to issuance of a Vacation Rental License
The City is also considering forcing party houses to be better neighbors by imposing quiet hours city-wide from 10 p.m. to 7 a.m.