Vacation Rentals Open

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Lee County vacation rentals are open as of May 20th following approval of Lee County’s submission of an application and safety plan by the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation(DBPR).

In his Full Phase 1 order, effective May 18th, DeSantis opened the door for individual counties to request approval to allow vacation rentals by submitting a written request and a safety plan to the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation(DBPR).

Lee County submitted a request to the DBPR on May 18 to allow vacation rentals of less than 30 days to resume on May 20. The county request includes a safety & disinfection plan that follows CDC guidelines and would reopen vacation rentals to Florida residents only for the first 30 days and prohibit international travelers and those “from a state or locality with substantial community spread of COVID-19.” The rules would be enforced by the DBPR.

Vacation rentals of 30 days or less have been banned statewide since March 29. The Governor’s original Executive Order 20-87, was for a two-week period, but it was later extended. The Town of Fort Myers Beach issued a Declaration of Emergency Regulation No.2 on March 29, 2020, which banned all short-term lodging, including vacation rentals, hotels, resorts and time shares within the town for 90 days. This was later amended to expire May 15th. Hotels, resorts and time shares were allowed to resume renting out lodging on May 15th, but vacation rentals remained prohibited under the statewide ban. While Governor DeSantis initiated the statewide ban, he later indicated that he wanted counties to direct a lifting of the ban.

The Lee County Short-term vacation rental reopening plan can be viewed at bit.ly/isp192