• Orlando City Commission approves short-term rental ordinance

    By: Cierra Putman

    Updated:

    ORLANDO, Fla. - The city of Orlando is one step closer to allowing short-term rentals -- such as Airbnb - in all residential neighborhoods. 

    At a meeting Monday, commissioners approved an ordinance that will allow homeowners to rent out part of their homes.

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    Under the amended ordinance, a homeowner or tenant will have to be present while visitors are in town, and they will only be allowed to have one booking at a time. 

    Only four people can rent as part of a single booking, meaning there can be no more than two people per room, commissioners said.

    Foard Jones owns a home near downtown Orlando and has used Airbnb before. 

    “I thought it was great,” he said. 

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    Jones said he approves of the city opening up short-term rentals for strictly residential neighborhoods. 

    "I wouldn’t do it in my house and I wouldn’t mind if they were doing it next to me. If they were abusing it, I know there are ways to stop the abuse,” he said. 

    The previous city code banned short-term rentals, which the city defined as rentals for less than 30 days.

    The new rules go into effect July 1.

    Tom Martinelli, policy director of Airbnb Florida, said in a statement after Monday's vote, "We applaud Mayor Dyer and the city council for recognizing the important contributions of the Orlando Airbnb home sharing community. These smart, thoughtful regulations will allow Orlando residents across the entire city to share their homes for supplemental income and welcome more visitors to the City Beautiful." 

    Officials with Airbnb said the vacation platform collected and remitted more than $45 million in tax revenue to the state of Florida and local governments in 2017.

    The state and Airbnb formed an agreement in 2015 that would set up the tax revenue. The measure also allows Airbnb to charge bed taxes in 39 of the 63 Florida counties that assess the tax.

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