Since it was determined earlier this year that Collier County Government does not have the right to place a prohibition on short term rentals for frequency and duration, Collier County Government has been in discussions with stakeholders groups including Naples Area Board of Realtors to find solutions to problems that sparked the initial conversation about a prohibition. Noise, parking, trash, etc. were the main issues presented to the Commission last spring. The Realtors were in full agreement that these issues need to be addressed but also contended this was an enforcement issue and banning short term rentals would damage private property rights for those who wanted or needed to rent their property on a short-term basis.
So, does anyone in Collier County have the right to regulate the frequency and duration of rental properties? Yes, the City of Naples has its own ordinance that was grandfathered in before the State Legislature passed a bill prohibiting municipalities and local governments from banning short term rentals. Additionally, properties located within HOA’s and Condominiums have the right to regulate and make rules limiting short-term rentals, but the County cannot not. The difference is when you buy in an HOA or Condominium project you are also agreeing to abide by their rules. When you close on one of these properties there is a document from the Condo Association and/or HOA that you sign.
Back to the stakeholder’s group, soon they will be coming forth with an ordinance requiring short term rental properties to register. This is good. Short term rentals are required to pay tourist development tax and sales tax. This helps pay for infrastructure and services needed to provide our out of area guests a great experience in Collier County. It is not fair for some to pay the tax and others do not.
They also are discussing requiring a local contact for the property. Realtors think this is a good idea so should a problem arise, there is someone here to help correct it quickly. This makes sense.
However, like all pieces of legislation, there are those who want more added to the ordinance. Realtors are not favoring adding additional requirements. One idea being proposed was requiring inspections. This seemed to be obtrusive and an overreach by government to generate more fees with little return to the property owner.
The County Commission directed staff to enforce local code ordinances. I cannot tell you how that is going, but this is the direction staff should go. If the renters are loud and violating our sound ordinance, then there are remedies in the code. It there is a trash issue, again there are remedies in the code. Illegal parking is easy to cure. Again, there are fines and property owners will not want to pay them.
Bottom line we have plenty of rules already that if County officials just enforce, we should not see many problems associated with short term rentals. Collier County should keep the ordinance simple and easy to administer. Collect the proper amount of taxes and have a contact person for each property should be the goal. Anything more is government overreach.