Tomorrow at the Collier County Commission, members of the Naples Area Board of Realtors will challenge the Commission's recent decision to enforce a No Six Month or Less Rental policy that affects the unincorporated areas of Collier County. Realtors understand some renters violate their privilege to rent homes and condos, but penalizing all those property owners that follow the rules only further exacerbates the problems associated with the Commission's decision. There are about 14,000 rental units that lease in Collier County according to Jack Wert of Collier County Tourist Development Council. The rentals account for over $9,000,000 in revenues from rentals less than six months. It would be terribly irresponsible for the Commission to just give away that money without trying to find a common sense resolution to the problem. With all 14,000 rentals last year, the County received 66 code enforcement complaints. A great number of the 66 complaints were simply about the rental period was less than 6 months.
There are some legitimate complaints against renters. The neighboring properties need resolution to them also. Can we not just take away those who break the rules and not violate the property rights of the non offenders? The Board of Realtors is suggesting we create a stakeholders group and work to find middle ground. That makes sense.
What does not make sense is how the County can advocate for a rule that they have yet to produce. The County Attorney states the ban on 6 month or less rentals is in the Land Development Code. I looked and I can't find it. Others have looked too. It's not there. Therefore without the ban being in an ordinance, there is nothing to inforce. Yet even knowing this, the Realtors want to find common ground because every property owner has property rights. Equity needs to prevail. Hopefully the Commission will listen and make a good decision that is fair to all.