vacation rentals

Aglez the city guy/Flickr

Florida International University (FIU) in Miami has a starring role in a plot twist involving the ongoing saga between the hotel industry and home-sharing companies like Airbnb. 

FIU, a state university that gets some of its funding from Florida taxpayers, had been selected for a grant worth over $68,000 from the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Foundation (AHLEF). The grant would have been used to study the safety and security of short-term rentals like Airbnb.

A proposal to halt local regulation of vacation rentals passed in committee Tuesday after a heated debate over private property and community rights.

Priscila Serrano / WLRN

Renting a spare room through Airbnb could soon become illegal in parts of Miami as it already is in Miami Beach, as mayors of both cities want to implement stricter rules on homeowners. 

Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado will propose an ordinance to Miami city commissioners on Thursday to prohibit short-term rentals in some areas.

Andy Newman / Florida Keys News Service

Since the Monroe County Tax Collector took over enforcement of unlicensed vacation rentals Jan. 1, the agency has collected $52,000 in taxes and resolved hundreds of cases, according to Tax Collector Danise Henriquez.

Bob Krist / Florida Keys News Service

The tourism industry in the Florida Keys is booming with high occupancy and record-high room rates this season. Still, the Monroe County Tourist Development Council this week released a report (see it at the end of this post) on unlicensed vacation rentals and rental scams, calling for a crackdown by local governments.

The Keys have 15,000 licensed lodging units — that includes hotel rooms, campsites and homes with licenses for short-term rentals. In most of the Keys, short-term is defined as less than a month.