Renting out vacation properties is a reliable way to earn some money on your real estate, especially along Florida’s attractive and busy Gulf of Mexico coast. In communities like Anna Maria Island, short-term rentals and vacation properties are numerous. Tourists and visitors prefer having the space, privacy, and customizable experiences that a private home can provide over a hotel. 

Because this part of the market has exploded in recent years, legislation has been passed to control and regulate the vacation rental industry. We’re taking a look at the legal aspects of renting out a vacation home in Anna Maria and surrounding communities. 

It’s also important to understand how essential a professional property manager can be. We know the local laws. We comply with them. We make sure your vacation property remains occupied with happy guests. 

Register Your Vacation Rental 

Anna Maria, Bradenton, and other local beach communities will require you to register your rental property and obtain a license before you begin renting it out as a vacation rental. To lawfully register your property, you’ll need to: 

  • Complete paperwork provided by the City.
  • Pay a registration fee
  • Provide copies of: 
    • The Vacation Rental’s current and active license as a transient public lodging establishment with the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation.
    • A copy of the Vacation Rental’s current and active certificate of registration with the Florida Department of Revenue.
    • Evidence of the Vacation Rental’s current and active account with the Manatee County Tax Collector.
  • A sketch of the property’s exterior. This must show and identify all structures, pools, spas, hot tubs, fencing, and potential uses of off-street parking with individual parking spaces identified.
  • A sketch of the property’s interior. If there’s more than one floor, provide a sketch of each floor. This must show a floor layout identifying all bedrooms, other rooms, exits, hallways, stairways, as applicable.

New requirements include an annual inspection. You’ll need to email the city in order to schedule this mandatory inspection. 

You are not permitted to advertise your property as a vacation rental until you get written confirmation from the City that allows you to proceed. If you’re renewing a registration that you already have, complete the renewal form and submit it to the City. We recommend doing this at least 45 days before your registration expires to avoid any last minute panic. 

Vacation Rental Ordinance in Anna Maria

Each of the local beach towns around Anna Maria Island and Bradenton may have slight variations in what’s permitted, prohibited, and required. Check with us if you’re not sure which rules your rental home is required to follow. We’re looking specifically at the Vacation Rental Ordinance out of Anna Maria. 

Here’s what you need to know:

  • Maximum Occupancy

The maximum occupancy of a vacation rental must be listed on your vacation rental registration form, and shall be limited to the lesser of two people per bedroom that contains 100 square feet or more, plus one person per bedroom that contains no less than 70 square feet, but less than 100 square feet, or a total of eight occupants per vacation rental. 

  • Availability 

You must be available by phone 24 hours a day when you have a registered vacation home. If you know you cannot guarantee that availability, make sure you’re working with a property manager who can.

  • Vacation Rental Agreements 

You’ll need a rental agreement in place with your vacationing guests, and at a minimum it must address occupancy limits, parking, and evacuation instructions. You also need to post, in your property, the name and contact info for you or your property manager

  • Safety 

You’re required to ensure your vacation home complies with all safety standards, including pool fencing requirements and smoke detector and carbon monoxide detector requirements. 

Paying Taxes on Vacation Rentals 

One of the reasons that investing in Florida is such a great idea is that we don’t have a state income tax. That means owners get to keep more of their rental revenue. However, you still have to pay federal income taxes on whatever you earn from your vacation home, and there are also local taxes to remember. 

Vacation rentals are actually taxed in two ways. There’s a seven percent sales tax and also a “bed tax,” which is actually a tourist development tax at five percent. That’s a total of 12 percent for vacation rental owners. , and then there’s also 

We always recommend that you consult a local property manager as well as a tax expert when planning to pay and/or collect taxes, and when you’re managing the finances of your vacation rental property.

Additional Local Laws to Remember 

There is a bit of paperwork and detail required in obtaining your license and registration and ensuring that you’re fully compliant with all vacation property rules and regulations. However, there are some general things to remember about what’s required in our Anna Maria Island beach towns as well. For example, educate your guests on sea turtles. Nesting season is May 1 – October 31, and your guests may need to know that artificial lighting which directly/indirectly illuminates the beach is prohibited. Remind your guests that it’s unlawful to kill, molest, harass, or cause injury to any species of marine turtle, turtle nests or eggs.

Let them know that parking rules are strictly enforced in Anna Maria Island. Noise ordinances, too, are taken seriously; your rental agreement and communication with guests must reflect that pool, spa, hot tub quiet hours are from 10:00 p.m. to 8:00 a.m. Some of the most common reasons that the noise disturbances will be acted upon by the City include:

  • Volume, intensity, nature, duration of the noise.
  • Time of day or night the noise occurs.
  • Proximity to other residences.

Contact Property ManagerNoise violations are subject to citation fines. This is a great way for your guests to ruin their vacation, so make sure they’re informed. 

These are some of the most important local laws we wanted to share with you around renting out a vacation home in Anna Maria Island and the surrounding beach areas. If you’d like some help or have some questions that need to be answered, please don’t hesitate to contact us at Anchor Down Vacation Rentals.