March 28, 2020
As a service to our members, Florida ARVC is passing along the following information:
Executive Order 20-87 related to vacation rentals closures
Florida ARVC's Legal Counsel has reviewed the Executive Order 20-87 and the quoted statutes. The exemption of RV parks from the vacation rental and public lodging statutes (F.L. Statues 509) removed RV Parks and campgrounds from regulation under this Order. However , park trailers/park models and cabin rentals appear to fall into the category of rentals that the Governor’s Executive Order was trying to reach. It is advisable that you stop renting your cabins and/or park trailer rentals for 14 days until this order expires. This would not apply to those rentals that are already occupied by a guest with a long term agreement over 30 days. Below is an analysis of the issues and a recommendation for our members as well as a copy of the Executive Order.

As always, we advise you to consult with your personal attorney on any legal matter regarding your business operations.

FROM: David Eastman
TO: Bobby Cornwell / Florida ARVC
RE: Governor’s Executive Order 20-87
DATE: March 28.2020

Governor Ron DeSantis issued Executive Order 20-87 which ordered the “suspension of vacation rental operations”. The Executive Order defines vacation rentals as defined in section 509.242(1)(c), Florida Statutes, see below:

509.242 Public lodging establishments; classifications.—

(1) A public lodging establishment shall be classified as a hotel, motel, nontransient apartment, transient apartment, bed and breakfast inn, timeshare project, or vacation rental if the establishment satisfies the following criteria:

(c) Vacation rental.—A vacation rental is any unit or group of units in a condominium or cooperative or any individually or collectively owned single-family, two-family, three-family, or four-family house or dwelling unit that is also a transient public lodging establishment but that is not a timeshare project.

The Order also includes the rental of any “dwelling unit that is also a transient public lodging establishment as defined in section 509.013(4)(a), Florida Statues, see below,

509.013 Definitions.—As used in this chapter, the term:

(4)(a) “Public lodging establishment” includes a transient public lodging establishment as defined in subparagraph 1. and a non-transient public lodging establishment as defined in subparagraph 2.

(b) The following are excluded from the definitions in paragraph (a):

6. Any establishment inspected by the Department of Health and regulated by chapter 513.

Based on a reading of the statutes cited, this Executive Order does not bar RV Parks regulated under Chapter 513 from continuing to offer spaces or RV cabins and park trailers for rent.

The intent of the Order appears to be to prevent infection from transient rentals where the occupancy of the rooms change frequently. In RV occupancy, there is not the sharing of living space from one occupant to the next. However, cabins and park trailer rentals do appear to meet the intent of the Executive Order for “suspension of vacation rental operations“ due to the nature of the rentals involved.

Our members should also note that the Order does not bar long term rentals, those rentals where persons are scheduled to check in by March 28, 2020, or long term rentals. It would be wise to maintain a log of the rentals, the identity of the persons renting, the length of stay and where they were traveling from and to.

Our members should govern their operations in this area carefully. The Executive Order is based on regulation by the Department of Business and Professional Regulation in a public health emergency and will likely be construed against an establishment that is considered a vacation rental.
(Emergency Management - COVID-19 – Vacation Rental Closures)

WHEREAS, on March 1, 2020, I issued Executive Order 20-51 directing the Florida Department of Health to issue a Public Health Emergency; and

WHEREAS, on March 1, 2020, the State Surgeon General and State Health Officer declared a Public Health Emergency exists in the State of Florida as a result of COVID-19; and

WHEREAS, on March 9, 2020, I issued Executive Order 20-52 declaring a state of emergency for the entire State of Florida as a result of COVID-19; and

WHEREAS, on March 16, 2020, President Donald J. Trump and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”) issued the “15 Days to Slow the Spread” guidance advising individuals to adopt far-reaching social distancing measures; and

WHEREAS, the CDC has cautioned against non-essential travel within the United States; and

WHEREAS, Florida is experiencing an increase in individuals fleeing to Florida from out-of-state locations where “shelter-in-place” orders are being implemented and/or community spread exists; and

WHEREAS, many cases of COVID-19 in Florida have resulted from individuals coming into the State of Florida from international travel and other states, posing great risk to Florida residents; and

WHEREAS, vacation rentals and third-party platforms advertising vacation rentals in Florida present attractive lodging destinations for individuals coming into Florida; and

WHEREAS, as Governor, I am responsible for meeting the dangers presented to this state and its people by this emergency.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, RON DESANTIS, as Governor of Florida, by virtue of the authority vested in me by Article IV, Section (1)(a) of the Florida Constitution, Chapter 252, Florida Statutes, and all other applicable laws, promulgate the following Executive Order to take immediate effect:

Section 1. Vacation Rentals
I hereby order all parties engaged in rental of vacation rental properties, as defined in section 509.242(1)(c), Florida Statutes, to suspend vacation rental operations. Vacation rentals are prohibited from making new reservations or bookings and shall not accept new guests for check-in for the duration of this order. This directive shall include the:

A. Rental of any house, condominium, cooperative, or dwelling unit that is also a transient public lodging establishment, as defined under Section 509.013(4)(a), Florida Statutes; and
i. Which is rented for periods of less than 30 days or 1 calendar month, whichever is less; or
ii. Which is advertised or held out to the public as a place regularly rented to guests; or
iii. Which is otherwise regulated by the Department of Business and Professional Regulation (“DBPR”) as a vacation rental pursuant to section 509.241, Florida Statutes.

B. This directive shall not include the following:
i. Hotels, motels, inns, resorts, non-transient public lodging establishments, or time share projects; or
ii. Long-term rentals; or
iii. Rental stays where guests are currently staying in a vacation rental or have previously booked a stay and are schedule to check-in no later than March 28, 2020; or
iv. Rentals to persons performing military, emergency, governmental, health or infrastructure response, or travelers engaged in non-vacation commercial activities.

Section 2. Violations of the Order

A. DBPR shall supplement this directive with guidance or directives as necessary to implement the order and shall take steps necessary to inspect licensed properties or third-party platforms whereby Florida vacation rentals may be advertised.

B. DBPR shall revoke the vacation rental license of any party that violates this order or otherwise advertises vacation rental opportunities during the duration of this order; and

C. DBPR shall alert the state authorities to evidence of violations or attempts to violate this order; and

D. Parties that violate this order or attempt to violate the order through advertising or other means of solicitation may be charged with a second-degree misdemeanor, punishable as provided in Sections 775.082 or 775.083, Fla. Stat.

Section 3. This Executive Order shall expire in 14 days unless extended by subsequent order.