Avalara MyLodgeTax > Blog > State & Local News > Renting out your property for the Super Bowl? Here’s what you need to know.

Renting out your property for the Super Bowl? Here’s what you need to know.

  • Jan 22, 2020 | Jennifer Sokolowsky

football on football field

The Super Bowl is big business for short-term rental hosts, and Super Bowl LIV, on February 2 at The Hard Rock Stadium in Miami, should be no exception.

According to Airbnb, more than 34,000 South Florida bookings have been made for Super Bowl weekend. As the San Francisco 49ers face off against the Kansas City Chiefs, hosts in Miami-Dade and Broward counties are expected to bring in more than $5 million over that weekend.

The massive event offers opportunity for short-term rental hosts, but that opportunity comes with obligations to follow rules for vacation rentals.

State and local regulations

In Florida, vacation rental operators are required by law to apply for a state-issued license. The state Department of Business and Professional Regulation defines a vacation rental as “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.”

If the property is advertised “as a place regularly rented to guests,” or it’s rented for less than 30 days more than three times a year, it qualifies as a vacation rental and the owner must register for a license.

Cities may also have their own local regulations for short-term rentals. For example, Miami Beach bans short-term rentals in residential neighborhoods and only allows them in a few areas. While a Miami-Dade circuit court judge recently struck down the city’s short-term rental law — based on the fines of $20,000 or more that the city imposes for violations — the city has appealed the ruling. Until an appellate court rules on the case, the law is still in effect and the city plans to enforce it.

Airbnb recently made an agreement with Miami Beach that makes it easier for the city to enforce its existing short-term rental law. As part of a lawsuit settlement, Airbnb must include city-issued business tax receipt numbers and resort tax registration certificate numbers on every Miami Beach listing. Short-term rental hosts who provide false business license numbers in advertisements can face criminal prosecution, with penalties of up to 60 days of jail time and/or a $500 fine.

Party rules

It’s not the Super Bowl without Super Bowl parties — but you’ll want to make sure that any party at your short-term rental doesn’t get out of hand.

Airbnb, the largest short-term rental platform, has made a recent push to fight “party houses” after a shooting in which five people were killed at a Halloween party at an Airbnb property in Orinda, California. Under the new policies, Airbnb prohibits large parties and events in multifamily residences such as apartment buildings and condos, and will screen bookings for possible unauthorized events.

The policy “does not impact parties that are authorized by hosts and convened respectfully by guests,” but Airbnb has laid out rules for guest behavior, covering excessive noise, unauthorized guests, unauthorized parking, unauthorized smoking, and major cleanliness concerns. Airbnb has also created a 24/7 hotline for neighbor complaints. Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber has said he welcomes Airbnb’s efforts.

Even if you don’t list your property on Airbnb, party houses are in the spotlight and many communities are looking to crack down on the dangers and disturbances they can cause.

Tax compliance

South Florida hosts also need to be aware of their lodging tax obligations, including registering with state and local tax authorities, collecting taxes from guests, filing lodging tax returns, and remitting payments.

All Florida hosts are required to collect state sales taxes from guests and pass them on to tax authorities. Some counties and cities also have their own taxes that short-term rental hosts must collect.

In Miami Beach, for example, vacation rental hosts are required to collect sales and lodging taxes from guests for the city, Miami-Dade County, and the state.

Airbnb and HomeAway/Vrbo collect state-administered sales tax on behalf of all their Florida hosts. They also collect some local lodging taxes, but not all. Florida hosts are responsible for taking care of any lodging taxes that aren’t collected on their behalf.

MyLodgeTax can help vacation rental hosts automate and simplify lodging tax compliance at the city, county, and state level, including tax registration and filing. For more on vacation rental lodging taxes in Florida, see our state Vacation Rental Tax Guide. If you have tax questions related to vacation rental properties, drop us a line and we’ll get back to you with answers.    

Lodging tax rates, rules, and regulations change frequently. Although we hope you'll find this information helpful, this blog is for informational purposes only and does not provide legal or tax advice.
Avalara Author
Jennifer Sokolowsky
Avalara Author Jennifer Sokolowsky
Jennifer Sokolowsky writes about tax, legal, and tech topics. She has an extensive international background in journalism and marketing, including work with The Seattle Times, The Prague Post, Avvo, and Marriott.