Cape council mulls rental regulation ordinance

Published: Updated:

CAPE CORAL, Fla. Thousands of residents are currently renting out their properties to vacationers illegally, city officials said.

But that could soon change.

Mobile apps such as HomeAway and AirBnB make it simple for people like Jaime Lattin and her roommate to earn extra money by renting out their homes to visitors for days or weeks at a time.

“It was our first year doing it and I had a great time,” she said.

Over 3,000 properties in the city are also being rented out, city officials said, even though the city doesn’t allow short term rentals.

City Council will discuss a new ordinance next Monday that would require hosts like Lattin to register their property with the city, adhere to certain guidelines and pay a yearly fee of $300, which would cover an annual city inspection of the rental property.

“We want it to be done safely, so we’ve put minimal requirements in there for life safety components such as hardwire smoke detectors, (and) windows in dwelling units,” said assistant city manager Michael Ilczyszyn.

However, Lattin is not on board.

“I think the safety aspect is important to make sure there is a responsible party, but i don’t think too much regulation should be forced upon people,” she said. “Air BnB does a great job with checking out everyone’s background, and we’re all able to peer review each other, so I think they do a great job regulating as it is.”

If the ordinance passes, owners must register their properties by Oct. 1.

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