Collier County board proposes changes to short-term rental policies

Beautiful beaches brings many short term renters to Collier County. (WINK News photo)
Beautiful beaches brings many short term renters to Collier County. (WINK News photo)

Southwest Florida is a hotspot for tourists. Many travelers turn to Airbnb and other short-term rentals to live during their stay. Collier County is seeking more control over these types of rentals.

Collier County’s Tourism Development Council is proposing changes to the way guests rent in the county Monday.

Visitors pass the time on the beach and as trends from the county show, they’re staying in rental homes instead of hotels. For growing families like the Carbones, having rental options are essential to planning a vacation.

“We’ve always liked it because we’ve always had our children with us,” Wendy Carbone said. “And we can have more space for the money.”

There are about 8,500 homes advertised for vacation rentals in Collier. Guests are only allowed to rent them for six months or more, but the county looks to change this.

“Instead of six months, it might be 90 days or 30 days,” said Jack Wert, who oversees the county visitors bureau. “Under that would be a prohibited activity, but over that would be permissible.”

Wert said the county’s proposed changes could help give people a chance to explore their options.

Vincent Carbone said his family has a positive experience renting from websites like Airbnb and VRBO but understands the need for regulation.

“Possibly depending on where you’re located, I think maybe the county should try and regulate it,” Vincent said. “Certainly don’t want a lot of transient folks coming in and out It does kind of deteriorate the value of where you are”

The Tourism Development Council wants to meet with the community and hotel businesses before making a decision. The commissioners board will hear the council’s recommendation on Tuesday, March 12.

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