REGULATION REQUIREMENTS FOR VACATION RENTAL PROPERTIES
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In an effort to provide the utmost standard for our visitors, the City of Panama City Beach has recently begun enforcement of certain regulations governing vacation rentals throughout the City. The City has reason to believe that your property is currently operated as a public lodging establishment and thus could be subject to these additional regulations. Accordingly, the City would like to meet with you to discuss and potentially inspect your property.
Below is a summary of the regulations that the City believes may apply to your property. Different regulations may apply depending upon the size of your property, the occupancy, and the number of dwelling units within each building.
- Change of Occupancy. Any dwelling which makes a change in occupancy or use must comply with the requirements of the Florida Building Code, Building Edition, subject to the approval of the City Building Official. Once these requirements are met a new certificate of occupancy shall be issued by the Building Official pursuant to section 407.1 and 407.2, Florida Building Code, Building Ed. (2014).
- Public Lodging Establishment. Any dwelling constitutes a “public lodging establishment” as defined by section 509.013(4)(a), Florida Statues if it is rented to guests more than three times in a calendar year for periods of less than 30 days. Each public lodging establishment must be licensed by the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation.
- Automatic Sprinkler System. Any public lodging establishment of three stories or more with interior corridors which do not have direct access from the guest area to an exterior means of egress shall be equipped with an automatic sprinkler system per section 509.215, Florida Statutes. A fire alarm system shall also be installed in compliance with the National Electric Code and National Fire Alarm Code pursuant to NFPA 101 188.8.131.52 (2014).
- Florida Building Code. If your property was originally built as a single-family dwelling and accommodates more than 10, a change in occupancy to a public lodging establishment re-classifies the property as a Residential Group R-1 pursuant to section 310.3, Florida Building Code, Building Ed. (2014). This change in occupancy triggers additional requirements which may apply to your property (including but not limited to maintaining a second exit and lighted exit signs).
- Fire Safety Standards. The State Fire Marshal has established specific fire safety rules for transient public lodging establishments. These rules are contained in chapter 69A-43 of the Florida Administrative Code and apply to all public lodging establishments including special requirements for one and two-family dwellings (including but not limited to maximum occupancy limits, exit lighting, and floor diagrams being posted on the property).
The City of Panama City Beach’s mission is to provide support for local economic and tourism development in our community, while providing a safe environment for both our residents and the visitors of our area. As an apparent active rental property owner, you are making a direct impact in our growing economy, by maintaining a safe environment for the millions of guests that enjoy Panama City Beach annually. The City recognizes your continued dedication to provide for our guests, and because of your efforts, we continue to be one of the major tourist destinations within Northwest Florida.
Copies of these regulations are available from the City’s Building Department. Please contact the City Building Department at your earliest convenience to setup a meeting and inspection of the property at (850) 233-5100.
Capt. David Jordan, Fire Inspector Tyson Scott, Building Inspector