Home sharing is not allowed in the city of Boca Raton, Florida

in
Boca Raton, FL
Level 5
7,739 Views

Today I made an effort to comply with Palm Beach County tax and laws for home sharing rentals.  Part of that requires an application for a Business Tax Receipt.  I already have and have paid the Palm Beach County bed tax with my account set up two years ago.  Now, I discovered an addition, the Business Tax Receipt requires an application to my City of Boca Raton and zoning approval.  That office told me home sharing and AirBnB is not allowed in the city.  I asked for a print out or email of the oridinace that states it is not allowed.  The clerk looked for it, could not find it, went to the back office for help.  No one in the building and permit and business license office could find the "home sharing not allowed ordinance".  According to recent news stories, the County of Palm Beach  allows home sharing/AirBnB in all cities - except Boca Raton,  which was exempt from the new ruling because Boca Raton restriction was grandfathered in 11 years ago.  Show me the ordinance!  It is buried in the Boca Raton Muni Code online, and even the city couldn't find it! I will advise this forum if they do find it. And even if they do allow it, the zoning, health, building inspections could turn my home sharing rental into an exercise in futility.

37 Replies

Re: Home sharing is not allowed in the city of Boca Raton, Florida

Level 1

Hil! So what the heck. I’ve been spending three months getting a house ready to do an Airbnb. I see plenty of homes in Boca Raton on Airbnb. So does everybody do it on the down low?

Re: Home sharing is not allowed in the city of Boca Raton, Florida

in
Boca Raton, FL
Level 5

Yes, I think that is the case. There are news articles referring to the short term rental restriction in Boca Raton, but no restrictions in any other city in PBC. So I paid the PBC Bed Tax before, and attempted to get the Business Tax Reciept, but the Boca Zoning said not allowed but could not find the city ordinance to show me. Guess I Red Flagged myself at that moment!

Re: Home sharing is not allowed in the city of Boca Raton, Florida

in
Boca Raton, FL
Level 5

Today I emailed the Boca Zoning Supervisor to refer me to the codes and ordinances concerning short term vacation rentals in Boca. Waiting...

Re: Home sharing is not allowed in the city of Boca Raton, Florida

Level 1
Still waiting?

Re: Home sharing is not allowed in the city of Boca Raton, Florida

in
West Palm Beach, FL
Level 2

For WPB, I have to get zoning approval before I can get a Business Tax Receipt.  I also had to get a vacation dwelling license from the state of Florida.

Re: Home sharing is not allowed in the city of Boca Raton, Florida

in
Boca Raton, FL
Level 5

Boca Raton zoning refused to process my application, even though they could not find the short term rental restriction to back it up. I emailed the Boca Raton zoning supervisor and got the runaround. Got the codes for permitted uses and conditional uses, but no specific restrictions on short term rentals or "tourist home" uses allowed or disallowed. I assume the restrictions are implied, but not specifically written into codes or ordinances.

Re: Home sharing is not allowed in the city of Boca Raton, Florida

in
Coral Springs, FL
Level 2

Although I heard about the additional taxin from WPB, I did not know about the restrictions in Boca Raton, where do we have a listing in Aribnb. @Gray0, will try to do some research as well on the ordinance, but if anyone finds it firs, please share it. 
Question: Opening a business for that purpose will not help either? What is the suggested action? Going against city ordinance can cause headaches and is time consuming.

Re: Home sharing is not allowed in the city of Boca Raton, Florida

in
Boca Raton, FL
Level 5

I sent an email to the Boca Raton Senior Zoning Officer asking "Can you refer me to the city code numbers and ordinances that govern short term vacation rentals in Boca Raton?"  He responded with zoning references for conditional use, no refererence to Boca Raton city prohibitions. My actual zone was not included for request for conditional use.

 

Yesterday I went back on the Palm Beach County TDT site and opened the fillable application for business tax receipt. Now the application EXCLUDES the requirement for zoning approval. In bold type font:   "No Zoning Required"

 

It almost seems like the county of Palm Beach is giving us a workaround for the city of Boca Raton zoning obstacle.

Re: Home sharing is not allowed in the city of Boca Raton, Florida

in
Baltimore, MD
Level 2

Did you find out any more ? Is there an online reference to any of these city codes , either the ones about conditional use or short terms rentals ?

What zones are referenced ? 

thanks

 

Re: Home sharing is not allowed in the city of Boca Raton, Florida

in
Boca Raton, FL
Level 5

No, after I got the county workaround for Business Tax Receipt, I gave up on my amateur search for Boca Raton ordinances. I got my Business Tax Receipt anyway and am paying the Palm Beach County Tourist Development Taxes on my rentals

Re: Home sharing is not allowed in the city of Boca Raton, Florida

in
Vancouver, Canada
Level 2

@Gray0 We got a call from a city of Boca code enforcement officer this morning stating that rentals less than 6 months are not allowed.  (An anonymous complaint was received)  

Wondering what you will do if they come knocking at your door?  I'm now looking for the wording of this ordinance as it will be key to fighting this matter. 

Code officer told me I need to let him know when current guests are checking out and if I'm found renting it again for less than six months, it goes to automatic hearing. 
If City of Boca can't produce ordinace, I wonder if it's worth fighting?  Can you let me know the ordinances that the Boca City Supervisor passed on to you?

Re: Home sharing is not allowed in the city of Boca Raton, Florida

in
Boca Raton, FL
Level 5

This is of major importance for Boca Raton AirBnB hosts. Since I now have my Palm Beach County Business Tax Receipt and pay my Palm Beach County Tourist Development Taxes in full every month, I want to know which authoriy rules. City of Boca Raton, or County of Palm Beach. Please let me know if you get a hearing date. I want to be there. I have not found or been referred to the city oridanance prohibiting home sharing in Boca Raton, although it is reported to be "grandfathered in". 

 

Are you home sharing or renting the entire place? 

 

Also, consider that if you rent your home for more than 6 months, you loose your Homestead Exemption.

Re: Home sharing is not allowed in the city of Boca Raton, Florida

in
Boca Raton, FL
Level 5

I bet that code enforcemet officer can produce the ordinance. I will be ready when my phone rings to write down the oridinance number cited.

Re: Home sharing is not allowed in the city of Boca Raton, Florida

in
Vancouver, Canada
Level 2

Yes, I'd like to know as well.  Have been researching since I posted and haven't been able to come up with anything.  I called the officer back and asked him.  He says he will email it to me when he gets back to the office.  Will be sure to let you know.  

We live in Canada but come to Florida often as we have family there.  Doing the vacation rental helps us afford to have a home in there.  

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