Wellington Florida Limits Short Term Rentals under 31 Days?

in
Chicago, IL
Level 3
1,443 Views

Hi everyone - I'm posting this here so that any other hosts in the Wellington, Florida area might be able to collaborate to figure out what the hell is going on with our Village of Wellington.  I was just getting home from walking the dogs when I opened up a message from AirBnB that I have confirmed MANY (if not all) hosts in Wellington received.

 

"We had to take your listing down-update your minimum stay requirement to host again
As a host in Wellington, Airbnb only allows you to host guests for long-term stays (31 nights or longer). To start hosting again, just update your listing’s minimum stay to 31 nights.
If you have any questions about hosting in Wellington you can always learn more in our Help Center."

 

Currently if you look at the Village of Wellington and try to book any stays for under 31 days you get a blank map (below).

 

4 night search in Wellington FL4 night search in Wellington FL

 

If you adjust your search to include a stay of OVER 31 days you do get results.  So I figured that there must be an issue with my BTR or TDT numbers (this happened before and blocked my listing for over 5 months while they figured things out with Palm Beach County).  Nope - everything was ok.  However when I went to reactivate my listing it says "Your minimum stay must be above the short term stay threshold to comply with local regulations"

 

Confirmed BTR and TDT numbersConfirmed BTR and TDT numbers

 

A quick chat with AirBnB support provided me with little information but informed me that this was indeed a local ordinance put in place by the Village of Wellington and they recommended that I seek legal assistance.

 

AirBnb Support Chat.jpg

Anyone have any insight on this - please share your findings below as I "think" we can send links within AirBnB to other hosts.  Thanks!

 

20 Replies

Re: Wellington Florida Limits Short Term Rentals under 31 Days?

in
Wellington, FL
Level 1

We also received the email and our listing is blocked for short term now.

Re: Wellington Florida Limits Short Term Rentals under 31 Days?

in
Wellington, FL
Level 1

This has happened to me as well.  Deactivated and now they say it's a local ordinance which I cannot find.  I also called the county tax collector office and they are unaware of this as well.  Is this something Airbnb is doing strictly to Wellington?

Re: Wellington Florida Limits Short Term Rentals under 31 Days?

in
Chilliwack, Canada
Level 2

Hi @Matthew147 @Lorena525 @Linda705 ,

 

We have the same issue and are located in Wellington as well. Could not find any article regarding a change that we are banned from short term rentals! It seems like its strictly against wellington inner city part. Loxahatchee just a bit north of Wellington and all over palm beach county are all short term rentals still.

 

If you guys find out anything it would be helpful to post it here. Or if we are able to fight back regarding this let us know! If we find anything out we will keep this post updated as well.

 

Re: Wellington Florida Limits Short Term Rentals under 31 Days?

in
Chicago, IL
Level 3

Hi @James---Michael0  and @Lorena525 

 

I've reached out to a number of the hosts in the area and here's what I found out.  I would urge you to a) call the village to get a copy of the new ordinance and b) call AirBnB to make sure that they open another ticket.

 

Matt

 

All - just wanted to keep you posted as I talked to the Village this AM and they said that they did NOT change the dates for short term rentals (as I said - it's actually illegal based on FL state law). They'll provide you with the ordinance if you ask them - but essentially this is a mess up between the Village and Airbnb (fault on Airbnb). So I'm reaching out to all of the hosts that I know and trying to get them to call AirBnB to have them reach out to the Village's legal team to clarify things. If you have a moment today would you be able to call them (AirBnB) as well? I can't give you the number for the village but you can find it on their website and tell them to speak to Laurie in legal. Thanks - hopefully we can all work together to get this fixed.
 

Re: Wellington Florida Limits Short Term Rentals under 31 Days?

in
Chilliwack, Canada
Level 2

@Matthew147 

 

Thank you for the update. Just called the village as well and requested the ordinance.

 

That's what i found out just by researching it myself that it's illegal under FL state law. Also I talked with Airbnb yesterday and still haven't received any article from them that says that short term can not be done.

 

Why do we seriously pay TDT and BTR? It makes no sense! For people that host and don't pay that they should be knocked off but not everyone else paying for it that do it legally!

Re: Wellington Florida Limits Short Term Rentals under 31 Days?

in
Wellington, FL
Level 1

Has anyone gotten anywhere with this? Am i miss reading something?? I do not see anywhere that says re are restricted.

@Matthew147 , @James---Michael0 , @Lorena525 , @Linda705 , @

 

 

From Airbnb
Please accept my sincere apology for the inconvenience you've experienced. This is a new ordinance for Wellington, Florida.

You can find more information here:

https://wellington.legistar.com/LegislationDetail.aspx?ID=4579503&GUID=29AC7E17-E24D-4F4D-81CA-66906...

Regards,
Julia

Replied

Julia,

I understand that they made adjustments to the short term rentals I attended every meeting no where in there does it say that they are restricting short term rental. They are saying that in the future it may be a recommendation they want to consider but would have to really think about it due to equestrian following. And if you look my short term approval was approved after this ordinance took effect . If you read the whole thing there were mostly concerned about restricting the number of people 

I really think you need to have someone reread the document you sent me cause I have read it over and over and have had others read it and I still do not see where it says we are not allowed to rent short term . I think there is an error on your end. We have called the city and they say there is no rental restrictions. 

Thank you 

 

 

Re: Wellington Florida Limits Short Term Rentals under 31 Days?

in
Chilliwack, Canada
Level 2

@Shanan1 

 

We have called the Village and followed @Matthew147 steps that he mentioned. Can only recommend to all other hosts doing the same thing. Call the legal team in wellington and try to talk to Ms. Laurie Cohen. Also request the ordinance that was put in place.

Then call Airbnb and request to open a case regarding this.

There is nothing in the Ordinance that requests that short term rentals are no longer allowed anymore. It's against Florida State Law to deny such thing!

 

Hopefully Airbnb will sort this out very soon so we can go all back to our normal way of hosting!

Re: Wellington Florida Limits Short Term Rentals under 31 Days?

in
Los Angeles, CA
Level 2

We all need counsel they told me first County then Wellington now they are saying that Airbnb decided after giving me the runaround for 3 weeks of misinterpreting an ordinance that they just decided to do it after stating in writing it was the city then the county and now told me it’s neither!! I’ve lost entire month of rent end now it’s just because Airbnb decided?!!!!!

Re: Wellington Florida Limits Short Term Rentals under 31 Days?

in
Chicago, IL
Level 3

Hey Everyone - @Leanne172 @James---Michael0 @Shanan1 @Lorena525 @Linda705 So here's what I finally figured out yesterday after trackind down ms Cohen.  There was some odd language in the initial ordinance that they were trying to pass which has since been removed - and the version that got approved in Nov. does NOT have anything to do with length of stay.  Ms. Cohen was actually super nice and had already written a letter to Viviana ** at AirBnb (email: ** ) explaining everything to her.  I'm going to paste the letter below.  I think that the best thing right now to do is to a) open a ticket with AirBnB support informing them of this and b) sending an email to Ms. ** urging her to expedite things.  You can receive a copy of the signed Village of Wellington Ordinance No. 2020-11 from the Village.  Matt

 

LETTER SENT FROM MS. COHEN:

 

December 1, 2020

VIA EMAIL (**)

Viviana **

**

Dear Ms. Jordan:

The Village of Wellington (“Wellington”) has recently received a number of complaints from property

owners claiming that Airbnb has removed their listings in Wellington. According to the property owners,

Airbnb has advised them that the listings were removed in compliance with Wellington’s regulations. Though

I have not had an opportunity to communicate directly with a representative from Airbnb, I believe that the

information being disseminated by Airbnb is based on a misunderstanding of Wellington’s vacation rental

ordinance. By way of this letter, I would like to provide Airbnb with a copy of Wellington’s vacation rental

ordinance and clarify the scope of the regulations.

On August 25, 2020, Wellington’s Council adopted Ordinance 2020-11, amending Table 6.2-1 and

creating section 6.2.2.A.5 of Wellington’s Land Development Regulations, which provides supplementary

regulations for vacation rentals (the “Ordinance”). A copy of the Ordinance is attached hereto as Exhibit A.

Under the Ordinance, a vacation rental is defined as “any dwelling unit or residence, including, but not

limited to, any single family or any unit or group of units in a condominium, cooperative, or apartment

building, that is rented in whole or in part, to a transient occupant, which is advertised or held out to the public

as a place that may be rented to a transient occupant . . . .” A transient occupant is defined as “any person who

rents or occupies any dwelling unit or part thereof for less than 30 days or one calendar month, whichever is

less, and any guest or invitee of such person.” The Ordinance goes on to provide general standards for vacation

rentals including, for example, maximum occupancy, overnight parking, swimming pool safety, pets, and

business tax receipt requirements. As part of an application for a business tax receipt, the Ordinance requires

an applicant to submit a Vacation Rental Affidavit that includes basic information about the property and an

acknowledgment that the property will be used in compliance with the vacation rental standards and all other

applicable provisions of Wellington’s codes. Such requirements are consistent with Florida law, which

prohibits a municipality from banning vacation rentals altogether or from regulating the duration or frequency

of rental of vacation rentals. See Fla. Stat. § 509.032(7)(b).

Viviana **

www.wellingtonfl.gov

It is my understanding that Airbnb has decided that it will only allow Wellington property owners to

utilize its platform for rentals that exceed thirty (30) days and that Airbnb is informing its Wellington hosts

that this decision was made to comply with the Ordinance. Wellington acknowledges that Airbnb has the

authority to make any business decision that it deems appropriate. However, I want to clarify and emphasize

that the Ordinance does not place any limitations on the duration or frequency of vacation rentals and any

decision to limit the duration of vacation rentals in Wellington to those that exceed thirty (30) days is one that

rests solely with Airbnb (or the applicable third party platform).

If Airbnb has in fact made the business decision to prohibit the use of its platform for rentals of less

than thirty (30) days in Wellington, we would appreciate a statement from Airbnb clarifying its position.

However, if Airbnb’s restriction on Wellington rentals was based on a misinterpretation of Wellington’s

Ordinance, we ask that you issue a corrective statement to Wellington property owners.

If you have any questions

 

**Sensitive information removed for safety reasons

Re: Wellington Florida Limits Short Term Rentals under 31 Days?

in
Chicago, IL
Level 3

Also if you want me to send this to you - drop me a line at **. Good to have hosts all pulled together via email.

 

**Sensitive information removed

Re: Wellington Florida Limits Short Term Rentals under 31 Days?

in
Los Angeles, CA
Level 2

Why was I told it was county then city then when I pointed out their legal errors being a paralegal they then after 3 weeks and 50 phone calls now state it is their decision not anyone else’s when I ask for supervisor I am told there is none and I won’t be assisted further after being told 5 different things who may I ask is Ms. Cohen and was told by rep Julian that if Airbnb mistake that they would compensate me and hosts the draft didn’t have this language and they took action on an unsigned ordinance! 

Re: Wellington Florida Limits Short Term Rentals under 31 Days?

in
Los Angeles, CA
Level 2

Is Ms. Cohen the head of the dept.?

Re: Wellington Florida Limits Short Term Rentals under 31 Days?

in
Chicago, IL
Level 3

@Leanne172 I don't know all of your answers regarding AirBnB but Ms. Cohen is the head legal council for the Village of Wellington. Below is the response that I got from Viviana last night.

 

Thank you for reaching out, Matt. We are actively working on this matter and should have an update in the next few days. Adding my colleague @Luis Briones who is handling this matter directly. We are both in receipt of the City Attorney's letter and will make sure to provide you with an update as soon as we have one. Appreciate your patience as we work through this, and apologize for the challenges this has caused.

Best,

-Viviana

Re: Wellington Florida Limits Short Term Rentals under 31 Days?

in
Los Angeles, CA
Level 2

Thank you for the updates very helpful as I’ve been given the runaround by Airbnb which is upsetting.

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