HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, FL — After watching their vacation properties sit empty for weeks and their bank balances bottoming out, vacation rental property owners in Hillsborough County were relieved to hear the county received the OK to resume rentals.
Although Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said vacation rentals could resume under his full Phase I coronavirus recovery plan, which took effect Monday, counties were required to submit safety plans for approval by the state. Hillsborough County submitted its plan earlier this week and received approval Thursday.
Short-term rentals were banned during the coronavirus shutdowns in an effort to prevent visitors to Florida who had the coronavirus, although hotels, motels, inns and timeshares were allowed to stay open with restrictions.
The incongruity prompted Jeff and Gina Paglialonga, vacation rental property owners and owners of Teeming Vacation Rentals, a vacation rental management company that manages hundreds of vacation rentals in Florida, to initiate legal action against the state.
In its plan, Hillsborough County outlined guidelines to ensure guest safety.
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The guidelines cover three areas: guest safety/health; staffing standards and guidelines; and social distancing.
Vacation rental reservations in areas identified by Gov. Ron DeSantis as high risk are required to have longer quarantine periods between renting to guests.
The county also committed to routinely reviewing and updating the plan as needed.
See related stories:
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