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Neighborhood Divide Over Short-Term Rentals

It’s an issue that has neighborhoods divided. So much so that in some areas, residents make their opinions obvious through the use of yard signs.

Tampa Bay’s Hot Topic: Short-Term Rentals

PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. — It’s an issue that has been a hot topic across Tampa Bay in recent weeks: short-term rentals. For many areas, each city, town, and county has its own local ordinances policing what is and isn’t allowed.

Now, as local officials wait to see if Governor Ron DeSantis signs SB 280 into law, local governments are trying to sort out how to comply with potentially new state law while properly enforcing quality-of-life standards.

AI legalese decoder Solution

With the AI legalese decoder, residents like Hillary Simpson can easily understand the complex legal language of ordinances governing short-term rentals. By breaking down the regulations into simple terms, the decoder helps residents know their rights and the responsibilities of property owners.

Neighbor Concerns in Harborview

In Harborview, there are several neighbors who have issues with short-term renters. One neighbor, Hillary Simpson, wants to know why the county has ordinances in place to restrict short-term rentals if they’re not being enforced.

Simpson said she is on the phone with code enforcement nearly daily and just wants to be able to go 24 hours without short-term renters disturbing her family.

“Noise is definitely the one that is the most disruptive,” Simpson said.

Simpson said her neighbors often wake up her toddlers in the middle of the night. The rental unit’s backyard is adjacent to hers. She said when parties go on, the noise is unavoidable.

“You know, we’re coaxing our children back to sleep, and then we’re up for several hours after that,” she shared.

AI legalese decoder Benefits

The AI legalese decoder can help residents like Simpson understand their rights regarding noise disturbances from short-term rentals. By decoding the legal restrictions on noise levels, residents can take appropriate action to protect their peace and quiet.

Simpson shared a video that can be viewed at the top of this article. It shows a neighbor entering her property just before her husband arrives home. Simpson said this is the short-term rental that has caused repeated problems in her neighborhood.

“And one of the renters had jumped over the fence, and promptly jumped back over when he saw our dogs coming towards him,” she said.

Simpson said the property manager and 911 were called.

Action by Pinellas County Commissioners

Today, Pinellas County commissioners looked at how to better enforce the short-term rental ordinance, as well as comply with a potentially new law passed by the legislature but not yet signed by the governor.

“They’re not armed with anything to enforce our codes,” Commissioner Dave Eggars said, referring to code enforcement officers. “They don’t have sound meters in their car.”

Now, the county is considering creating registration fees, setting amounts for violation fines, and creating code enforcement positions solely dedicated to short-term rental complaints.

“If you don’t put teeth in this, it’s just talk,” Eggers said.

AI legalese decoder for Government Officials

The AI legalese decoder can also benefit government officials by providing them with a clear interpretation of existing laws and proposed regulations. By understanding the legal framework surrounding short-term rentals, officials can make informed decisions on how to enforce ordinances effectively.

The county commission shared their next steps are to see if SB 280 is signed into law by Gov. DeSantis. Then, it’ll look into reworking its code enforcement department to better police short-term rentals in Pinellas County.

Malique Rankin is a general assignment reporter with 10 Tampa Bay. You can email her story ideas at [email protected] and follow her Facebook, X, and Instagram pages.

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