Osceola County leaders write letter seeking state approval to reopen vacation rental properties

Osceola County is laying out its plan to reopen vacation rental properties and seeking approval from Governor Ron DeSantis.

County leaders submitted a letter to Gov. DeSantis later Friday night detailing its approach.

Highlights of the plan include:

  • Property owners and managers shall adopt the CDC related guidelines that are for public spaces, businesses, schools and homes. These re-open guidelines for cleaning and disinfecting expand upon what the State of Florida & DBPR already have in place for safety and sanitation for all lodging.
  • Property owners and managers shall provide COVID-19 guidance of local restrictions that are in place during the guest stay including closures, curfews, and other related local information. The County will post online where this updated local information can be accessible to lodging operators and guests.
  • All vacation rentals shall follow the SAFEHOME Vacation Rental Housekeeping Professional (VRHP) and Vacation Rental Management Association (VRMA) Cleaning Guidelines for COVID-19.
  • Any person coming from a highly-infected area, as defined per the Governor's guidelines, must reserve a minimum stay of 14 nights and follow CDC self-quarantine guidelines.
  • Vacation rentals may not be used for events or group gatherings that exceed maximum occupancy.

Osceola County asked for the move after the roll-out of Phase 1 of the governor’s “Safe. Smart. Step-by-Step Plan.” 

Gov. DeSantis went to a full Phase 1 on Friday.

His most recent executive order allows vacation rental homes to open if they submit a plan to the State Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DPBR). 

Osceola County leaders hope to get approval on the county's plan to move forward as soon as possible.

A news release sent out on Saturday from the county said: "In Osceola County alone, there are 30,000 licensed vacation home rentals that represent half of the County’s $60 million tourism development tax dollars – many operated by management companies seeking to avoid permanent closure. A May 8 letter to Gov. DeSantis estimated that vacation home rentals have a $2 billion impact on Osceola County’s economy."