Vacation rental owners fighting to reopen as economy ramps back up

Vacation rental owners are fighting to reopen for business in Florida.

Airbnb owners, for example, can only book guests who are staying for more than 30 days, under an executive order issued by Gov. Ron DeSantis in March, whereas hotels can book one-night stays.

"I do think we should be allowed to open up the weeklies, you know there could be certain restrictions, we could allow day in between check-ins to make sure that everything is properly cleaned and sanitized," says Lisa Herendeen, an owner and manger of Airbnb properties.

Herendeen says some of her clients are retired seniors who count on that rental income to pay their mortgages. She says the longer the governor waits to reopen them, the more financial trouble owners slip into.

"I think I would ask the governor to let people make some decisions for themselves and understand the risks."

Herendeen says many of her renters like Airbnb, because they can bring their pets along for the trip. She fears if Florida officials don’t look at Airbnb like the rest of the hospitality industry, vacation seekers might hit The Carolinas or other destinations.

"If they’re allowing hotels, they should allow the Airbnbs and some owners are more careful than hotels are," she adds.