Short-Term Vacation Rental Certification Program
Current language within the Walton County Short-Term Vacation Rental Certification Requirements ordinance requires a sign to be posted upon certification LDC 1.13.16.G.3. Said sign is required to be no larger than eighteen (18) by twelve (12) inches, which equals a total space of 216 square inches. Whereas current language requires a maximum size it is the interpretation of the Walton County Planning Department that precedence within the LDC requires a maximum Short-Term Vacation Rental (STVR) Sign based on area limits to allow the utmost design flexibility for various Homeowners Associations, Property Owners Associations, and other such entities that have certain sign design requirements.
In all aspects of the LDC 1.13.16.G.3 the maximum size of the required STVR Sign will be 216 square inches with all other required information and requirements per the LDC.
This morning we became aware of an issue with our third-party mailing system. Unfortunately, there was a glitch which inadvertently added condominiums to our 90-day notification distribution list for the 32550 zip code. If you receive one of these letters, and you live in a condominium, please disregard the notification. However, all other state and county regulations, licensing, and registrations continue to apply.
Since October 2018 the State of Florida Division of Motorist Services issued guidance the new U.S. Department of Transportation National Highway Safety Administration category of LSV. This category covers low-speed vehicles, golf carts converted to low-speed vehicles, low-speed vehicles converted to golf carts or mini trucks. Use the following link to view details of restrictions and requirements: FLHSMV - Low Speed Vehicles TL63
Visit Walton County Sherriff Low Speed Vehicle page https://waltonso.org/lsv/ for additional safety and laws pertaining on road operation requirements.
Do the interior and exterior sketches need to be professional made? - There is no need for a professional interior or exterior sketch, both can be hand drawn (as close to scale as possible) on a piece of paper with at least all of the indicated items annotated if applicable. A simple solution is to pull the interior dimensional drawing from the Walton County Property Appraiser’s web site as your sketch base and add all other information. An exterior overhead screen shot from any mapping site could be utilized as the sketch base for the exterior requirement.
How do I find the zoning of my property? - All zoning information can be located on the Walton County Florida Geospatial Information System website. Search for your address and then toggle on Zoning from the Layers List.
Click on your property to bring up the informational menu and then page over to the zoning information.
NOTE: The Exterior Sign Template located at the link below is NOT prescriptive in any way. The only requirements for exterior signage on the exterior of short-term vacation rental are:
a. The sign must be prominently placed on the wall or property of the short-term vacation rental unit so that the required content of the sign shall be legible as viewed from the public right-of-way; however, signage shall not be placed in the public right-of-way.
b. Such signs shall not be larger than 18 [inches] by 12 inches.
c. The sign must indicate the name, and 24 hours per day, seven days a week emergency contact phone number or the locally available responsible party or the county's short-term vacation rental hotline number if available clearly identified as such and easily distinguishable from any rental related phone number if different.
d. The sign must indicate the units short-term vacation rental certificate number.
Sign material, font, or design are not dictated so as to allow uniformity standards to be dictated by local HOAs or Communities. The sign must be separate from and clearly distinct from any existing signage on the property.
Please contact your advertising/hosting platform to ensure that they registered your short-term vacation rental with the Florida Department of Revenue to remit state taxes on your behalf. You will need the unique ID number associated with your property in order to apply for the county certificate.
Additional information regarding Florida State Sales and Use Tax can be found at the following links:
3 MAY 2023 - Thank you for your interest in the Short-Term Vacation Rental Certification Program. Working through initial certifications, comments, calls and questions there is a common misconception which could delay your application process - obtaining registration and licensure. Below are the three required items FOR ALL short-term vacation rental owners operating in Walton County.
1 MAY 2023 - Walton County Department of Planning & Development Services began notification with all currently identified owners or their designated agent on a rolling geographic basis, indicating the time frame during which applications will be accepted based on property location. A REFERENCE application packet is available in the document section of this site. The online application link will be provided in the notice to apply, which will begin mailing this week.
Additionally, we have uploaded a summary of the State of Florida Life Safety Requirements in an infographic form for reference.
Thank you for your patience as we update and upgrade our ability to serve you. If you have any questions, please use the contact form below.
Application Submission Windows
|32550||32550||32550||32461, 32462, 32578, 32413 & 32439||32461, 32462, 32578, 32413 & 32439||32461, 32462, 32578, 32413 & 32439||32459||32459||32459||32435, 32455, 32539, 32464, 32567 & 32433||32435, 32455, 32539, 32464, 32567 & 32433||32435, 32455, 32539, 32464, 32567 & 32433|
*** Please note that this is only an estimate based on anticipated application submission workload and will be modified as required.
State and County Informational Links
State of Florida
State of Florida
- Florida Department of Revenue - Short Term Vacation Rental Sales Tax Information
- Florida Department of Business & Professional Regulation – Vacation Rental – Dwelling License
- Florida Department of Business & Professional Regulation - Certificate of Balcony Inspection
- Florida Department of Business & Professional Regulation - Notification of Exception to Sanitization Requirements
- Florida Department of Business & Professional Regulation - Smoke Alarm Weekly Test Log
- Florida Department of Business & Professional Regulation - Vacation Rental Database
Short-Term Vacation Rentals
As of February 2023 there are over 14,000+ active Short-Term Vacation Rentals operating in Walton County, FL; a 17% growth year over year. About 90% of these are single or multi-family homes where the entire house is rented (Granicus 2023). Based on market survey in 2022 - 68% of visitors to Walton County used rental houses/condos (Downs & St. Germain Research).
Since many these buildings were approved and built to a residential code, there are additional Health and Safety requirements when operating as a short-term vacation rental. Please use the links below to fully understand what is required. If you would like additional information related to the short-term vacation rental market, please contact the Walton County Tourism Development Council.
- What is a short term vacation rental?
Any unit, group of units, dwelling, building, or group of buildings within a single complex of buildings, which is rented more than three times a calendar year for periods of less than 30 days or one calendar month, or which is advertised or held out to the public as a place regularly rented to guests.
- What buildings are exempted?
Certain Condominiums as defined in Chapter 509 & 718, Florida Statute.
Single Family dwelling occupied on a full-time basis by the owner as an on-premises, permanent resident and that has been declared and continues to be declared as homestead by the Walton County Property Appraiser.
Cooperatives and Homeowner’s Associations as defined in Chapters 719-720, Florida Statute.
Multi-family residential developments under common management.
Properties that have more than one dwelling under common ownership where one of the dwellings (a) is occupied on a full-time basis by the owner of the dwellings as an on-premises, permanent resident and (b) has been declared and continues to be declared as homestead by the Walton County Property Appraiser.
- How do I apply for a Short-Term Vacation Rental Certificate?
1. Apply for all State and County Licenses
Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation
Florida Department of Revenue
Walton County Tourism Development
2. Complete and Submit Short Term Vacation Rental Certificate Application from Walton County Planning and Development Services, for Individuals and Communities
3. Pay the Application Fee
- Does my property be inspected prior to issuance of the certificate?
No, a signed affidavit is required as part of the Walton County Short-Term Vacation Rental Application which affirms that the owner or managing entity of the property has complied with all requirements of Walton County Florida Code 1.13.16. However, inspections may arise from a notification from the Florida State Department of Business and Professional Revenue or based on complaints based on life safety code violations reported to Walton County Fire or Sheriff Departments.
- Why do I need to have a local responsible party assigned to my rental(s)?
The responsible party shall respond to all inspections as described in Walton County Ordinance 2023-03 as well as non-routine complaints and other immediate problems related to property rental. It is about resolving any issues that arise at the lowest level and in the quickest way possible while continuing to maintain the beauty and desirability of our community.
- What are the specific duties and qualifications of the Short-Term Vacation Rental Responsible Party?
- Any person eighteen years of age or older may be designated by the property owner.
- Available by landline or mobile phone at the listed contact number(s) twenty-four hours a day seven days a week.
- Capable of handling any issue arising from the short-term vacation rental use.
- Willing and able to respond to the rental address within one hour following notification from the occupant, the owner, or the County to address issues.
- Monitor the short-term vacation rental unit at least once weekly to assure continued compliance with the requirements of this section, including parking and trash.