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City, county and state extend short-term rental ban

By Staff | Apr 16, 2020

In orders announced about two hours apart on April 10, Gov. Ron DeSantis extended the statewide prohibition on short-term vacation rental properties through April 30, an action also announced by Lee County Manager Roger Desjarlais two hours earlier.

The initial moratorium on short-term vacation rentals was ordered by DeSantis on March 27 for two weeks. The order will not affect the one already in place on Fort Myers Beach, which is part of a 90-day ban for all commercial lodging facilities (with some exceptions) that will run through most of June.

Under the county order, short-term vacation rentals are prohibited from making new reservations or bookings. Short-term vacation rentals are considered rentals lasting less than 30 days.

“Lee County has not yet peaked in the number of anticipated COVID-19 cases,” Desjarlais said. “This county order is consistent with the board’s policies and steps taken to limit the risk of exposure to the coronavirus.”

On April 13, Sanibel Mayor Kevin Ruane signed a proclamation extending the city’s declared state of emergency until April 21, unless further extended. Additionally, the proclamation extends the temporary restriction on accommodation rentals until April 30 at 11:59 p.m., unless further extended.