Miami, FL asked in Tax Law, Real Estate Law and Land Use & Zoning for Florida

Q: I live in a "single family" tax district in Florida 0001 on property tax records.

my neighbor has a 2-story house. Ground floor was configured as a separate apartment for elderly parents. They died. Now neighbor rents out the ground floor for a fee ($3,000/month). Neighbor has no permit. Neighbor pays no taxes on the income. Is this legal in a single family dwelling? IS IT LEGAL to rent out part of a SINGLE FAMILY DWELLING? Does this not suggest that the dwelling is MULTI-FAMILY? The dwelling is on the tax rolls as SINGLE FAMILY.

2 Lawyer Answers
Barbara Billiot Stage
Barbara Billiot Stage
  • Real Estate Law Lawyer
  • Rockledge, FL

A: This is analogous to renting out rooms. Unless your neighbor is doing short-term rentals there are no permits required. I'm not sure how you know whether or not your neighbor pays taxes on the income. If it is a short-term rental there are taxes but if it is not a short-term rental the income is reported on an IRS form and there are many factors that determine taxes due.

Charles M.  Baron
Charles M. Baron
  • Hollywood, FL
  • Licensed in Florida

A: Ask your local code enforcement office. "Single family" being on the tax rolls is irrelevant. What matters is what your local code provides (city code if you are in an incorporated municipality, county code if you are not). Regarding the issue of no permit, not sure if you mean no permit for the renovation that was done or for renting out to a tenant. A permit almost certainly would have been required for the renovation, and your local permitting office can tell you if one was pulled. If one was not pulled, the owner would either have to undo the renovation or apply for an after-the-fact permit. For renting to a tenant, most likely your jurisdiction either allows it or prohibits it, period. If it allows it, there likely would be no permit requirement - but that's another question for code enforcement. Another option for you is to pay an attorney to research your code.

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