I am homesteaded. May I rent out my home for 4 or 5 months and keep my homestead?

Asked by Jd, 33404 Mon May 28, 2012

I could stay with my kids for a few months if I could rent my homestead out, but I do not want to lose my homestead. May I do this legally?

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Maggie Hawk’s answer
Maggie Hawk, Agent, New Smyrna Beach, FL
Mon May 28, 2012

The requirements for claiming the homestead exemption in the state of Florida are spelled out at the website for the Volusia County Property Appraiser. The link is shown below:


I imagine most of the Florida counties have a similar website that provides this information.

The key factor in claiming a homestead exemption is to prove that the property is your primary residence. As the website indicates, you'll need to be prepared to show that you're a legal resident of Florida.

You do that in various ways, for example by providing evidence that Florida is where you're registered to vote (or where you have a "Certificate of Domicile", as well as showing that Florida is where you have your driver's license, and automobile registrations.

There are several different exemptions available, besides the basic one, including those for widows/widowers, senior citizens, persons with disabilities (some exemptions specifically for veterans and others for members of the general public). Double-check that you're claiming all you're entitled to.

And please take the time to check that everything you're doing is legal. Penalties for making unsubstantiated claims are severe and can go back as far as 10 years.

I'm not a lawyer, and this is not legal advice, but if you have any doubts, call a lawyer. Many will provide an initial consultation free of charge. Good luck.
1 vote
Bill Eckler, Agent, Venice, FL
Mon May 28, 2012

The Florida Homestead Exemption guideline specifies the property Basic Homestead Every person who owns and resides on real property in Florida on January 1, and makes the
property his or her permanent residence, may receive a property tax exemption up to $50,000. The first $25,000 applies
to all property taxes. The added $25,000 applies to assessed value over $50,000 and only to non-school taxes.
Your local property appraiser will determine whether you are eligible. The appraiser may consider information such as your
place of employment, voter registration, driver license, vehicle license tag, utility bills, and federal income tax return address.
There is a wide variety of guidelines that can be clarified by your local property appraiser's office. We recommend that you contact their office for accurate information.

Good luck,

1 vote
Gene Platt, Agent, West Palm Beach, FL
Tue Jul 10, 2012
Hello Jd.... The answer is Yes, if you are currently homesteaded and nothing has changed as far as your permanent residency in Florida, then you can rent out your home for 4 or 5 months. If you rent your home out 6 months or less, then you also need to collect the 11% tourist tax. I would always check with The Florida Homestead Exemption guidelines if your residency status has changed. I hope that this helps a little.

Gene Platt
Illustrated Properties
(561) 632-5400
0 votes
Annette Law…, Agent, Palm Harbor, FL
Tue May 29, 2012
Legally? That requires a 'legal' person to respond. Attorneys are the best resource for legal advise.

As others have shared, there are many ways to establish and prove permanent primary residency. There is one certain trigger that will result in losing the benefit of Homestead. Clearly I can't share that here.

Of course, simply because you are asking the question reveals you know you are attempting to fly too close to the sun. Take care.
0 votes
Ann Ryan, Agent, Doral, FL
Mon May 28, 2012
JD, you may also want to consider that short-term rentals are subject to sales tax in the State of Florida. See the "partial list" in the link.
0 votes
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