Bay County Fire and Life Safety Inspection Bureau

Bay County will begin reaching out to property owners to schedule inspections 

beginning in January 2024. 

 Short-Term Rentals

On Aug. 1, 2023, the Bay County Board of County Commissioners passed Ordinance 23-18 concerning registration, reporting, and inspection requirements for vacation rentals operating in the unincorporated areas of the county. In many cases, the ordinance simply solidifies the rules and regulations under which short-term rentals were already operating.

High-rise condominium units and apartment complexes are currently exempt from the requirements of the short-term rental ordinance. Only one, two, three and four-family unit structures are included.

The ordinance mandates that any transient public lodging establishment, defined by state statute as a single-, two-, three-, or four-family house or dwelling, recreational vehicle or mobile home, maintain a Short-Term Vacation Rental Certificate issued by Bay County. 

Initial Inspection Fee$250.00
Re-inspection Fee$50.00
Lock-out Fee$100.00

To obtain a certificate, the following criterion must be met:

  • Proof of a Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DPBR) license
  • A DBPR HR 7020 Balcony Inspection Certificate for any height over two stories
  • Registration with the Bay County Clerk of the Court for Tourist Development Tax payments
  • Completion of a Fire Safety Self-Inspection Checklist
  • Post certificate number issued by Bay County when advertising on any platforms
  • An interior sign or pamphlet indicating the following:           
    • Address of short-term rental
    • Name and phone number of managing party
    • Maximum occupancy based on the Fire Inspector’s evaluation of the dwelling’s floor plan
    • Notice of the county Noise Ordinance
    • A trash pickup schedule with the locations of trash containers
    • Sea turtle nesting season and restrictions information
    • Location of the nearest hospital with “Call 911 in case of emergency”
    • Beach safety flag notification instructions with penalties for violations
  • An exterior sign indicating the following:
    • Name of managing agent and 24-hour emergency contact number
    • Short-term vacation rental certification number
    • Signage must be placed on the wall to be legible as viewed from the public right of way
    • Signage must be no larger than 18 x 12 inches

NOTE: Rentals over two stories in height must include an evacuation floor plan on each bedroom door indicating primary egress and secondary escape routes.

  1. Fire and Life Safety Inspection Bureau

    Physical Address
    700 Hwy 2300
    Southport, FL 32409


    Fax: 850-248-6059

Forms and Documents