Dunedin resident told she can no longer rent out room on Airbnb

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Short-term rentals in residential neighborhoods will soon be a thing of the past in Dunedin. Homeowners who use sites like Airbnb to rent out their properties will now be forced to require a 90-day stay minimum for all guests, unless they fall within the city's approved short-term rental zones.

The new, enforced regulations are bad news for Dunedin property owners who use short-term rentals to make a few extra bucks on the side. 

For Dunedin resident Penelope Haskell, her worst fears have now become a reality.

"The city is asking me, as of the 23rd of August, to shut my short-term rental down or I'm in violation and could be fined," she said.

Haskell has lived in her Dunedin home for over 20 years.

"I love this house," said Haskell. "I've nurtured it, I've taken care of it."

But when hard times hit Haskell and her daughter, she turned part of that home into a lavish guest suite. 

"When Tracy had her stroke, I just couldn't let her live in a nursing home. I had to bring her home and find a way to make up for the loss of my full-time job," explained Haskell.

The cozy space quickly became a popular spot for vacationers looking for a weekend getaway -- and also became Haskell's only source of income.

"It can allow me to quit my job, which I had at the time, be here at home, give Tracy the care she needs and be able to subsidize my income enough to stay here in my home," she said.

However, this weekend's mail brought with it news that could cause Haskell to lose everything.

"It says, 'this is a courtesy notice to notify you that you must stop renting your property for less than 90 days,'" said Haskell, reading the letter she received in the mail.

The city of Dunedin now only allowing short-term rentals in approved zones throughout the city. 

The residential neighborhood that Haskell calls home falls just outside of the approved area, forcing Haskell, along with others, to make their rental a 90-day minimum stay or shut down completely.

"I won't get any rentals, I'm sure of it. That's going to finish my business," she said.

Haskell is also concerned she will be forced to cancel the upcoming rentals she has for the next six months.

"I have received deposits, probably in the neighborhood of $4,000," she said. "If I have to return those deposits, I can't!"

Haskell has changed her rental property to reflect the new 90-day rule, but she fears that this could still mean the end for her business as her average guest only books for a few days.

The city is now enforcing these regulations in an effort to keep Dunedin's residential neighborhoods safe and quiet.