Written by Amy Baker,
Last Modified: 26th May 2022

If you’re planning on renting out your holiday home in Florida, you’ll need to take the right steps to protect your investment. Here are our 5 steps to renting out your American property.

If you’ve been plotting purchasing property in Florida for years to use as a holiday home and as a holiday rental, 2022 could be your year! To help you understand what’s involved in the process, we run you through the five steps you’ll need to take. Our aim is to help you understand just how simple it is to own and make money off your Florida property.

There are a number of laws and restrictions in place in Florida so it’s important that you fully understand what will apply to you before you buy.

1 – Choose a property that’s desirable to renters

Before you splash the cash, you need to make sure that the property you have your eye on will be desirable to holidaymakers. Ask yourself whether the property is big enough to accommodate your ideal guests, i.e. enough space to house a family of five, and if it’s close enough to the area’s major tourist attractions. After all, there’s little point buying a property in the middle of nowhere when the majority of holidaymakers will be in town to visit Disney! Does the property you have your eye on have any features that are likely to make it more desirable to renters? For example, does it have a pool? Is it near the beach? If you find a property that might require a little work to bring it up to scratch, remember to factor this into your budget.

Your Florida property agent will be able to advise on where it’s best to buy holiday rentals, but if you’d like to conduct a little research yourself, you can check out the Florida listings on AirBnB. This will show you where the mostly highly rated listings are located and might help you hone your areas of interest. Conducting research of this kind will also help you establish what you might be able to charge when the property is up, running and ready to be rented.

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Is the property you’ve got your eye on close to the tourist attractions? If not, you might fail to attract renters. (jum ruji / Shutterstock.com)

2 – Is it legal to rent out the property?

There are a number of laws and restrictions in place in Florida so it’s important that you fully understand what will apply to you before you buy. Your real estate agent will be able to help with this, but we also highly recommend enlisting the services of an independent lawyer who knows the intricacies of the process in the specific county you’re buying in, and who will be able to guide you through every step. Do bear in mind that in Florida, Homeowner Association Laws also apply.

You’ll need to check whether your property lies within one of these areas, how you can become a member, and what rules apply if so. Many Home Owner Associations enforce restrictions on renting and subletting properties, so although it may seem like an annoyance, it’s important to comply, or you might face heavy fines.

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3 – Secure your license

To rent out a property in Florida you’ll need to secure a hotel/motel lodging license well in advance of your first guests arriving. Before you can secure this license your property will be inspected to ensure it complies with the necessary safety laws, i.e. smoke detectors, swimming pool safety equipment. How much this license will cost will depend on how big the property is, the county where the property is located, and when the application is made. Depending on at what point in the year you apply, you may need to pay for a full year, or just a half-year fee. On top of the license fee, be prepared to pay a $50 (approx. £41) application fee.

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Before you can rent your property, you need to ensure it complies with all necessary safety regulations.

4 – Employing a management company

If you’re not based in Florida, it will be incredibly difficult to manage your property. For this reason we recommend employing the services of a holiday lettings management company, who can remove all of the hassle. They’ll not only advertise the property and ensure it’s filled for as many weeks of the year as possible but they’ll handle all client liaison, take security deposits, ensure guests are greeted upon arrival, and even take care of maintenance of the property.

Having someone around the corner protecting your investment will be a huge weight off your mind. Plus, you know things will be ship shape when you roll into town to enjoy your property yourself.

It’s important to instruct your management company to take a security deposit from each set of guests – this will cover you for any small breakages and damage that you won’t want to claim for.

5 – Protecting your property

For complete peace of mind you’ll need to insure yourself against any damage to the property. Fortunately insurance in Florida is relatively inexpensive and a standard policy should cover you for the majority of eventualities. It’s important to instruct your management company to take a security deposit from each set of guests – this will cover you for any small breakages and damage that you won’t want to claim for.

Hopefully by now you’re feeling a lot clearer on the steps involved in renting out your property in Florida. If you have any further questions, or would like to get the ball rolling, contact our Resource Centre today on 020 7898 0549 to talk through your first steps.

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