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You purchased an Orlando vacation home, condo or townhome with the plan in mind to rent it out short term allowing you the convenience of also enjoying this home at your discretion throughout the year. However for an array of different reasons, the children are grown, your lifestyle has changed or its is taking too much commitment on your part  you have researched and now have decided that converting your Orlando short term rental into a long term rental may be a switch that you are looking for.

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At first glance this may seem like a simple transition but there are several factors to consider when converting to a long term rental. Below you find a list of our top five recommendations that will help make the transition as smooth and successful as possible:

Screen Shot 2013-04-03 at 12.15.48 PMRemove Furnishings: Unlike Orlando vacation rentals (short term rentals) where you as the owner are responsible for furnishing your property we find that most long term tenants prefer an unfurnished rental.  With the intention of staying in a rental for a year if not longer this allows the tenant to personalize the space making it feel like a home more than a rental on top of the fact that most long term renters do have furnishing that they intend on moving into their new rental property. If however you rental is currently furnished there are a number of ways to tackle this task. Depending on your attachment to the furnishings you may want to put into storage, sell or auction it off to make a little profit or even give it away to charity.

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Don’t Upgrade:  One of the biggest mistake we see renters and sellers make is unnecessary upgrades. Unfortunately many upgrades making the property more visually stimulating only take money out of your pocket.  It is very unlikely that a renter will want to pay higher then normal rent due to the fact that you have updated the unit interiors. It is your responsibility as a owner to have the property in rent ready condition, clean and with appliances in good working condition but this by no means entails upgrading or updating the interiors unless absolutely necessary.  When you are converting to a long term rental you must look at the property through the eyes of a landlord and not the eyes of a vacation home owner.

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Tile WorkTile the Property: Tiling the property is a great way to save on future upgrade and repairs. Due to the high amount of traffic and use that will be put on the carpets it is highly recommended that when the time comes to repair or upgrade the carpets that you research tiling instead. Usually you will find the price is closer than expected and the long term benefits will be tremendous.

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Switch Utilities: Immediately have the new tenants put all major utilities into their names. This takes the responsibility out of your hands for the time being. In the case that your current tenants bail or are late on paying the utilities you will not be held liable. In the unfortunate case that this does occur you can call the utility companies to inform and easily have them turned back into your name or new tenants name. The utility company will then pursue the old tenants for back payment releasing you from this responsibility.

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Property ManagerFind an experienced Long Term Rental Property Manager: This does not mean simply choosing the largest or the cheapest you can find. Any money you save can be easily wiped out by an extra month or two on the market due to overwhelmed, inattentive or unskilled management. As investment property specialists and owners ourselves we understand how much this can cost on top of all the other expenses that come with owning a rental property. But this will be one of the most important rules and investments you make in the success of your rental. A long term property manager will play a significant rule in your rental. Management of your property goes well beyond advertising, back ground checks for potential renters and collecting the rent every month, it is more importantly finding great long term tenants so that your investment doesn’t suffer needless downtime and is maintained during a rental period. It is keeping a good business relationship with those tenants so they stay as long as possible and report problems as needed. On top of that, during the inevitable time when a property isn’t collecting rent, a crucial role is keeping that downtime to an absolute minimum. A week or more delay in either getting a bad tenant out of the property or not having it ready for re-leasing can easily cost you thousands. You want to do your research here to ensure that your property will be a priority and that you have an experienced person managing your rental.

We hope to earn the opportunity of helping you achieve your investment property goals this year. To set up a free, no obligation investment property consultation with us please use our scheduling tool or contact us directly at 866-422-6191 and if you have enjoyed this article please consider subscribing to our blog and stay updated on future information. 

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