Believe it or not there is a lot of work that goes into preparing your vacation home to rent before you can actually start renting it out. If it was a short term rental before you purchased it a lot of this may have already been done otherwise, here is a short and brief reference for the not so fortunate:
Compliance: Your vacation home must comply with STR laws for the County and your HOA (Homeowners Association) as well. Your home must be in a community zoned for short term rentals as it is against the law to use it as a short term rental if it’s not. You must comply with all health code regulations for your county. Here is Lake Wales (Polk County) Short Term Rental requirements.
Insurance: An additional insurance policy above and beyond your homeowners insurance is required to cover liability. It’s usually at least a $200,000 policy and can run anywhere from $300 annually on up.
Permit Requirements: Each county has its own short term rental permit requirements and a rental permit must be obtained before you can legally start renting your place out. Thankfully this was put in place to help prevent some of the foul conditions that some owners try and rent their house in. Under most circumstances your property management company takes care of this for you however if you are not using one this will be your responsibility.
Tax Preparations: If you do not have a management company handling this for you then I suggest you get a good accountant. You are responsible for sending the government a percentage of your nightly income. In Florida it is currently around 13.5% off the top of every booking before you even touch the money. I recommended contacting Harding Bell International as they specialize in vacation rental taxes for foreign and domestic investors.
These are just a few of the important details that go into prepping the home to rent. If you hire a management company you can save yourself most of the trouble because they will do it all for you.
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