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Why do owner's own? - Orlando / Florida Guide

Florida Guide > Accommodation

Why do owner’s own?

Briefly I will explain the legal side of owning a property in Florida which the owner wishes to be available for rental on a week-by-week basis; this is known as a Short Term Rental (STR). Each county in Florida, and there are 67 of them, makes their own decision on whether to allow STRs. Obviously the counties that are in the Orlando area are more than welcoming to visitors on a short stay and the other main county for STRs is Charlotte County on the Gulf of Mexico coast where the small town of Englewood has an area called Rotonda West with villas. All rentable villas have to be licensed by the local authority and comply with regulations regarding fire equipment and general safety particularly around the pool area.

The majority of properties are in ‘communities’ which are then regulated by a Homeowner Association (HOA) who will issue their own Deed Restrictions regarding everything from length of grass, parking, house colour, time of putting trash bins out etc. Failure to comply with these rules, even by guests, can in the end mean a hefty fine of the owner to the local (HOA) which is generally self-governing by the residents.

So why after all these rules and bylaws do people purchase a property in order to make it available for complete strangers to stay there for their holidays?

My estimation is that owners, be their European on American/Canadian, fall into the following groups:-

• people who are using the property as part of their pension fund and therefore run the rental side of the ownership as a money making ‘business’
• people who perhaps have an extended family and make use of the property several times a year but also accept rentals to cover costs
• people who consider their property as a ‘second home’, accept fewer rentals but are also prepared to run the villa with additional funds most years

All rental properties are the private villas of the owner and all the equipment and furnishings are also their personal items. As an owner I have over the years suffered very little in the way of damage to my property but every one of us have heard of hair dye on the towels, sticky sweets under the sofa cushions and broken toys and china. All these items have to be replaced and sorted before the next guest arrives which could be in a matter of hours. This is where a helpful, efficient local Management Company are worth their weight in gold to sort out the situation on behalf of the owner.

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