What about property management?
In Florida, short term rentals are strictly governed by rules and regulations of the Florida State Department of Hotels. Details, such as licensing, maximum occupancy, signage, and emergency lighting are covered. A good property management company will make sure that your property is well taken care of and will help you get the best return on your investment. Some management companies are strictly management, while others handle both management and rental bookings. However, we strongly recommend that you have some sort of "hands-on" personal involvement - the more involvement you have, the more likely you are to increase your return. For example, don't just leave the renting of your property to your management company. Try and get some of your own bookings through friends, colleagues, a website of your own, etc. This will increase the number of weeks your property is rented and therefore will increase your bottom line. We always find that people who do this are much more successful. It is YOUR investment!
Most property management companies have pretty standard charges for their services. Some may charge a few dollars more for one service and a few dollars less for another, but generally, the charges work out more or less the same. Typically, charges for short term rental management will be about $400 a month, which will include weekly pool cleaning, weekly grass cutting, monthly spraying for bugs, plus the company's fee for filing the required monthly sales and tourist tax returns on short term rentals, in addition to generally keeping an eye on the property for you and in many cases, making sure your bills are paid. In addition to your management fees, you will have utility bills and you will pay for cleaning of the property, each time a guest moves out (usually every one or two weeks). We recommend that you personally make sure your mortgage is paid and also, if your management company is paying your bills, that you get a detailed copy of all of your bills. We also recommend you keep copies of all sales and tourist tax returns that have been filed on your behalf.
If you have a long term rental, then usually the tenant will pay for utilities, pool and lawn maintenance (although we recommend you actually hire and pay for the pool service yourself). You will also have no sales and tourist tax returns to file, because these are only required on rentals of 6 months or less. Typically your management company will charge you 10% of the monthly rent as their fee, which usually includes them advertising and screening for new tenants, collecting rents and inspecting the property when tenants vacate.
One thing to remember is that if you are unhappy with your property management company at any time, you are perfectly free to change to another company. As with every other relationship, sometimes the chemistry just doesn't work out, or things change over time. If that happens, we will always be happy to recommend an alternative.
Almost every property we have ever sold since 2000 is to a buyer who needed property management, so Dolby Properties is very experienced in helping our buyers with this service.
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