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Florida Keys winter rental how should we handle?

Florida Keys winter rental how should we handle?

Old Jun 17th, 2022, 11:49 AM
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Florida Keys winter rental how should we handle?

Hello all,

We have a beautiful home in Islamorada, Florida. We would like to rent it out for the coming winter. However, we are afraid of the major rental sites because we feel hosts are not really allowed to vet potential guests. We had some issues when we owned a rental in another state and it left a mark.

Our current house only a few years old and literally impecable. We want to keep it that way while giving our guests the best experience possible. What is the best way to find guests and have the ability to have a mutual interview to see if we are a good fit for each other?
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Old Jun 17th, 2022, 01:26 PM
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In my home town there are a lot of summer seasonal rentals and there are several local agencies that handle bookings, and even maintenance & change over.

I'd look to see if there are similar agencies in the keys - maybe for more exclusive properties. Real estate agecies may be a good place to start knocking on doors.
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Old Jun 17th, 2022, 01:45 PM
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When we had a rental, we turned it over to a local rental company. Of course, it cost money, but they handled inspections, cleaning repairs, etc. This worked great for us. Unless a repair was over a certain amount of money, we never got a call or were bothered. Worth every penny.

You can charge a cleaning fee or make it optional if guests leave it clean. You can limit age and number of guests.

We have also rented resort homes through local agents. That worked out really well because the agent knew the area and the houses and was able to tell us more specific information and make sure what we were renting met our needs and the rules of the owner.

Through Airbnb, one person we rented from in France, sent us pictures and information, not just about the apartment, but of herself, and required that we make a brief video about ourselves and that we email back and forth (through the official website) before officially signing the contract, so you might be able to add that assurance of commitment and responsibility. It was great because we, as renters, had some level of trust in the owner, who met us at the property

Remember that the renter is also taking a chance that the rental is legal, that it actually exists, etc. I think a big problem is when the renter or owner tries to work directly with each other, bypassing the methods used to protect each of them from fraud.

One more thing that seems to work well is finding a local person (friend, neighbor, etc.) to handle things. You can even do this when you are working with an agency. Once you are connected with a possible renter, you can have them contact the local person, who will then meet them, give keys, rules, etc.

I think an agency is best, either local that you trust, or one where you can still have direct contact with renters, not where renters just sign online.
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Old Jun 22nd, 2022, 04:27 PM
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Welcome to Fodor's forums, more a travel, not real estate website, but hopefully you get some good tips regardless. I wish I could rent your home
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