Owning a vacation property is a great way to have the luxuries, privacy and convenience of a home away from home. But more and more vacation homeowners are seeing profit from choosing to rent their property to visitors as a short term vacation rental when it's not in use.
Income from short term rentals has the potential to offset and eventually recoup the seemingly large initial investment of owning a vacation home. Of those who responded to a 2014 National Association of Realtors survey, 50 percent of vacation home buyers purchased with the intent of renting to others. And owning or renting a vacation property has become a hot new trend in Central Florida. In fact, Kissimmee, located minutes from Walt Disney World, is home to the largest inventory of short term vacation rental homes in the nation.
What is a Short term Rental
As opposed to long term leases that are six months or longer, short term rentals are variable in length and cater to tourists interested in an alternative to the standard hotel stay for vacation. Renting out a property short term allows you to rent to both tourists on holiday staying anywhere from a single night to two weeks as well as “snow birds” who stay for upwards of two months.
Since Orlando has beautiful weather year-round and is the number one tourist destination in the country, it doesn’t suffer from any seasonality. Thus, a majority of short term rentals in Orlando average 7-14 days.
After purchasing a property appropriately zoned for short term rentals, the next step is to register for a business license and tourism tax license from the County. The law requires you to obtain these inexpensive legal documents because you will essentially be operating a mini hotel. Don’t flake out on this important step—failure to comply will result in steep fines. Short term rental property specialists, like the experts at Team Donovan, assist you every step of the way to take the hassle out of the process.
Where You Can Buy
Orlando Short Term Rental zones (STR) are split up between four Central Florida counties: Lake, Polk, Osceola and Orange. These counties converge in an area known as the “four corners,” centered around Disney and where a majority of the STRs are located.
Osceola and Polk Counties
Most short term rental homes and properties are located in Polk and Osceola County, just south of Walt Disney World. Short term rental properties in these areas vary from cozy condos and villas to single family homes and elegant mansions. In Osceola you’ll find the luxurious resort communities of Reunion and Kissimmee where many of the short term rentals are located. Polk is a little farther away from Disney so there are less short term rental properties to choose from but still a healthy amount. Look for quality short term rentals in Davenport and Haines City.
There are numerous restrictions on short term rentals in Orange County, limiting them to only the International Drive and Lake Buena Vista areas. Though short term rentals in these areas are restricted to condos and townhomes, these locations are about as close as you get to the center of the action. Here renters have easy access to all the attractions and entertainment Orlando has to offer. Look for hot properties in Lake Buena Vista Resort Village & Spa, Blue Heron, Vista Cay and Floridays.
Though somewhat removed from the city, south Lake County short term rental properties are only 15 minutes away from Disney. There’s vast amounts of space in the region and some of the best outdoor recreation opportunities can be found right outside your door. Plus, it’s a builder’s dream.
Not all communities in Orlando are zoned for short term rentals and not all rental agencies know how to navigate the process in order to get you the best deal. You’re best off trusting your property to the short term rental experts at Team Donovan.
Contact a short term rental property specialist for more information by calling 407-705-2616 or visiting the contact us page to send Team Donovan an email.