How To Lease Your Orlando Home

Have you considered renting your home in Orlando but don’t know the first thing about rental property management and finding the right tenants? We’re giving you 28 tips on how to lease your Orlando home. This article explores all kinds of things you need to know about converting your home into a successful investment rental property.

28 Tips On How To Lease Your Orlando Home
Typical rental home in Kissimmee or Orlando areas

What is a reasonable rate of return on rental property?

One of the main reasons people will rent out their property is for extra income. However, this only makes sense if the rental income exceeds expenses. Suppose the money you put in for management, mortgage, repairs, etc., exceeds the amount you make from the tenants. In that case, your rental is probably a long-term investment relying on gains in sales prices and property appreciations. Month to month, you might have a negative cash flow and are prepared to subsidize your long-term property investment. When looking into rental property management, you want to ensure a good relationship with the company you hire.

Investor Owners

Some investors will only enter into a lease agreement if the return is projected to be more than 10%; some even raise that bar to 12%. The bottom line will depend on how secure you would like to be in your investment. If you only entered into contracts that projected 15% ROI, even if you take a hit, you are not losing money. This is an innovative practice to consider, as housing prices tend to fluctuate occasionally.

Reasonable Rate of Return

Generally, a reasonable rate of return is anything over 8%. How much interest do you make when your money sits in a savings account? Making sure that the property you are renting will be a long-term money maker starts when you initially consider the property or the cost it will take to prepare the home for rental. You can manage your rental yourself; however, if you plan to use a rental property management company, there will be a cost that should be included in the final projections. These 28 tips for preparing your home for a long-term rental are essential for success! If you want to know more about long-term rental laws

28 Tips On How To Lease Your Orlando Home

Can you manage a rental property yourself?

So, what if you didn’t want to pay for rental property management and wanted to manage your rental yourself? This is doable but will depend on how many properties you manage and your availability. Rental property management can be a full-time job, but if your ROI is a high percentage, it may be worth it. If you have multiple properties, you may work overtime to ensure all of your T’s are crossed. Also, check out our article on how to find good tenants. Remember to use these 28 tips for preparing your home for a long-term rental!

One important thing for managing your rental is being local to the property. If emergencies arrive, you will want someone on call who can pop over to the property to check it out. Additionally, tenants tend to prefer having someone readily available for communication, and we find that seeing someone in person goes a long way in building mutual trust.

rental property management

Additionally, the rules are constantly changing, and rental property management companies are notified of these changes first. If you plan to manage your property, we recommend you stay current on any new restrictions or regulations regarding rental property management. Staying compliant with all existing laws ensures you do not lose money in a lawsuit. With these things considered, and assuming you are committed to being a trustworthy landlord, you should have no issues managing your property rental. If anything seems out of your wheelhouse, Renter’s Choice Property Management is here to help! Our 28 tips for preparing your home for a long-term rental will save you money and time!

28 Tips On How To Lease Your Orlando Home

1. Rental Tips – Find a good realtor/brokerage that seems easy to talk to. They should also have years of experience in long-term rentals and a proven track record. A specialized realtor with years of hands-on property management experience will save you time and money in finding the right tenants for your home. Contact McCormack Realty & Renters Choice Homes email: or call us at 407-933-2367 or in the UK at 0161-300-9595 for home management and long-term rental in Kissimmee, Davenport, or Orlando. We can make you more money than you think! Also check out our blog post about tenant screening

2. Zoning & HOAs- Ensure the sub-division where your home is located is zoned for the type of rental you wish to pursue. Some homeowner associations or deed-restricted communities don’t allow vacation rental homes or long-term rentals; others have to approve your tenant’s application before you can rent your home. Check the zoning department of the local county office and the homeowners’ association management office. The homeowners association will have rules and regulations; ensure you supply your manager with a copy so tenants can be advised to stay compliant. See our blog post on HOA

3. Some HOAs don’t allow any signage on vehicles or service vehicles to park overnight on the property. They may not allow RVs, boats, or even street parking overnight. It would be wise to read the rules to know what is acceptable. Location: Ensure your home is no further than (if possible), ten minutes from major highways that lead to industry and commercial areas. Look into the schools in the area through the local county’s website; if your home is located in the catchment area of good schools, this also makes the home much more desirable.

4. Desirability – Check out your neighborhood’s desirability and crime rates on Google. It’s easy to find statistics and compare local amenities such as schools, distance to industry, hospitals, major roads, and shopping.

5. Popularity – Is your investment home in a popular residential area? Is the area noted for great schools? Is it close to major roads? If your neighborhood is sought after, this will also help it rent faster and often for more money.

rental property needs curb appeal

6. Curb Appeal: First impressions count; look at the front of your home and the other adjoining homes in your neighborhood. Do they look appealing? Do the lawns look neat? How about the trees, plants, and bushes? Are there any dead spots in the grass or landscaping? How does the front entrance look when you get close to the home? Is it warm and welcoming or does anything need cleaning, tidying or improving? A lick of paint, a nice doormat, and some fresh mulch and flowers in the landscaping can work wonders. When a property presents itself well, it sends the message to viewers that the owners take pride in the ownership of the home. This encourages potential applicants to want to live there.

7. Furnishings: Long-term rentals rent faster; in most cases, tenants stay much longer when they’re unfurnished. If your home is furnished, call and ask us about these complications. Think about selling or storing your furnishings. If they can’t afford furniture, more often than not, they can’t afford the rent. This is a vital tip in our 28 tips on how to lease your home!

8. Paintwork: Is it appealing to you? How about the paintwork inside and out? Is it neutral and in good condition? How long ago was it painted? Does it need freshening? If the paintwork on the interior walls is lightly soiled, here’s what we do first. Buy a box of those white sponges, often called magic erasers, and gently scrub the offending areas. These work well on doors, baseboards, walls, showers, baths, mirrors, and tile. A little elbow grease could save you money, especially starting out!

9. Flooring: Ceramic tile or wood/laminate flooring tends to be popular in the living areas. Carpets in the bedrooms are always a plus, except for tenants with allergies. Typical rental carpets last 5-7 years. Tiled floors last a very long time and are easy to clean. Carpet companies now offer tile and grout cleaning when needed. If your tiles haven’t been sealed when laid, they will attract a lot of dirt buildup, especially in the grout. Once cleaned, filling them with a commercial sealant you can buy at Lowes or Home Depot would be wise.

10. Parking: How many parking spaces are there for the size of the home? For instance, a five-bedroom house with only two parking places could be a problem unless you find a family with small children to rent it. Garage: Does it have an automatic door opener? Most tenants use their garages daily, so an auto door opener is a big plus and less wear and tear on the garage door. If your garage door is a pull-up model with no automatic electric opener, it will slip off the runners before long. When this happens, I recommend installing an automatic opener, if not before. It will save more than it costs in the long run.

11. Repairs: When you keep your home in great shape, it will rent faster and for more money and help retain good tenants; timely repairs and replacements are necessary. Excellent property management is essential. A good manager knows the price of repairs and where to get you the best deals. They should also send you a yearly or bi-yearly report of what needs replacing and how soon to help you budget for replacements. They may have a regular repairman who can do most odd jobs and have a list of vendors they quote for more skilled jobs. We have a state-certified builder as our leading subcontractor who oversees all our repairs and ensures they are done correctly. This helps save our homeowners money.

12. When your A/C breaks down, this will require a skilled technician. A licensed and insured company should be repairing your air conditioner. A/C Techs charge around $75.00 to $95.00 for a service call, plus parts and labor. Most property management companies have a regular A/C company they can always call on. Before you lease your home, it’s best to get your A/C serviced and serviced yearly. Then, you’ll know what kind of shape your equipment is in and can make any needed repairs and do yearly preventative maintenance.

13. The Rental of Condos & Townhomes: For you, the owner, there’s no pool to service, no grass to mow, and no exterior painting or updating. They often have a community pool, clubhouse gym, tennis court or volleyball courts, a barbeque area, and a children’s play area. Some communities offer other amenities, like gated access and security guards. The fees for the condo association or the homeowners association in Florida are the homeowner’s sole responsibility. The Rental rates for condominiums and townhouses are usually lower than those of single-family detached homes.

14. Single-Family Homes: A three-bedroom two bathroom home is always a popular rental. Sometimes people working from home or having a larger family will want a four-bed or five-bedroom home if it’s detached and sits in its grounds with a two-car garage, all the better!

15. Your Backyard Pool. We recommend using a professionally trained and licensed company to look after backyard swimming pools. We use one company for all our pools, which is licensed and insured. That way if something is wrong, we know who to call immediately. If you want to use your pool contractor, it can be very problematic for any management company with no leverage over them to enforce high standards. We don’t recommend owners service their rental home pool themselves; there will be liability issues in the event of an alleged accident or sickness that could be blamed on or related to the pool. A skilled professional will be able to check the pool equipment and help keep it maintained properly. It also affords you an extra set of eyes at home each week and reports to the managers if they see anything untoward happening at your home. This is a crucial tip in our 28 tips on how to lease your home!

16. Regular chlorinated and salt-water pools must be serviced weekly to have chemicals balanced, and the pool brushed, skimmer baskets, and filters cleaned as required. Filters tend to work better when they’re slightly dirty. The pool technician will check a pressure gauge on the equipment to ensure the filtration system is working at the optimum level. When taking a sample of pool water, remember to collect it in a clean jar or container and scoop from two feet under the surface so the chemical content can be accurately tested. Testing surface water is unreliable because the sun destroys the chemicals from the first few inches. Most local pool supply stores will test the water for free if you buy your pool chemicals from them. The pool should always look clear and blue. Certain colored tiles and finishes can make the pool look green or with a lagoon-style finish, the pool may look muddy brown.

17. If the pool looks green, it usually means it has yellow mustard algae on the walls or the bottom, and no one should swim in it until it has been treated. Change your pool filter every year, and don’t leave the old one by the outdoor trash; it alerts passers-by that there’s a brand new filter in the pool. New pool filters are often stolen, sometimes by neighbors and occasionally by the pool guys! Remember to write your address on the filter with a permanent black marker pen, which should help deter thieves. Some filters may last up to two years, but it depends on the type of filter, the amount of use the pool gets, and the filtration system used.

18. Safety in and around the pool is always a significant concern. Children drown in backyard pools yearly; the shimmering water is very appealing to children and can also be dangerous.

19. To comply with health and safety, A warning sign and depth markers must be mounted in the pool area. These can often be purchased from your local pool supply store. The sign should detail things like no children under sixteen should be allowed by the pool without adult supervision. No running, diving, glass in the pool area, etc. Depth markers detailing the shallow end (3’) and deep end of the pool (6’) can be mounted or painted on the pool deck. Pool alarms or a child safety fence should also be installed, and the tenants are encouraged to use them if they are damaged or broken to ensure a swift repair or replacement.

20. Insurance: Long-term rental home insurance is traditionally cheaper than vacation homes in Central Florida because someone lives there year-round. You must maintain insurance on the buildings, fixtures, and fittings. A good liability insurance policy will cover you for loss of rent, storm damage, slip, and fall in case of an accident in your home. This is an important tip in our 28 tips on how to lease your home. Buy liability insurance with $1,000,000 coverage.

21. Tenants Insurance: All tenants should be responsible for the insurance on their furnishing and personal belongings. It’s usually cheaper for them to obtain it from the same company that insures their car. Typical tenant policies cost around as little as 0 per year.

22. Furniture: If your home is furnished and you want to enter the long-term rental market, consider a few things. Firstly, furnished homes tend to achieve a lower monthly rent in Florida. I can see that you may be considering getting into corporate lets; however, realistically, very few big corporations would need a steady supply of executive homes. See my blog post on renting out your furnished home.

23. Stock the home with white goods; washer/dryer; fridge, freezer; dishwasher, stove, microwave; and patio furniture (if applicable). Of course, they need all window treatments, flooring, blinds, carpets, etc. Check with another reputable long-term management company or us for details.

24. Lube all doors, rekey the locks, change all blown light bulbs and batteries in smoke detectors, and replace grout and caulk where needed. Check any fire extinguisher or any other emergency equipment your home may have. Change out A/C filters and write on the side of the air handler size.

25. Write the codes and brand of the paint for your home on the side of the air handler. That way, anyone who may paint it on your behalf, the tenants or your maintenance crew, know where to find them. There are at least 50 shades of white and every other color to easily access the paint codes. This way, you can have the paint touched up or paint a wall without needing to paint the entire room or home.

26. Cleanliness is vital. Once everything has been spring cleaned, behind fridges, ranges, air vents, doors, blinds, windows, vinyl, garage, tiles, grouting, carpeting, etc. remember to use a good checklist and recheck it, before any tenants move in.

27. Video or photograph everything in the home, inside and out, remembering to set the date on the camera. For example, gardens, pools, landscaping, each room with a wide-angle view and close-up where needed. Take photos of inside your oven, showers, fridges, under sinks, inside sinks, blinds, open and closed A/C filter, plus much more. Take more photos on the day before tenants move in.

28. Take at least 20 photos for advertising purposes, and while you’re in the home, note some of its best features when you write your advertisements. This concludes our 28 tips on how to lease your home. We hope you use them!

Phone USA: 407 933 2367

Phone UK: 0161 300 9595

About the author, Anne-Marie McCormack

Anne-Marie McCormack has been a Florida licensed Real Estate Broker since 1996. She has worked as a realtor in property management, rentals and sales in Kissimmee, Davenport, and Orlando, Florida since 1991.

She heads the team at McCormack Realty & Renters Choice Homes and has lots of experience with long-term and short-term rentals and sales. . Anne-Marie owned and operated a short-term-rental, property management company from 1994-2004. Since then McCormack Realty & Renters Choice Homes has focused on long-term rentals and sales of residential, investment homes and vacation homes also known as holiday lets.

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