Have you always dreamed of living in paradise for the winter but need a little guidance and assistance to help find a great place to call home? Let us be the first to welcome you! We are here to help and give you a little bit of information as you begin searching for a great seasonal rental property here in lovely Lee and Collier Counties. Do you know what the process is to apply and to rent a property? What kind of restrictions for pets or vehicles does each property have? We get asked these questions daily and so much more so we figured it would make it easy and break it down for you. Enjoy!
These are properties located throughout southwest Florida that are rented for 6 months or less. The most in demand time period for these rentals are for January-March which is considered “high season”. However these homes can be offered “off season” usually for a discounted rate during our slower summer months from May- December. These homes are offered turnkey which means they are fully furnished and have all the linens, kitchen ware, etc. All you have to do is bring your suitcase and clothes! Owner paid electricity, cable and water are included in the rental of these homes. Sometimes an owner will have a certain electrical budget allowance and the tenant is responsible for anything over and beyond that (very common in single family homes that have a pool with an electric pool heater).
The Process to Rent a Seasonal Rental:
First, call the Mike Z Team at 239-325-6490 and we will connect with you right away! We are the southwest Florida area experts in helping you find the perfect rental property for you! Actually there is a little more to it than that! We use the same process with all of our perspective tenants each and every time to make it easy for you and so we can quickly assess your needs/wants. We will go over and gather the following information from you:
Contact information: We will gather your name, phone number and email address to best help you.
Move in Date: As mentioned, many of the owners are looking for a 3 month commitment on a lease but we can also help you search for monthly rentals as well.
Price Range: We ask what the price range you are looking in. In rentals, we stay within your price range and don’t go outside of it as your budget is important.
Bedrooms and Bathrooms: We will ask how many bedrooms and bathrooms you need.
Condo or a Single Family Home: We will also refine this to see if you need a garage or a pool or certain features that you must have in your rental.
Preferred Location and Community Amenities: We offer many different styles of living in southwest Florida from luxury beachfront, to country club living and high rise condos and single family homes on tree lined streets to just name a few. Knowing what you want will help us narrow down the search as well. We can also make suggestions based on your budget and lifestyle. We also have customer’s that request to live in a specific school zone or to live within a certain number of miles from work or the beach, etc. We can quickly set parameters in our MLS system, that is only available to Realtors, that allows us to be very specific.
Pets: We will also ask you about the type of pet(s) you own and how many pounds each weigh and what type of breed, if you own a dog. The governing documents in many of our HOA communities in southwest Florida have restrictions for size, type, number or breeds or do not allow pets altogether. Even if the community does allow pets, the owner of the home you are renting can prohibit or place restrictions as well. We will be able to find out quickly what the rules are for you as many of these are not posted online. Most rentals that do allow pets will require pre-approval from the owner and a non refundable pet deposit.
Sign our Tenant and Realtor Loyalty Agreement: We are here to help you and as such we will search for any and all property’s that would be a fit for you whether it is on the MLS, through our own Mike Z listings or other agent’s pocket listings. When you work with multiple different sales associates from multiple companies, this does not enhance or increase the chances of finding a property. Our promise is to stay in communication with you and to return calls/emails promptly. That’s why you are working with the Mike Z Team and reading this blog because of our excellent customer service. We are simply protecting our relationship together and asking you not to directly call other agent’s and let us do that for you which greatly increases your chances of getting the right property for you. We have a quick and easy form that we will send over for you and one of our agent’s to sign and then we will be on our way!
Look at Properties Online: After your agent from the Mike Z Team was gone over all of the information above and has a signed copy of our loyalty agreement, you begin the most fun and important part – looking at properties! Our agent will do the best to identify properties within all of your parameters and will send over suitable listings for you to consider. They are all subject to availability so we can not guarantee every property we send to you is available. Our goal is to vet the properties for you the best we can and we ask for you to communicate back to us which properties are of interest. Our job is to call the other agent (if it is not a Mike Z Team listing) and find out the exact availability and terms of the rental property.
The Paperwork and fees! If you are satisfied with the terms and price, we will get you an application to lease the property. This may or may not have an application fee. Upon acceptance, the lease will be written and signed by you and the owner and usually requires a deposit. As many of our homes in southwest Florida are located within homeowners associations (HOA’s) they too require that you fill out an application. Most seasonal rental properties will be paid in full 30 days prior to taking occupancy of the home. Some other fees generally associated with renting a seasonal property include: HOA application fee, pet deposit fee if applicable, transfer fee, rental office application fee, credit/background check fee, departure and cleaning fee, Mike Z Rental fee ($150), and golf and social membership transfer fee, if applicable. The price varies from property to property and association to association but your agent on the Mike Z Team being an expert will quickly tell you exactly what you can expect to pay for fees.
Taxes: Any property that is rented for a period of 6 months or less will be subject to 10% sales tax if in Collier County (Naples area) and 11% in Lee County (Bonita Springs, Estero, Ft. Myers area).
The finish Line! After all of this, we know it sounds like a lot but we really make it simple for you, you get the keys, and move in! Congratulations and welcome to your new winter home! And don’t worry, we won’t forget about you. We will be in touch to see how we can help you whether you are planning to rent again next season or if you would like to purchase a home, we at Mike Z Team are here to help!