Florida condo rentals can be great investments, but certain aspects that are best foreseen and effectively planned for can be deal killers if left to chance. Any new endeavor can have its share of minor emergencies, but preparation is the difference between a catastrophe and a slight setback. Connect with a highly reputable local property manager to get some solid answers to the following considerations.
What You Should Know about Owning Florida Condo Rentals
- Condos, while convenient because the upkeep and management of common areas, landscaping, general building maintenance, the establishment and oversight of common facilities and overall administration is handled by a condo association, this also introduces an extra level of “government” to deal with. You may be expected to toe the line regarding additional restrictions and demands that ownership of a single-residence building would not involve.
- Condo associations and their respective rules are not all the same. Of course all must answer to certain basic standards prescribed by Florida law, but beyond those, they are free to impose and insist on agreements and stipulations unique to themselves.
- One such restriction and a definite deal killer for anyone with an interest in investing in Florida condo rentals is that some condo associations are very restrictive about subletting and in some cases completely disallow owner to rent out their condo units. Never sign a contract to buy on the basis of expecting to use a condo as a rental property without verifying that you will be allowed to do so!
- Not all condo management bodies are equally responsible and effective. Become informed about how well the particular board members have been doing their jobs. Among other things, you should have some idea on whether upkeep of property has proceeded well and been done within budget. You should also verify that the board has sufficient oversight of funds to assure that no mismanagement exists and that the association has an appropriate contingency fund. In a sense, treat this as if you were buying into a business partnership.
- Certain purchases and upkeep or improvement expenses may not need to be approved by the membership for the board to agree to disbursement. Check to make sure the board and the membership have not become over-extended and involved in obligations that would inflate the cost of ownership in that particular condo property.
- Are the condo units you are considering in a building that is largely unoccupied? Viability and continued access to shared facilities such as pools, meeting halls, saunas, etc., may not always be a given when there are too few residents to support those facilities. Affordable operation of common areas is predicated on distributing costs among a majority of available condos.
Property Manager the Key to Researching and Renting Viable Florida Condos
The greatest liability is in being entirely new to a condo and its governing body, as well as green about the legalities regarding condos in general. Link up with a reputable property management company from the area you are interested in for a professional consultation. If they already are managing condos, they will be aware of the existing laws. They may be able to steer you away from troubled condo associations and recommend viable and well-run properties. Owning rental condos in Florida can be lucrative and rewarding, especially if you do your homework ahead of time.
Jennifer Fehr is the co-owner of Suncoast4Rent with her husband Tom Fehr. Jennifer is a Florida State Real Estate Sales person and works through Stonebridge Real Estate Co Inc in Clearwater, Fl (Pinellas County) to bring the personal touch to all your Real Estate needs, be it professional residential property management, consultation or sales.
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