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10 Things you need to know before getting a vacation rental in Miami

March 27, 2021

Everything you need to know before getting a vacation rental in Miami.

So you decided to come to Miami for a vacation and instead of using in a hotel you would like to stay in a vacation rental: condo or a villa in Miami Beach?

It does not matter what your budget is, whether you would like to rent a waterfront mansion in Miami Beach or an ocean front, luxury, vacation rental condo in Sunny Isles, this blog is for you!

Today I will be going in detail about 10 Things you should know about before renting a vacation rental in Miami. I will walk you through the entire vacation rental process and cover 3 x things to watch out for, 3 x most Frequently Asked Questions I get about vacation rental and reveal 3 x  tips and tricks how to make your trip the most enjoyable + Bonus Tip! Keep reading 🙂

First of, Misconceptions or 3 x Things to Watch out for about vacation rental in Miami:

#1: You can stay in any condo in Miami:

Miami is N1 tourist destination in the US. The City of Miami and Miami Beach is very protective of its tourist industry, the City wants to make sure, that everyone is paying taxes, therefore not every condominium in Miami allows vacation rental or short term rentals. The hotel industry in South Florida is considered one of the best in the world and is ‘threatened’ by vacation rental (s). Therefore not every condo in Miami will allow you to stay there for a vacation only or short term. These rules apply everywhere in the United States and especially in Miami, the tourist center of the country.

#2 I own a condo or a house in Miami, so I can do what I want, and rent it out anyway I want:

Even if you have a property in Miami you cannot rent a condo or even a house for a vacation rental or short term. 95% of condominiums do not allow rentals less than 6 months. (I will provide a list of condos that will allow you to stay there short term below.)

As an Owner of a condominium or property owner you have a share or part of a ‘business’ or a company so to speak. All the owners of that condominium are rightful owners or business partners and are required to respect the rules of regulations that are set in place by a management company who is responsible for maintenance of the building, budget etc.

#3: Ok, I will rent a vacation rental through Airbnb, VRBO, Homeaway from home.

Yes, you may. However you are taking a risk. If a building or area does not allow vacation rental (s) or short term rentals; you might incur a fine and even be asked to leave the property immediately. Fines are steep and can reach up to $25k for property owners and their visitors – (don’t ruin your vacation).

FAQ

FAQ 1: What is wrong with vacation rental (s) also known as short term rentals?

Vacation rental(s) can reduce property values, impair the security of the community and their Owner. I am sure you will agree that Owner-occupants want a peaceful home and community with neighbors they know, as opposed to sharing space and common amenities with strangers. People who are there on vacation, will likely not respect rules and regulations of the building.

Home Owners that reside in the condominium,  will not be tolerant to frequent comings and goings of strangers, loud parties at the pool. They are likely to complain about noise, late night night gatherings. If you think, you are OK, but if a neighbor suspects that you are making money by renting your unit as a vacation rental illegally, he will complain and fines are steep.

FAQ 2: But who will ever find out? How would they know?

Everything is monitored in the buildings, we live in the greatest country in the world, USA!! The most transparent country in the world. To gain access to the unit you will need a fob to come to the elevator. Reception will screen everyone that comes through the door. Thankfully in the USA everything is very easy as long as you play nice and by the rules 🙂

FAQ 3: What do I do? I want to come to Miami for less than one month.

Most of the respectable Realtors in Miami will not undertake rentals shorter than one month. If you are looking for rental shorter than that, use Airbnb, VRBO, Homeaway.

GENERAL INFO

#1 Finding a vacation rental

There is a certain zoning allowed in Miami Beach that allows short term rentals, if you want to know where, check out this map or reach out to me directly. Or best: talk to a Realtor. They are required by Law (or they can lose their license) to tell you where in Miami Beach vacation rentals are or not allowed.

Therefore, good time frame to start looking for a short term vacation 2-3 months prior to your arrival.

#2 Prices:

  1 Bedroom 2 Bedrooms 3 Bedrooms
Minimum (off season) $3000+ $5000-$7000 $7000+
Middle (season) $5000+ $7000+ $12000+
High End $20000+ $30000 $40000+
VIP     $100,000+

Bear in mind that there are properties for $100,000 and up per month for VIP, ultra high end reach out to me for this exclusive selection.

A list of properties and their price will vary on the season. Price reflected in a list, your realtor will send you, is almost always for 12 months rentals, so if you will be doing shorter term rentals, it is almost guaranteed the price will be higher.

During the hot season starting Thanksgiving (around end of November and through New Years Eve) the unit will be pri$$$y. The shorter the term you choose to stay, the more expensive it will be. This is because more paperwork is be involved, more cleaning, more management and maintenance.

#3 Additional Charges

You will also incur additional charges for cleaning/ parking possibly for electricity. Internet and cable most likely will be included.

You will also need to pay a registration fee (to the Association) and a deposit (about one month rent to the Property Owner) to secure the unit.

RENTAL PROCESS 

Once you narrow down your search with a Realtor, he or she will confirm the availability.

Your Realtor will submit an offer (contract to lease – 3 pages document) on your behalf, outlining all terms and conditions of your stay in the unit: dates, price, requirements to a cooperating Broker or a Property Owner.

Once the price and terms are agreed by both parties the lease will be signed.

APPROVAL PROCESS 

With the executed lease you are required to go through approval process with the Association. This approval process or background check can take anywhere from one week to one month, so keep that in mind when looking for a unit.

Management company or Association is responsible for screening all candidates that will occupy the unit. For a fee anywhere from $150-$300 the association will run potential visitors background checks to make sure there are no criminals in the building, bankruptcies (that you will be able to pay your rent), or even pedophiles. Would you not feel safer if you knew that there are not questionable candidates as your neighbors?

Think about it: you invested hundreds of thousands of dollars and somebody can pay couple of hundred of dollars and be swimming in the same pool as your child, girlfriend. Won’t you agree it’s a protection for you and your family?

Registration fee goes to the Association. You will fill out an application with your information and supporting documentation to run your background check:

  • Non-refundable $100-$300 application fee (depending on the buidling)
  • Copy of IDs (passport or Driver’s License)
  • 3 last pay stubs or bank statements

For US residents:

TIPs or LIFEHACKs

I know someone who stayed in a condo, where short term rentals are not allowed.

Firstly, property Owners may register their visitors as guests. Secondly this space is limited. Thirdly, Guests might not be allowed to visit and use certain recreation areas such as gym etc.

Tip:

At times, someone decides to come for 4 months, but wants to stay in a certain condo, where short term rental(s) (less than 6 months) are not allowed. They may be able to sign a lease for 6 months and leave the unit after 4 months without penalties (if agreed in advance). They will likely pay a higher price as the property Owner will take their property off market for the entire 6 months and will not be able to rent it again for the remainder of that time.

It still does not make sense, the apartment is empty, why would they not rent it? The Owner is just loosing money.

Yes and No. The property owner paid hundreds of thousands of dollars or millions your $5000 or even $40,000 if the unit is worth $10,000,000 is just not worth the risk. You come and go and they have to live there after and work with the Association.

Where to stay: a list of the most popular condominiums that allow vacation rental(s)

  • La Perla in Sunny Isles Beach
  • Beach Club II in Hallandale
  • St Regis in Bal Harbour

In Miami:

  • Epic condominium

Miami Beach:

  • One Hotel and Homes
  • Mondrian
  • Yacht Club at Portofino

Summary:

What should you do? Stay in a hotel if it’s a week or two. Use Airbnb if it’s more than 10 days and less than a month, most importantly talk to a Realtor if it’s more than a month.

Will you come to Miami for a vacation? Better make it a home 🙂

If you found this blog interesting, make sure you like it, make sure you share it, make sure you subscribe, make sure to tell others about it or if you have any questions leave a comment below. Thank you for reading 🙂

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