Does the Vacation Home Capital of the World sound like the ideal place to invest in a short-term vacation rental to you? If you said yes, then I’m glad we’re on the same page. Orlando, Florida and its surrounding areas like Kissimmee, the Vacation Home Capital of the World, are highly profitable areas to invest in short-term rental properties.
Tourism is constantly booming in the Orlando area and short-term rentals are in high demand. People from all over the world come to Orlando to experience the world famous theme parks and attractions, and short-term rentals are one of the top lodging options.
According to Visit Orlando, Orlando has claimed the title of America’s most-visited destination with a grand number of 74 million visitors in 2022. In only a short matter of time, Orlando’s visitor count returned to 98% of its pre-pandemic numbers. Orlando is one of the most unique places to visit with its exhilarating attractions, plethora of annual events, and experiences that won’t be found anywhere else. Investing in a short-term vacation rental in the Orlando area, home to the most magical place on earth, Disney World, will be a magical and profitable experience.
What is a Short-Term Rental?
Short-term rental laws and regulations vary by state and county. In Florida, a short-term rental is defined as any individual lease agreement with a duration shorter than six consecutive months. Criteria for short-term rentals that typically vary by state and county include:
- Zoning restrictions
- Licensing and Permitting
- Occupancy Limits
- Noise and Nuisance Regulations
- Safety and Health Codes
- Homeowners Association Rules
Short-Term Rentals in Orlando
According to data collected by AirDNA and Zillow,
- The average Orlando home value is $371,300, up 1.1% over the past year and goes to pending in around 9 days.
- Average daily rate: $206
- Occupancy rate: 75%
- Revenue: $3,084
In Orlando, 79% of homes are entire home rentals. Entire home rentals can include houses, apartments, and condos, where the whole home or unit will be available to the renter. 21% of short-term rentals are “private rooms,” meaning a single room within a house occupied by other guests or residents will be available to the renter.
- 31% of rentals have two bedrooms
- 28% of rentals have one bedroom
- 24% of rentals have three bedrooms
Short-Term Rental Zoning in Orlando
When doing short-term investment research online, you may stumble upon some websites that say home share vacation rentals are illegal in Orlando. A 2021 short-term rental “Fact Sheet” from Orlando.gov states “An individual homeowner may not rent the entire home under City of Orlando home sharing law (e.g., Airbnb, VRBO).” However, since 2021 the home sharing law has changed in Orlando, so don’t let this confuse you or steer you away.
Orlando has two categories for AirBnB/Short-term rental use
- Homeshare: This category of short-term vacation rentals allows either a homeowner or a long-term tenant to rent individual bedrooms on the property. Under this law, rooms in the main house or an additional unit such as a garage apartment can be rented out. Homeshare is allowed in all residential zoning districts. However, renting the entire property is not allowed under this program, and the homeowner or tenant must be present at the time of rental.
- Commercial Dwelling Unit: In the case of a commercial dwelling unit, an owner is allowed to rent out the entire home or any part of the home. A commercial dwelling unit is what most people may think of a typical vacation rental. However, unlike homeshare, this is not allowed in residential zoning districts. Commercial dwelling units can be rented out in the O-3, any MU district, or any AC district.
Although strict zoning laws exist in Orlando, zoning is typical throughout the country. Zoning laws are a way to regulate the land and keep the community thriving. You can visit the Orlando.gov website and view the interactive map to learn more about the zoning of your specific property.
Permits and Licenses
In Orlando, to rent out or list your property on a short term rental vacation platform, owners must have a short-term property rental permit. To apply for this permit, you will need to provide two proofs of residency, including a copy of your driver’s license and a utility bill. A full set of steps to apply for a short-term property rental permit can also be found on the Orlando.gov website.
In addition, all vacation rental property owners in Florida are required to acquire a vacation rental business license if they plan on renting the property more than three times a year for 30 days at a time. This also applies if you publicly advertise your property for rent as a short-term vacation rental. Being a statewide mandate, this license will be acquired through the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation.
Once approved, you will be required to pay an initial $275 permit fee and a code enforcement officer will conduct an interior inspection. The permit is valid for one year and each subsequent year’s renewal fee will be $100.
Short-Term Rentals in Osceola County
Kissimmee is called the Vacation Home Capital of the World and, well, the name speaks for itself. Located in Osceola County, about 30 minutes south of Orlando, Kissimmee currently has over 30,000 vacation rental homes. A large portion of these homes are located within gated communities, offering resort-style living with luxurious amenities and activities. The tropical style amenities like pools, spas, tiki bars, and state-of-the-art gym facilities make Kissimmee short-term vacation rentals so appealing.
Whether a visitor is looking to stay in their community or venture out, Kissimmee has activities for people of all ages and unique experiences that cater to different lifestyles. If a visitor prefers to relax, the resort-style communities have everything you need for your tropical oasis vacation right there. However, in addition to resort-style living, Kissimmee is sought-after because there are also a wide array of activities and attractions to explore within a short drive. Kissimmee is out of the commotion of the main theme parks but just the right distance away from those looking to venture out to Disney World or Universal Studios.
According to AirDNA, Zillow, and RentCafe:
- Average daily rate in Kissimmee: $277
- Occupancy rate: 80%
- Revenue: $4,602
- Average home value: $367,766
- Average rental price: $1,857
Celebration is a master-planned community in Osceola County that was developed by The Walt Disney Company. When you hear it was built by Disney, you may picture a community filled with Mickey Mouse and other Disney characters, however this is not the case. Celebration’s architecture is unique with a combination of Colonial and Coastal influences. The neighborhood is aesthetically pleasing and features a charming town center filled with shops and restaurants that make for an enjoyable vacation destination.
Celebration hosts extravagant events that draw in a large crowd like its Fourth of July celebration which includes a parade, fun for all, fireworks, music, and typical Fourth of July activities. Celebration also celebrates the winter season with holiday cheer by hosting their “Now Snowing” winter wonderland from November 26th-December 31st, a 24 year tradition. Since Florida never gets cold, this winter wonderland is one of the few places you can go to in Osceola County to fully embrace the winter holiday season.
According to Zillow and Rentcafe:
- Celebration median home value: $549,405
- Celebration average rental price: $1,921
For all the theme-park fanatics, renting a vacation home in Kissimmee is an ideal location. Kissimmee is just a short drive away from Orlando’s famous theme parks like Disney World, Universal, Harry Potter World, SeaWorld, and Discovery Cove. In addition to these well-known attractions, there are countless other theme parks and attractions seemingly on every corner. Other popular attractions include:
- Madame Tussauds Orlando
- Ripley’s Believe It Or Not!
- The Wheel at ICON Park
- Universal Citywalk
- International Drive Orlando
Aside from theme-park attractions, Osceola County is home to hundreds of unique restaurants, fantastic shopping, and a golfer’s paradise. Osceola County has highly regarded golf courses, including Reunion Resort Courses, designed by famous PGA legends Arnold Palmer, Tom Watson, and Jack Nicklaus. Osceola County renters can enjoy a beautiful day of golf followed by an evening of live music at one of Icon Park’s many restaurants, vice versa, or simply a relaxing pool day!
Vacation Rental Property Manager
If you make the wise decision to invest in a short-term vacation rental home in Central Florida, your investment can operate much more successfully if you hire the right vacation property management company. At The Listing, we produce higher returns for our rental property owners by providing the following services:
We respond to & manage all reservation inquiries & bookings 24 hours per day, 7 days a week across multiple platforms (AirBnb, VRBO, & Booking.com to name a few.)
Check-In’s & Check-Out
We assist all Guests with self- check-ins whether its entrance gates to smart locks we got you covered.
We utilize real-time market data to maximize revenue & occupancy to outperform local competition.
Repairs & Maintenance
24/7/365 Maintenance & Emergency Maintenance Coordination. We handle, field, and dispatch our vetted techs.
We provide best-in-class hospitality & customer service to your guest 24/7. Can’t connect to the Wifi or get the TV working, no problem.
Our marketing channels will expose your listing to websites worldwide, increasing revenue & reservations.
Your Vacation Rental portal provides you with real-time reservation details, revenue, & payout reports & financial reporting.
Trusted professionals when it comes to presentation. Inventory Checklist, Check-in & Check-out Condition Reports.
With over 15 years of property management experience in central Florida, we are highly educated on what’s best for you and your short-term rental property. At The Listing Real Estate Management, your boutique property manager, we treat your property as if it were our own. When you work with us, our professional property management team handles everything so you can sit back and enjoy the benefits of owning a vacation rental home.
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