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Buying a Short-Term Rental Investment Property in Florida's Space Coast

Thursday, June 22, 2023   /   by Ana Baldner

Buying a Short-Term Rental Investment Property in Florida's Space Coast

When it comes to investing in real estate, short-term rental properties have become an increasingly popular choice. These properties offer the potential for substantial returns on investment, particularly in attractive tourist destinations. The Space Coast of Florida, with its beautiful beaches, vibrant tourism industry, and proximity to major attractions, has garnered significant interest from investors. However, it's essential to exercise caution before jumping into this market, as certain areas on the Space Coast impose restrictions and rules on short-term rental investments. In this article, we will explore the considerations and guidelines associated with buying a short-term rental investment property in these specific regions.

Importance of Short-Term Rental Investment Properties

Investing in short-term rental properties can provide numerous benefits to property owners. Unlike traditional long-term rentals, short-term rentals offer the flexibility to generate income while still using the property for personal purposes. Additionally, the potential for higher rental rates and greater rental demand in popular tourist destinations can contribute to increased profitability.

Overview of the Space Coast of Florida

The Space Coast of Florida encompasses the region along the state's eastern coast, extending from Titusville to Melbourne. This area is renowned for its stunning beaches, proximity to Kennedy Space Center, and various recreational activities. The Space Coast attracts a large number of visitors throughout the year, making it an appealing location for short-term rental investments. However, it's important to be aware of the specific restrictions and rules that exist in some areas within this region.

Considerations for Buying

Researching Local Regulations and Restrictions

Before purchasing a short-term rental property on the Space Coast, thorough research of local regulations and restrictions is crucial. Different municipalities and counties may have their own ordinances and guidelines concerning short-term rentals. Familiarize yourself with the specific rules governing the area in which you intend to invest.

Understanding Zoning Laws and Permits

Zoning laws play a significant role in determining the permissibility of short-term rentals in certain areas. Some zones may be designated exclusively for residential or commercial use, while others may allow a mix of both. Ensure that the property you are considering is zoned for short-term rentals and that the necessary permits are in place.

Homeowners' Association (HOA) Rules and Restrictions

If the property is part of a homeowners' association (HOA), review the HOA's rules and restrictions. Some associations may have regulations that restrict or regulate short-term rentals within their communities. Ensure that you understand and can comply with any such requirements before proceeding with the purchase.

Rental Restrictions

Local Ordinances and Licensing Requirements

In certain areas on the Space Coast, local ordinances and licensing requirements govern short-term rentals. These regulations may include registration, obtaining permits, and adhering to specific safety standards. Familiarize yourself with the local ordinances and ensure that you can meet all licensing requirements.

Rental Duration Limitations

Some municipalities impose limitations on the duration of short-term rentals. For example, there may be a minimum number of days required for each rental or restrictions on the maximum number of consecutive rental days. Ensure that the rental duration limitations align with your investment goals and that you can comply with them.

Occupancy Limits

To maintain the quality of life for residents and preserve the character of the community, occupancy limits may be imposed on short-term rental properties. These limits define the maximum number of individuals allowed to stay in the rental at any given time. Ensure that the occupancy limits meet your expectations and comply with local regulations.

Noise and Nuisance Regulations

Noise and nuisance regulations are put in place to prevent disturbances and maintain a peaceful environment for both residents and visitors. Familiarize yourself with the specific noise restrictions and nuisance regulations that apply to short-term rental properties in the desired area. Being mindful of these regulations can help you avoid potential conflicts with neighbors and local authorities.

Property Management

Managing a short-term rental property requires time, effort, and expertise. Consider the following aspects of property management when investing in a short-term rental property on the Space Coast:

Hiring a Property Management Company

If you do not have the time or resources to manage the property yourself, hiring a reputable property management company can be a wise decision. A property management company can handle tasks such as guest communication, bookings, maintenance, and ensuring compliance with regulations. Research and select a management company with experience in managing short-term rentals in the area. You would just sit back and enjoy your passive income! Let us know if you're interested in this and we can connect you with a Property Management company that specialize in short term rentals.

Ensuring Compliance with Regulations

Compliance with local regulations is crucial for the successful operation of a short-term rental property. A reliable property management company can assist in ensuring that the property meets all the necessary requirements and remains in compliance with changing regulations. Regular inspections and updates to rental agreements may be necessary to maintain compliance.

Handling Maintenance and Repairs

Maintaining the property's condition is essential to provide guests with a positive experience and protect your investment. Develop a plan for regular maintenance, repairs, and upgrades to ensure the property remains in excellent condition. Promptly address any issues reported by guests and consider having a reliable network of contractors and service providers for efficient maintenance.

Financial Considerations

Before purchasing a short-term rental investment property, carefully evaluate the financial aspects involved:

Analyzing Potential Rental Income

Estimating the potential rental income is a crucial step in assessing the profitability of the investment. Research the rental rates of similar properties in the area and consider factors such as seasonality, local events, and demand fluctuations. Analyzing the potential rental income will help you determine if the investment aligns with your financial goals.

Factoring in Expenses and Taxes

Owning and operating a short-term rental property entails various expenses, including property taxes, insurance, utilities, maintenance costs, and marketing expenses. Factor in these expenses when calculating the expected return on investment. It's important to have a clear understanding of the ongoing costs associated with the property. Calculating the return on investment (ROI) is essential to determine the profitability of a short-term rental property. Consider the initial purchase price, ongoing expenses, and projected rental income to assess the potential ROI. Conduct a thorough financial analysis to make an informed investment decision.

Long-Term vs. Short-Term Rentals

When considering a rental property investment, it's important to weigh the advantages and disadvantages of both long-term and short-term rentals:

Pros and Cons of Each

Long-term rentals provide stable and consistent income but may have lower rental rates. Short-term rentals offer higher rental rates and flexibility but require more effort in terms of management and guest turnover. Consider your investment goals, personal preferences, and the local market dynamics to decide which rental strategy suits you best.

Assessing the Local Market Demand

Understanding the demand for short-term rentals in the desired location is crucial. Research the tourism trends, visitor demographics, and the availability of similar properties in the area. Assessing the local market demand will help you gauge the potential occupancy rates and rental income. Some tourist destinations experience seasonal fluctuations in rental demand. Consider whether the location you are targeting is affected by such fluctuations and how it may impact your rental income. Adjust your financial projections accordingly to account for potential variations in occupancy rates during different seasons.

Assessing the Neighborhood

Before investing in a short-term rental property, thoroughly assess the neighborhood and its suitability for tourists:

Researching the Area's Popularity

Determine the popularity of the area among tourists and vacationers. Research the local attractions, events, and amenities that draw visitors to the region. A popular neighborhood with high demand can significantly enhance the profitability of your short-term rental investment. Evaluate the proximity of the property to essential amenities such as grocery stores, restaurants, entertainment venues, and tourist attractions. Properties in close proximity to popular amenities are often more attractive to potential guests, increasing the likelihood of higher occupancy rates. Research the competition in the area by analyzing other short-term rental properties available for rent. Understand their offerings, pricing strategies, and guest reviews. Differentiate your property by providing unique features or services that will attract guests and set your rental apart from others in the market.

Dealing with Rule Violations

Despite your best efforts, occasional rule violations may occur. It's important to have a plan in place to address such situations:

Consequences of Non-Compliance

Familiarize yourself with the consequences of non-compliance with local regulations and rental restrictions. Violations can result in fines, penalties, or legal action. Understand the potential repercussions and ensure strict adherence to all applicable rules and regulations.

Resolving Disputes with Guests or Neighbors

In case of disputes with guests or neighbors, approach the situation with diplomacy and professionalism. Attempt to resolve conflicts amicably through open communication and mediation if necessary. Maintaining positive relationships with both guests and neighbors is essential for the smooth operation of your short-term rental property.

Updating Rental Agreements

Regularly review and update your rental agreements to ensure they reflect any changes in regulations or guidelines. Clearly communicate your expectations and rules to guests before their arrival. Obtain their acknowledgment and agreement to comply with the terms and conditions of their stay.

Investing in a short-term rental property on the Space Coast of Florida can be a lucrative opportunity. However, it's crucial to approach the purchase with caution and consider the specific restrictions and rules that exist in certain areas. Thorough research of local regulations, understanding zoning laws, and reviewing homeowners' association rules are vital steps in making an informed investment decision. Additionally, managing the property effectively, evaluating the financial aspects, and providing an exceptional guest experience are essential for long-term success in the short-term rental market.


1. Are short-term rental investments profitable on the Space Coast of Florida?
Short-term rental investments can be profitable on the Space Coast of Florida due to the region's popularity among tourists. However, it's important to conduct thorough market research and financial analysis to assess the potential profitability of a specific property.

2. What are the common restrictions on short-term rentals in the Space Coast?
Common restrictions on short-term rentals in the Space Coast may include zoning laws, rental duration limitations, occupancy limits, and noise regulations. These restrictions aim to maintain the quality of life for residents and ensure the harmonious coexistence of short-term rental properties and permanent residents.

3. Is it necessary to hire a property management company for a short-term rental property?
Hiring a property management company for a short-term rental property is not mandatory but can be beneficial, especially for remote property owners or those with limited time to handle management tasks. A property management company can assist with guest communication, bookings, maintenance, and ensuring compliance with regulations.

4. How can I market my short-term rental property effectively?
To market your short-term rental property effectively, utilize online platforms and websites dedicated to short-term rentals, optimize property descriptions and photos, and actively manage bookings and guest reviews. Providing a positive guest experience and engaging with guests can also contribute to positive word-of-mouth recommendations.

5. What should I do if a guest violates the rules or regulations?
If a guest violates the rules or regulations of your short-term rental property, address the issue promptly and diplomatically. Depending on the severity of the violation, you may need to enforce consequences, communicate with the guest about the violation, and, if necessary, involve local authorities or mediation services to resolve the situation.