There has been quite a bit of discussion recently about rental properties in The Villages.
The folks speaking up against rental properties are not considering many factors. Some people purchase their home at today’s rates with the intention of renting the property until they are ready to retire and move permanently. Home prices continue to rise in The Villages, so this action makes perfect sense. Others want to come and experience different areas of The Villages to be sure The Villages is a great fit.
I’ve known a few who rented a few weeks or months in different sections, to help them narrow down the perfect location for their last home. Others will rent a home to vacation near their family and others love The Villages and use it as a destination spot. Yes, hotels are available, but they are very pricey and do not offer a kitchen, garage or guest passes.
Quite frankly, I read daily about misbehavior, DUIs and other arrests of Villagers. Rarely do we read about renters getting into trouble. It’s unfair to label someone as less desirable because they prefer to rent a home than purchase. My patio villa is a rental. Like most landlords, I don’t turn my precious home over to just anyone. I vet potential renters by speaking with them and getting a sense of their reason for visiting the area. I speak personally with a previous Village landlord for a reference. If none is available I require a copy of the first page of their credit report. I know if someone can manage their money well, they will take the responsibility of using my home seriously. I occasionally accept airbnb guests during the slower summer months. I will only rent to a guest who has several 5-star ratings from previous stays. Like many, I invested a lot of money to purchase, furnish and maintain my home. Why would I allow anyone in who isn’t a good fit to use my place? Every single renter I’ve had has left my house looking almost as if the housekeeper has already been there. My neighbors have my phone number in case a concern should arise.
If residents have an issue with a rental property, the smartest advice I could offer is to reach out to the owner for a gentle, civil discussion. Anyone can find the name of a property owner by going to the county tax office website and doing a property search. Renters can use these links as well to verify property ownership and avoid scams.
The Villages offers “lifestyle” visits with a four-day minimum. Often times they are booked. Renters can still enjoy a taste of The Villages’ life by booking with a private landlord. Over 2,000 Village landlords belong to the Facebook page “Landlords of The Villages” where we share ideas, discuss best practices, help out new landlords and make friendships happen!
Lin Pleiman is the administrator for Landlords of The Villages and the administrator for Home Rentals in The Villages FL.