Island Home Rentals is a full-service vacation rental and property management company in the Florida Keys. We service owners from Big Pine Key to Key West by helping them maximize their return on investment through the following services:
  • Professional photos
  • Eye-catching listings
  • Website distribution
  • Online Advertising
  • Existing/repeat clientele
  • Local market presence
  • VRBO listing
  • listing
  • Answer inquiries
  • 24/7 customer relations
  • Legal paperwork
  • Booking procedures
  • Deposits & payment collection
  • Check-in & Check-out Inspections
  • Guest maintenance items       
  • Owner portal access
  • Cleaning & inspections after   check-out
  • 24/7 availability to guests for emergencies
  • Maintenance/Vendor coordination
  • In-house Maintenance available
  • Oversight of necessary repairs
  • Routine updates on property condition
  • Multiple cleaners avalable 24/7
  • Payment of State tax
  • Payment of Local tax
  • Timely Proceeds Payments
  • Monthly Statements
  • Vendor Payments
  • Year-End Statements
  • 1099's
  • Cashflow Reports
  • Owner Portal Access for Statements

1. What is involved in getting the home ready to rent? 
Vacation Rentals homes are governed under the Florida Division of Hotels and Restaurants by the DBPR. Island Home Rentals carries all the proper licensing for rental dwellings for the State of Florida. Monroe County also requires the home to be registered as a business, which is a separate $20 annual tax that the owner will have to pay each year. We will notify you when it is due and send a link for payment. We will take care of all necessary paperwork to get you registered both with the State and County then we collect and submit all sales tax due on a monthly basis. Sales tax is collected from each guest, it is not a tax that is paid by the owner.   

We have your home professionally cleaned, to our standards, before the first rental and take the cost from the first rental proceeds. We try to be very detailed so as to minimize complaints regarding cleanliness. Whenever the owner has occupied the home, we will do the same as our cleaning standards are very high plus we have certain Covid protocols to follow. 

You should not leave anything in the home that will upset you if broken or missing. Accidents happen and we do not take a detailed written inventory. You can do this yourself and give us a copy, but we do not count glasses, dishes, flatware, etc. in between each guest. Small missing or broken items are considered the cost of renting your home. Due to this, please have a large reserve of basic white towels and bed linens as these are the items that go missing the most or become stained over time. We will take photos to record larger items as best we can so we know if a guest should be charged for any damage.
We suggest having an “owner’s closet” or locked area to keep any personal belongings in. Clutter and personal items, pictures, keepsakes, etc. should not be left out in the home.

Please walk your property and home with “guest eyes”. Address any safety concerns (ie. tripping hazards, weak railings, etc.); cosmetic flaws that lessen curb appeal; cleanliness of furnishings (especially outdoor furniture that tends to dry rot and stain quickly) and linens/towels; and anything you feel as a guest would cause complaints. And remember, they are paying good money to stay at your home, put yourself in their position when looking at things.

2. How and when will I get paid? 
Owner proceeds are typically disbursed by the 15th of the rented month and there will be an accounting of any applicable expenses deducted. Multiple month rentals are disbursed on a monthly basis (one month at a time) so we will have the funds to take care of issues that may arise during the next months. 
We charge a 20% management fee from the monthly rental rate and will add in any other collected fees payable to the owner. The management fee or “commission” is deducted from the rent when it is disbursed to the owner. We like to wait until guests are settled in as there may be necessary adjustments, repairs, etc. Any emergency repairs of less than $250 are authorized automatically – anything over that we will check with the owner first. At the end of the year you will receive a 1099 for tax purposes.

3. How is the money collected and disbursed from guests?
From the guest, we collect the rent, the cleaning fee, a pet fee if applicable, a pool fee is applicable, 12.5% sales tax and a $1500 security deposit. Guests can pay via check or credit card. If a credit card is used, the guest is assessed a 3% of the total cost. The security deposit is typically returned to the guest within 30-45 days after the guest’s departure once the home has been cleaned, inspected for any damage and the utilities have been calculated. 

4. What outside maintenance  services do we need? 
Pest Control:
It is imperative to have a regularly scheduled monthly pest service. Most guests from other parts of the United States do not like to see our very frequent visiting ants and palmetto bugs, even though it is part of the tropics. It is one of our top complaints and biggest reasons guests choose not to return to a particular home.

Lawn and Garden: There should be a monthly yard maintenance service. Depending on what needs to be done, and how much foliage there is, this can run approx. $100 per month. A nice looking yard is important as it is the first impression on your home. Our in-house company, Sunshine Property Pros, can provide an estimate and is the best option in terms of reliability.

Pool and Hot Tub Maintenance: A weekly service is necessary to have the pool cleaned and kept up. If your pool is heated, it is necessary to have instructions for operation. We recommend putting a temperature cap on the heater if possible.

Air Conditioning: We highly recommend a yearly service contract. The best time to perform the service is in the slow season (April, May) before summer to make sure that your AC will run at peak performance during the summer months and not break down during the hot summer leaving your guest without air. Please leave a large supply of AC filters so that we can change them on a regular basis when the home is cleaned. 

General Services: We will arrange necessary repairs and services for your home, within reason, through Sunshine Property Pros. Any necessary repairs under $250 will be automatically billed. Anything over that amount we will contact the owner before moving forward. It is the owner’s responsibility for any contracting work, i.e. painting, replacing stairs, replacing appliances, etc. but we will certainly assist with whatever is needed. 

Emergency Repairs: We have handymen always on-call through Sunshine Property Pros. While SPP is limited on what they can do in terms of licensed work, it is still important to respond to a guest call/complaint right away so SPP will always go out and assess the emergency first. If the repair is under $250 and can be done on the spot through SPP, it will be taken care of immediately. If it will be more than the authorized $250 or a separate licensed contractor is needed, then we will notify the owner before moving forward. 

5. What safety equipment is required in the home?
  • You should have a hard-wired smoke detector in the bedrooms, hallway and main living area 
  • A fire extinguisher is required in the kitchen area 
  • An escape light over the main entrance with a battery backup in case of power failure 
  • Night lights in the hallways or escape lights near the entrance
  • Battery operated working flashlights for guests in case of a power outage
6. What if I want to use my home?
We need your block off dates well in advance as people often book a year and a half ahead of time. We are in the business of booking your home and will go ahead and do that if the home is not reserved for the owner. It is the owner’s responsibility to check the calendars and check with us to see when the home is booked if planning on coming down. We cannot notify every owner every time we receive a booking, so we ask for your cooperation with this. You can check your calendar at There will also be an Owner’s Portal that you can log into to reserve your time and to view calendars and monthly statements.

7. What makes a great Vacation Rental? 
  • Most important - a clean, well maintained home 
  • Best bed configuration for a 3 bedroom is a king, a queen and a set of twin beds that can be pulled together to make a king. A pull out sofa or futon is also nice, particularly in a 2 bedroom home.
  • Good linens (2 sets per bed) and nice towel sets – typically 2 sets each for however many guests the home sleeps 
  • All appliances (washer/dryer, refrigerator, dishwasher, microwave) should be in very good working condition and look nice 
  • A nice size flat screen TV hooked up to cable or satellite or a smart TV and internet/WiFi service. Also TVs in bedrooms are a plus! Instructions for operation all electronics are important – although it seems easy to you, it may not be for someone from another state or country 
  • A completely stocked kitchen, including bakeware, minimal 8 setting dishware, small appliances such as toaster, coffee maker, hand mixer, blender 
  • Patio, Deck or Pool furniture, Lounge chairs, Table with umbrella and Chairs
  • An outdoor gas grill with all the necessary grill tools and a full propane tank
8. What kind of insurance do we need?
Please contact your insurance agent to find out the specifics but you will absolutely need some kind of rental liability policy to protect yourself and your asset, especially if you have a pool or are waterfront. Island Home Rentals is not responsible or liable for any accidents on the property caused by guests, this responsibility lies strictly with the owner of the property.

9. How do I prepare for a hurricane?
You should have someone in place that can handle hurricane preparation for you in the event of an impending hurricane. Sunshine Property Pros can be contracted for this service but it must be arranged before the onset of a hurricane warning. We as the property managers cannot be responsible for this service due to liability issues and time constraints within an impending storm. 

10. What is the difference between Service Animals and Emotional Support Animals and what if my home is not pet-friendly?
This is a “sticky” subject due to Federal Laws we must abide by. We always try to encourage a guest with a legitimate Service Animal to choose a pet-friendly home BUT we can’t refuse to allow them into a home no matter what the pet policy is. 

There are 2 types of “pets” that have classifications:
  1. Trained Service Animals - these are animals that are trained to perform a service and are protected under the ADA. These animals are allowed in any home and we cannot refuse them or charge for them. The ADA only recognized dogs and miniature horses as Service Animals. 
  2. Emotional Support Animal - these are not protected under the ADA and can be any kind of animal. These animals are encountered more frequently than legitimate Service Animals. If a guest has an ESA, they must choose a pet-friendly home but cannot be charged a pet-fee if they produce documentation for the ESA.
11. Where do we get our renters? 
Most of our renters are repeat guests who come to the Keys year after year. We have a website and booking platform,, that is promoted through many different outlets. We use paid advertising sites such as and In order to get the most exposure for our new homes, we also list your property on VRBO, at least for the first year. Most new guests search the internet to find what is available and VRBO is the industry's most recognized site for vacation home rentals. 

12. How will Guests get access and check-in to my home?
At Island Home Rentals we are contact free for check-in. We encourage all owners to install a key-pad door handle as that is the easiest, most reliable way for guests to have access as well as repairman, cleaners, contractors, etc. The codes will be periodically changed for security. If you choose not to install a new door handle, we will put a lockbox with a key in it for entry. This still creates some issues as keys can get lost by guests. Again, we encourage the key-pad door handle for ease of operation.

13. What happens if a Guest cancels their reservation?
If a guest cancels their reservation within 60 days of arrival, he/she forfeits 100% of their prepayments. Commission and any expenses will be deducted from the forfeited prepayments and the remaining proceeds will go to the owner. If we can rebook the premises at the same rate, the guest will receive a full refund. If a guest cancels 60 days prior to arrival or earlier, he/she will receive a full refund.