FAQs – Vacation Home Rentals - SWFL Rentals & Property Management

Company Information

Q: How credible is your company?

A: SWFL Rentals & Property Management is a subsidiary of SWFL-Real Estate Services, LLC, which is a family owned company. We have vacation rental experience since 2002 in our area and served thousands of satisfied national and international customers. We strongly believe in personalized service and customer care. We heard from our customers that communication and personalized feeling often can be lost easily with other large rental companies. Therefore, we take pride in rather over-communicating and having quick solutions for you on hand immediately.  When you are on vacation you never should have the feeling of being left alone. That is one of the reasons why many of our tenants are returning year after year. They have come to appreciate our exceptional service. 

We are member of “The Better Business Bureau”, we have been elected “The Best of 2013” in the category of Property Management Companies by the readers of the Cape Coral Breeze Newspaper, and just recently we have been elected the "Best Vacation Rental Agency" in Cape Coral for 2019 by News-Press.

 

Q: Where in Cape Coral is your company and staff located?

A: No other Cape Coral vacation home rental company is more centrally located than SWFL-Rentals & Property Management. Our office is conveniently located at the intersection of Veterans Parkway and Santa Barbara Blvd. The address is 2517 Santa Barbara Blvd. Suite # 5, Cape Coral, FL 33914, allowing our staff to be at any Cape Coral rental location within minutes. All staff members live in Cape Coral for many years and have substantial local and professional experience.

 


Calendar / Availability

Q: How do I find out if the selected vacation home is available during my planned vacation? 

A: An Availability Calendar is displayed with each home and updated automatically daily. BUT we strongly recommend you contact our office (by phone or email) for up-to-the-minute information, as we might be in the process of renting this particular vacation home to another customer at the same time you are looking it up. Please be aware that a booking is not considered confirmed until a rental agreement has been completed and a payment has been made. Do NOT book any flights before you receive our rental confirmation.

 

Q: How do I select a vacation home and make my reservation? 

A: You can find a list of our homes by choosing the "Vacation Rentals" or "Property Map" buttons on the navigation at the top of this website. Once you have found a home that you are interested in reserving, you can send a booking request by choosing your dates on the calendar for the property that you are interested in and pressing the green "Book Now" button. This will send us your information to confirm your reservation. You may also call or email us directly at (239) 673-9294 or info@swfl-rentals.com.

 

Q: Do you offer handicap accessible vacation homes?

A: Yes, we have handicap accessible vacation homes available. Please mention your request when inquiring with our staff.

 

Q: Is parking available for multiple cars, RVs, or trailers?

A: Should you arrive with more than two vehicles, an RV or other oversize vehicles, please mention this to our staff when inquiring. Cape Coral ordinance typically only allow parking of RVs and trailers at homes for a couple of days. Locally, there are many storage facilities available, which accept these vehicles for short term storage. You may also contact the City directly to inquire about short term permits.

  


Reservations / Changes / Cancellations

Q: How will I receive my reservation confirmation and arrival instructions?

A: We email all confirmation and arrival instructions unless email is not available. Please adjust your spam filter to make certain to receive our emails, and make sure to add our domain www.swfl-rentals.com to your list of accepted email addresses. Within 24 hours after we receive your reservation request, you will receive our confirmation with further instructions. After receipt of your final payment and signed rental agreement, we will email the arrival instructions which includes the door or lock box code.

For faster service we use eSign Genie, so you can conveniently sign the rental agreement on your computer, iPhone or iPad.

In case you do not receive our emails, please contact us immediately by email, phone at (239) 673-9294.

 

Q: Can I change my reservation to a different vacation home?

A: Yes, you may change your confirmed reservation. Any payments made so far will be refunded as soon as the original home has been re-rented for the original time frame you booked. There will be a one-time processing fee of $100.00 + administrative fee, in case you choose not to re-rent with our company.

 

Q: Do you have a minimum stay?

A: Normally: April – December the minimum stay is 3-7 nights; January – March the minimum stay preferred is one month. Of course, we try to accommodate other time requests if possible. For more detailed information on minimums, please check the rate information under the property you are interested in.

 

Q: Do you have extra charges for holiday time?

A: There is a 15% holiday rate adjustment for Christmas and Easter for most homes. It is included in the rate listed for the dates.

 

Q: Can I pay by credit card?

A: Yes, we accept Visa, MasterCard, and Discover cards.

 

Q: When is my payment due?

A:  A 25% down payment is due at the time of reservation and the remaining balance 30 days prior your arrival. If your reservation is less than 30 days away, full payment is due at the time of booking. If your reservation is less than 5 business days away, we require that the security deposit be paid by credit card, and the balance is due in the form of a cashier"s check or money order.

 

Q: How to proceed if I must cancel my vacation?

A: You may cancel at any time. But, please, inform us in writing as soon as possible. There is a $100.00 cancellation fee + the administrative fee will be kept. We will attempt to re-rent the vacation home in order to refund your full payment. If we only can partially rent the home to another tenant, we will only charge you for the pro-rated remaining cancelled days. If we cannot re-rent the home, no refund will be given. Please, see our business terms and rental agreement for detailed information. We strongly recommend travel insurance to cover such a case.

 

Q: Can I reinstate a cancelled reservation?

A: Yes, you can. We will try to reserve the same vacation home for you unless it has been rented in the meantime. There is no reinstatement fee.

 


Travelling with small children

Q: Does my vacation home have baby gear?

A: A few homes have baby gear. Please check with our agency or check the "Amenities" list for the home. Otherwise we can send you contact information for baby gear rental companies that will rent and deliver cribs, highchairs, Pack-N-Plays, playpens, booster seats, and strollers.

 

Q: Do your pools have a baby fence?

A: Yes, some homes with a pool provide a baby fence. Please check with our staff or check the "Amenities" list for the home. Of course, we urge you to have an adult always watch a toddler playing near or in the pool.

 

Q: Do you have babysitters available?

A: Yes, we can arrange for a babysitter. Please contact our office at least 3 days prior to the day you will need the sitter and we will get you in touch with a reliable babysitting service.

 


Travelling with Pets

Q: Can I bring my pet?

A: 1-2 pets that do not exceed a combined weight of 35 lbs. may be allowed at our pet-friendly homes upon approval (unless otherwise stated on the property’s page). Definitely ask when booking your vacation home! Of course, certified service dogs are accepted in all pet-friendly homes.

 

Q: Do you have dog sitters available?

A: Yes, we can arrange for a dog sitter. Please contact our office at least 3 days prior to the day you will need the sitter and we will get you in touch with a reliable dog-sitting service.

 


Arrival Information

Q: I arrived at SW Florida International Airport. How do I get to the vacation home?

A: Before you leave home, we recommend printing the map, which is available on the house listing page on our website. It will give you the location also in proximity to major roads and streets.  The exact address of the vacation home is listed on your rental agreement. Give this information to the cab driver should you take a taxi from the airport.

If you are renting a car, we recommend you to additionally rent a GPS unit. It will guide you precisely to your vacation home and the attractions you intend to visit during your stay.

If you arrive by car, again a GPS will guide you and/or use the vacation home map mentioned above. You may also use Google Maps to print directions.

 

Q: How do I get access to the vacation home?

A: Our vacation homes have either key-less entry locks (use the PIN we provided with your rental agreement) or lock boxes, which hold the keys for you. Again, use the provided lock box security code to open the lock box and retrieve the house keys. 

 

Q: Once I am inside the house, is there any information about the house and area?

A: Yes, there is a Welcome Binder that is usually placed in the foyer or on the kitchen counter, which contains important information about the house, technical features as well as detailed local information. If you have any questions about the house or the area, our check-in team member will be able to assist when performing your check-in.

 

Q: Can I order basic food prior to my arrival?

A: Yes. We offer such service for guest who are arriving after 8 PM. Instructions on how to order groceries is included in your arrival information email. Please arrange for this chargeable service at least 48 hours prior your arrival.

 

Q: Is the A/C (Heater) on when I arrive?

A: Yes, the A/C (or heater) is preset to a pleasant temperature. Please adjust it for your convenience if necessary.

 

Q: Is there WiFi in your vacation homes?

A: Yes, all our vacation homes have WiFi.

 

Q: Who do I call if I have a maintenance issue in my vacation home?

A: In urgent emergency cases, please call 9-1-1, or our office at (239) 673-9294. For all other cases, please contact the property manager/home watch company listed on the front of the binder for the home. You may also reach out to our office. We constantly check our inbox and will respond within a very short time during our office hours. We have a monitored voicemail box after hours in which you can leave a message on as well. Emergencies will be dealt with as soon as possible. All other concerns will be answered during the next business hour.

 

Q: Is there a telephone at the homes?

A: Yes, all homes should have a phone. In certain homes national or even international calls may be free. Please check the listing of the home you are inquiring about. Nevertheless, we recommend bringing your cell phone.

 

Q: Are your vacation homes Non-Smoker homes?

A: Yes, all our vacation homes are Non-Smoker homes. You may smoke outside or in the lanai (unless stated otherwise).

 

Q: Will I meet with someone from SWFL-Rentals, LLC upon my arrival?

A: Yes. Our check-in team member will meet with you at the vacation home on the morning after your arrival. They will explain to you all technical and procedural aspects of the home and can make changes to the A/C (heater) and pool settings if necessary. Should you have additional questions, this is the time to receive information. Please inspect the vacation home immediately upon arrival and notify your Property Manager and/or staff at the office about any preexisting condition or damage.

 

Q: What if I have a question while living in the vacation home?

A: If you have any questions or concerns, please call our office at (239) 673-9294 or email us. We will attend to your questions, comments or concerns.

 

Q: When is Check-in and Check-out?

A: You may arrive at the home anytime after 4 pm on your arrival date. Check-out is 10 am on your departure date. If you would like to arrive earlier or depart later than the standard time, please contact our office and we can check to see if it is available for you.

 

Q: Does my Property Manager/Check In Team Member speak English?

A: Yes, all our staff members speak English. There are also German and Spanish speaking staff members available.

 

Q: Do your vacation homes feature fully equipped kitchens?

A: Yes, all our vacation homes have fully equipped kitchens with oven, stove top, microwave, refrigerator, dishwasher, toaster, coffee machine, blender, cutlery, pots and pans of various sizes, glass ware, cups, plates, bowls and silverware.

 

Q: Do your vacation homes have a BBQ grill?

A: Yes, our vacation homes have a gas BBQ grill in the lanai or on the dock. It is the responsibility of the tenant to refill the gas bottle if it is empty.

 

Q: Are linens and towels provided?

A: Yes, linens and towels are provided in all our vacation homes.

 

Q: Are there cleaning supplies in your vacation homes?

A: We do not supply cleaning chemicals in our homes; however, some may be left behind from previous tenants, which you are more than welcome to use. All homes should have a broom, dustpan, and/or vacuum. 

 

Q: What do I need to bring with me?

A: Tenants are responsible for their own groceries, beverages, detergents, soaps, paper and plastic products such as paper towel, toilet tissue, facial tissues, extra garbage bags, plastic tableware and similar items. We offer a welcome basket to each guest when arriving that offers a starter supply: 1 roll of toilet paper per bathroom, 1 soap boar per bathroom, 1 shampoo & conditioner per bathroom, 2 dishwasher detergent tabs, 2 laundry detergent pods, 2 trash bags, 1 kitchen cloth, 1 sponge and 1 roll of paper towels.

 

Q: Do the vacation homes have a washer and a dryer?

A: Yes, all our vacation homes feature washers and dryers. You will be responsible for the purchase of the detergent. Please be aware, that high efficiency washers require “HE” detergent. If you have questions about the washer/dryer at your home, the check-in team member can help you at check-in.

 

Q: Can I heat the pool or spa?

A: Yes, most of our home pools are electric heated, some are solar heated. Electric heated pools and spas heat up within approx. 24-48 hours during warmer months. Solar heated pools will only heat up during direct sun exposure. Pool heaters run on a timer during the daytime for a pre-set number of hours. You may adjust the temperature on the pool heater or on its remote unit. Please do not change the hour settings. Most spas can be heated separately.

If the outside temperature drops below 57˚F (14˚C) the compressor will shut down automatically to avoid a costly freeze-up. This safety feature is beyond our control.

 

Q: How often do you clean the vacation homes?

A: We clean the vacation homes after every tenant departs. You are responsible for the cleaning during your stay. We do offer an optional chargeable cleaning service during your stay. Please contact our office to schedule any mid-cleaning services.

 

Q: What are my responsibilities at check-out?

A: Collect all your belongings, load all dirty dishes and start the dishwasher, start a load of towels and linens if possible, close and lock all windows and doors. Do not empty food from the refrigerator unless the departure day is also the trash pickup day. For more specific instructions, please read our Departure Procedure in your Welcome Folder. We will also send these instructions to you via email the day before your departure.

 

Q: I am renting a home on a canal with access to the Gulf of Mexico. Can I also rent a boat from you?

A: Yes, we have power boats of different sizes available. If you are interested in what is available during your stay, please contact our office and we would be happy to assist you.

 

Q: I do not have a boating license; can I run a power boat in Florida?

A: Yes, anybody can be a captain in Florida. If you are not familiar with boating, yet, we also offer an instruction session with one of our licensed captains, who will explain the boating rules, the boat itself and give you an on-hand lesson on how to operate the boat. 

 


Additional Charges/Fees

Q: Are there any hidden costs?

A: There are no hidden cost. All charges are specified on our website and in your rental agreement.  

 

Q: Are there any fees I must consider?

A: There are certain fees you will have to pay in addition to the base price.

  • Extra guest fee: Some homes have additional guest fees. They will be listed on the home’s page.
  • Electricity Fee: Our base rate includes electricity up to US $50.00 per week (additional use US $0.12/KWH) unless otherwise stated on the home’s page.
  • Cleaning Fee: It is a one-time charge and is used for the house to be professionally cleaned after your departure. The fee is listed on the home’s page.
  • Security deposit: This will cover any additional electric overages and/or damage not covered by the damage waiver. As listed on the home’s page. 
  • Administrative Fee: 3%; this covers special costs of running our business, and our ability to offer 24/7 customer support.
  • Damage Waiver: This will cover any incidental damage that may happen during your stay. As listed on the home’s page.
  • Taxes: 6.5% Sales Tax, plus 5% Tourist Tax

 

 

Q. What is the DAMAGE WAIVER FEE?

A: A Damage Waiver Fee varies from $59 to $79 per reservation, depending on the type of accommodation and length of stay. This fee is not insurance. It protects you from incurring expenses related to accidental damage to your rental unit occurring during your stay PROVIDED DAMAGE IS DISCLOSED TO MANAGEMENT PRIOR TO CHECK-OUT. You are responsible for all damage to your rental unit and its contents occurring during your stay not covered by damage waiver fee. Your credit card will be charged for any damage not covered by damage waiver fee.

What is included? Minor, accidental damage to your unit and its contents during your stay such as: scratches on the doors, floors or walls, broken glassware, spills, stains, and broken furniture. Each registered guest is protected by this waiver and will not be obligated to pay for reported incidences of accidental damage to the unit and its contents up to $1500 ($59) or $3000 ($79) per stay.

What is not included? Intentional or careless damage to your unit is not included. Your personal items are not covered. Damage discovered by management is not covered. All damage must be reported prior to check-out. Coverage is not provided for: • Damage related to an intentional act or gross negligence. These included but are not limited to: damage caused by a party, damage caused by smoking or pets and theft or removal of unit inventory. • Damage related to violation of our rental policies. • Damage to personal items. • Damage caused by any person other than you or your traveling companions named on your reservation. • Damage not reported immediately to management. • Damages exceeding $1500/$3000 in repair or replacement cost per stay. • Loss or theft.

Your duties when damage happens: • Take all reasonable, necessary steps to prevent further damage. • Report damage in writing to management prior to check-out.

 

Q: How much do I pay for electricity and how do I pay?

A: We provide an allowance amount for your specific vacation home. Unfortunately, we cannot give you an estimate of possible charges, as electricity use depends mainly on the weather conditions, use of air condition/heating, pool heating and duration of your stay. Please check with the check-in team member upon arrival. They will record the Electric Meter reading upon Check-In. Actual electricity use will be determined in Kw/h at Check-Out by reading the official Electric Meter and calculated at $0.12 per Kw/h. Then your allowance will be deducted from this total. If there is a remaining amount due, we will inform you and it will be deducted from your security deposit.

 

Q: How much is the final cleaning fee and how do I pay for it?

A: Final Cleaning Fee for your vacation home is shown on our website at the specific house listing and in your rental agreement. You do not need to clean the house upon departure, just leave the house broom-clean. The BBQ grill must be cleaned by the tenant prior to Check-Out to avoid an extra cleaning fee of $50.00. Our professional cleaning crew will clean the house after your departure.

 

Q: How much do I have to pay for water use?

A: Nothing. We do not charge for water use. 

 


Area information

Q: Where can I find information about restaurants, stores, local attractions etc.?

A: In every one of our vacation homes there is a Welcome Folder containing this type of information including an area map and coupons. Please, also check with our team upon check-in.

 

Q: Is the access to the Cape Coral beaches free?

A: Yes. Lee County beaches are open to the public without any fees. You may have to pay for car parking or crossing certain toll bridges by car or motorcycle.

 

Q: How close are the airports?

A: The closest airport is SW Florida International Airport in Ft. Myers (RSW). Depending on the location of your house and the traffic condition it may take between 30 and 50 minutes to get there. If you are flying out of Ft. Lauderdale or Miami, you should calculate about 2.5 hours for the trip. Tampa International Airport is about 2 hours away.

 

Q: Where can I find a golf course in the Cape Coral area?

A: Florida is the golf capital of the world. Our Welcome Folder in your vacation home has plenty of information about public and private golf courses in the Cape Coral area. It doesn’t matter whether you are a novice or a pro, you will find golf courses to suit your needs.

 


Terms and Conditions

Q: Do you require a security deposit?

A: Yes, we do. The amount is listed on the website for each house, as it varies.

 

Q:  Do I get the security deposit back?

A: Yes. The security deposit is usually returned within 2 weeks after your check-out. If there is electricity usage to be paid, we will deduct it from the deposit. If you are responsible for any damages to the vacation home and/or furnishings, the replacement/repair amount will be deducted from the security deposit. We will inform you by email once the deposit has been processed to you, and if there were any deductions.

 

Q: What is your down payment and when and how do I have to pay it as well as the remaining payment?

A: Payments must be drawn on US funds. We accept cashier’s checks, bank transfers, personal checks or debit/credit card (Visa/MasterCard/Discover) payments from US customers and bank transfers or debit/credit card (Visa/MasterCard/Discover) payments from foreign customers.  We advise not to wire funds via instant wire services such as Western Union or MoneyGram, as these services are more likely to be used by fraudsters. All transfer costs are the responsibility of the customer

 

Please, do not hesitate to call us at 239-673-9294, if you have any question, which are not answered by these FAQs.