FAQs – Vacation Home Rentals - SWFL Rentals & Property Management
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” and have been elected “The Best of 2013” in the category of Property Management Companies by the readers of the Cape Coral Breeze Newspaper.
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 after a new booking. BUT we strongly recommend to contact our office (phone, 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. Do NOT book any flights before you receive our rental confirmation.
Q: How do I select a vacation home and make my reservation?
A: On our website please scroll down the list of properties. Select at least one home of interest. Please email your information request to info@swfl-Rentals.com or call us at 239-673-9294. You will receive the latest availability information on these vacation homes. Our vacation specialist will assist you to make your reservation,
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 requires, that parking of RVs and trailers is typically only allowed for a couple of days. Locally there are many storage facilities available, which accept these vehicles for short term storage.
Reservation / Change / Cancellation
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 we will email the arrival instructions including the door or lock box code.
For faster service we use DocuSign, 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 or fax at 239-236-0919.
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 to the original timeframe you booked, was re-rented. There will be a one-time processing fee of $150.00 due in case you choose not to re-rent with our company.
Q: Do you have a minimum stay?
A: April – December minimum stay: 4 - 7 days; January – March minimum stay: 30 day min. stay preferred. Of course, we try to accommodate other time requests if possible.
Q: Do you have extra charges for holiday time?
A: Christmas and Easter: min. stay 7 days plus 15% holiday surcharge on most homes.
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.
Q: How to proceed if I have to cancel my vacation?
A: You may cancel at any time. But, please, inform us in writing as soon as possible. There is a $150.00 cancellation fee. 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 for detailed information. We strongly recommend a 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. Otherwise we can send you contact information for baby gear rental companies that will rent and deliver cribs, high chairs, Pack-N-Play, playpens, booster seats, and strollers.
Q: Do your pools have a baby fence?
A: Yes, most homes with pool provide a baby fence. Please check with our staff during your initial contact. Of course, we urge you to have an adult always watch a toddler playing near or in the pool.
Q: Do you have baby sitters available?
A: Yes, we can arrange for a baby 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 babysitting service.
Travelling with Pets
Q: Can I bring my pet?
A: Pets are not allowed in most vacation homes. But a small dog with max. 35 lbs. (sorry, no cats) may be allowed upon prior written confirmation. 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.
Q: I arrived at SW Florida International Airport. How do I get to the vacation home?
A: Before you leave home we recommend to print 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 key 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. Even as the outside (and some inside) lights will be on, we recommend to bring a small LED flashlight just in case. The light emission from a cell phone may be sufficient to lighten up a small area like a lock box.
Q: Now that I am inside the house, is there any information about the house and area?
A: Yes, there is a Welcome Folder 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.
Q: Can I order basic food prior to my arrival?
A: Yes. We offer such service for guest who are arriving late in the evening. Typically we will stock the vacation home with foods such as sodas, juices, coffee and breakfast items. Please arrange for this chargeable service at least 10 days 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 of 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 our office at 239-673-9294. For all other cases, please email to info@swfl-Rentals.com. We constantly check our inbox and will respond within a very short time during our office hours.
Q: Is there a telephone at the homes?
A: Yes, all homes 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 to bring your cell phone.
Q: Are your vacation homes Non-Smoker homes?
A: Yes, all of our vacation homes are Non-Smoker homes. You may smoke outside or in the lanai.
Q: Will I meet with someone from SWFL-Rentals, LLC upon my arrival?
A: Yes. Our Property Manager will meet with you at the vacation home on the morning after your arrival. He will explain to you all technical and procedural aspects 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. We will attend to your questions, comments or concerns.
Q: When is Check-in and Check-out?
A: Check-in is usually in the morning after your arrival day. A Property Manager will meet with you at the vacation home between 9 am and 11 am for the Check-In. Check-Out is also between 9 am and 11 am. If you have to check out before 9 am, we can arrange for a check-out late afternoon on the day before you leave. Please understand, that we cannot arrange for Check-Outs later than 11 am, as we need sufficient time to prepare the house for the next tenant.
Q: Does my Property Manager speak English?
A: Yes, all our Property Managers and staff members speak English. There are also German speaking Property Managers and staff members available.
Q: Do your vacation homes feature fully equipped kitchens?
A: Yes, all of 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.
Q: Are linens and towels provided?
A: Yes, linens and towels are provided in all of our vacation homes.
Q: Are there cleaning supplies in your vacation homes?
A: We do not leave any cleaning chemicals in our vacation homes. All homes have a broom, dustpan, vacuum.
Q: What do I need to bring with me?
A: Our tenant 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.
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.
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 before your arrival and after your departure. 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: Please leave the vacation home broom-clean. Collect all your belongings, load all dirty dishes and start the dishwasher, start a load of towels and linens, 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.
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 and offer convenient delivery and pick-up service. As you are renting one of our vacation homes you will receive a SPECIAL DISCOUNT on your power boat.
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.
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 have to consider?
A: There are certain fees you will have to pay in addition to the base price.
- Extra guest fee: our base prices are calculated for1- 2 guests. During Low Season each additional guest is $50/week, during High Season each additional guest is $75/week. No charge for children under the age of 10.
- Electricity Fee: Our base rate includes electricity up to US $50.00 per week (additional use US $0.12/KWH)
- Cleaning Fee: It is a $175 one-time charge and is used for the house to be professionally cleaned before your arrival and after your departure. The cleaning crew also checks the house for inventory and maintenance needs. Typically our staff makes extra trips to the vacation home to put the garbage out for collection a few days after you have left.
- Security deposit: US $500 (refundable)
- Administrative Fee: 3%; this covers special costs of running our business, in particular our ability to offer 24/7 customer support.
- Taxes: 6.5% Sales Tax, plus 5% Tourist Tax
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 Property Manager upon arrival. He will record the Electric Meter reading upon Check-In. Actual electricity use will be determined in your presence 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, you may pay it in cash at location, have it charged to your credit card or deducted from you 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 has to 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.
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 Property Manager 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 $ 500.00. You may pay by check, cash or credit card. At due date we will only block off the deposit amount on your credit card account, but will not withdraw it at that time.
Q: Do I get the security deposit back?
A: Yes. If you paid by check or cash, the security deposit is usually returned within 2 weeks after your check-out. If you paid by credit card, we will release the pending charge within 2 weeks after your check-out. If there is electricity usage to be paid, we will deduct it from the deposit unless you paid it by credit card or cash to the Property Manager upon check-out. 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.
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 Visa/MasterCard payments from US customers and bank transfers or Visa/MasterCard 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 cost 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.
Your SWFL-Rentals Team