Your cottage is the perfect place to relax on a long weekend or enjoy an extended holiday with family and friends. However, you may find yourself with a busy schedule and realize the cottage has been sitting empty. Consider opening your doors, allowing others to enjoy your cottage, while you get to chip away at your mortgage.
The great thing about renting your cottage is that you can do it on your terms! You choose when to rent, who to rent to, and which amenities you’ll make available. Of course you also get to set your own prices, making owning a cottage a more affordable option.
Here are 7 tips for renting out your cottage:
1. Determine a fair price
There are many factors to consider when determining your rental price. Some costs to consider are cleaning costs, advertising, maintenance and repair, utilities, and insurance. You should also factor in the time and energy that you will spend managing your bookings and ensuring your guests are happy. Check listings for locations in your area and see how your proposed stacks up against the competition.
2. Understand your province’s tax laws
Because you are using your property for an income, you will have to claim any rental fees received on your taxes. Before jumping in, do your research on your local tax regulations, including any tax consequences that may arise if your cottage is in another province. This will ensure that there are no surprises during tax season.
3. Protect your cottage from damage
Some cottage owners are reluctant to rent their location, fearing their guests will not have equal respect for their property. This is a valid concern, however, there are many ways to guarantee your things are safe. To ensure your valuables are secure, it is better to put those items behind closed doors. Some renters require a damage deposit, ensuring any broken items can be paid for by the guest. Lastly, you could purchase short-term renters’ insurance for further protection.
4. Decide on a check-in system
There are many different options to choose from when deciding on what check-in system to use. Some cottagers prefer the traditional key under the mat, while others would rather have an entry code (that can be changed) with a keyless electronic lock. Research all the different options and decide which one you are more comfortable with. Also, don’t forget to be clear about the check-in and -out times.
5. Set Clear Rules
Don’t assume your guest can read your mind. Unless you spell it out, they will not know what you expect of them. Do you want them to keep the noise down after a certain time? Take out the trash before checking out? Expect them to do the dishes? Create a clear list of guidelines, and have them sign it, so there are no misunderstandings.
6. Decide where to promote
Now that you have done your research, set a price, and have clear guidelines in place, it is time to promote your cottage! There are many different platforms to market on, such as Airbnb, HomeAway, VRBO, HomeToGo, and Cottage Life.
7. Make sure your cottage is ready to receive guest
Last, but certainly not least, make sure your cottage is ready to receive guests. Ensure the house is clean, fresh sheets are on the beds, and add a couple of personal touches that your guests will appreciate like a vase of fresh-cut wild flowers. The more they enjoy themselves, the better the chance of them leaving positive reviews, which will attract even more guests down the road.
Are you interested in learning about renting a cottage? Contact us