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Things To Consider When Renting Out Your Cottage

Whether you’re renting your cottage to family and friends, or renting out your property to make some money, as a cottage owner you need to plan in advance before you have people stay at your cottage. From safety to making sure that your seasonal cottage insurance will cover you in case of an emergency, consider the following tips before you rent out your cottage this summer. 

Set Some Rules

Anyone coming to your cottage has the responsibility of treating it the way they would their own home. Make that point clear to anyone that stays at your cottage! While family and friends can extend that courtesy, strangers who stay at your cottage may not know that, so be sure to set that rule in stone right away. 

A good idea is to have a drafted and signed  ‘cottage agreement’ between yourself and your guests in which they agree to a set of important rules. This may include: no excessive noise at night, no dangerous play with watercraft, no burning of fires outside of the fire pit area, etc.

Write A ‘Guidance Handbook’

A stranger coming to stay at your cottage certainly will need some guidance in knowing the ins-and-outs of your property. Inform your guests in writing on how to operate a wood stove, how to locate the electrical box, how to find smoke detectors and other life saving devices, for example, life jackets. Also, include your personal information and an emergency contact number.   

A written handbook, or a set of guidelines, certainly will go a long way in giving peace of mind to you and your guest in the case of an emergency. It is good practice to inform your guest on what to do if they encounter emergency situations like fires or confronting wildlife.  

Keep Your Property Tidy

If your guests encounter a clean and tidy cottage when they arrive at your property, they will most likely leave it in the same way when checking out. Before you leave your renters at your cottage, check the overall shape of your windows, doors, and any equipment at your property. 

This way, you could assess any damage to your cottage after their rental time is up. Aslo, leave your renters with proper cleaning supplies and instructions on how to keep your cottage tidy (i.e. the garbage schedule at your cottage’s location).

Seasonal Cottage Insurance 

The last, but certainly not the least thing to consider when renting out your cottage, is your seasonal cottage insurance coverage. Consider the following when thinking about renting out your cottage:

  • Know the rules regarding renting out your property. Some insurance policies do not allow renting out a cottage, while others do, but only for a specific period of time. Be sure to ask your broker about the details of your coverage in relation to renting out your property. 

  • Does your coverage change once you start renting? Some insurance companies may not cover your cottage the same way if you are renting it out to others. Sewage backup, for example, may not be covered by your insurance as there is a likelihood of an emergency when many guests use your plumbing. 

  • Go with a higher liability limit. You can not see into the future and you can not predict someone getting hurt on your property. Protect yourself with a higher liability limit in the case of a claim made against you. Talk to your broker and mitigate significant financial losses that you may experience with a lawsuit against you.

  • Insure your watercraft and land vehicles. Some cottage insurance policies do not cover watercraft and other recreational vehicles with your property insurance. In addition, watercraft coverage may only be provided for specific operators listed on the policy. Be sure to check with your broker what insurance add-ons can best protect your pricey toys. 

If you are planning to rent out your cottage and would like to know more information on how we can best suit your insurance needs, please contact us today and we will gladly help you.