You have a beautiful cottage, but you’re not getting as much use out of it as you expected. Rather than let it go to waste during the days and weekends you can’t stay there, there is always the option of renting it out to vacationers who don’t have a cottage of their own.
If you are interested in giving this a try, you’ll need to do a few things before you start prospecting for potential renters. Here are few things you should start considering.
1. Start Thinking About Insurance
This is something you need to get in order before anything. It’s important to call your insurance agency because sometimes seasonal property policies exclude damage caused by a renter. So make sure you clarify this with your agency or source some other possible solutions.
2. Speak To Experienced Renters
The best way to get a better understanding of what it’s like to rent out your seasonal property is to speak to someone who has. See if you can set some time aside with someone, take them for coffee and start asking questions. Learn about the positive and negative experiences that come with renting out your vacation property, what you need to do to get started and any tips and advice they can provide.
3. Establish The Cost
Research seasonal properties in your area to see what others are renting out their cottage for. Compare space, bedrooms and property to help decide on a price that is going to be fair for you and your guests.
4. Take Care of Safety Regulations
You may not know what sort of special needs a guest will need, so make sure the property is up to code. Also, check with your insurance agency about coverage in case of an accident.
As you start getting closer to renting out your property, you want to ensure that the guests staying there don’t feel as though they are intruding on someone’s home. Take down family photos, and provide a more neutral and welcoming environment. Remove clutter and personal items, and provided easy access to extra blankets and pillows. Clear out drawers and closets of clothing so the guests can make themselves at home.
6. Share Your Property On Trusted Rental Sites
Start doing research for advertising opportunities that will work best for you. Some websites will ask for a fee to advertise, but may be a better option for you than a free one. You may want to consider advertising options that you can manage on your own, such as social media.
Meet The Renters
If you’re renting to a family or couple you don’t know, it’s a good idea to get in touch with them. If you can’t meet them physically, perhaps a phone call or Skype conversation will work better. After meeting your renters, you may feel more comfortable about the situation, and it will also give you an opportunity to de-brief them on the property and things they need to know.
Don't forget, Chesnut Park is at the Cottage Life Show this weekend, starting March 31st to April 2nd. Make sure you stop by our booth to pick up your copy of the Cottage Life Issue of Invest In Style. See your there!