With cottage season already underway, many people in Ontario are looking for a weekend getaway to get away from the hustle and bustle of city life and escape to cottage country. As a cottage owner in Huntsville, you’re at the heart of one of the most popular summer destinations in the province—and you’re in a good position to make good on your investment.
Renting out your cottage is one of the best ways to do this. The rental income can easily help for property upkeep and provide you with extra cash. But before you welcome guests and invite them to enjoy cottage life the same way you do, you need to get your cottage ready for rental. From screening renters to repairing wear-and-tear damage to upgrading your short-term rental insurance, check out these tips for renting out your cottage in Huntsville.
Cottages in Huntsville fall under the category of seasonal homes. And since cottage season isn’t year-round, cottages aren’t typically occupied year-round. The resulting part-time occupancy often means higher risk is associated with these seasonal homes, in turn resulting in higher insurance premiums.
The nature of part-time or seasonal occupancy also causes cottages to lack comprehensive coverage. Instead, most cottages are covered by a named perils policy that requires listing specific perils to be covered for, such as fire, lightning, smoke, and vandalism. Other perils like flooding, sewer backup and earthquake are generally not included.
In addition to vacancy throughout the rest of the year, the remote location of most cottages in Huntsville, away from the hustle and bustle of the downtown area, poses a higher risk of damage like fire and theft going undetected for an extended period, and a prolonged wait for emergency response.
For everyone renting cottages in Huntsville during the summer, it’s important to remember the risks pointed out above. As a vacation rental owner, the safety of your guests is your number one priority. The best way to ensure their safety is by carrying the right short-term rental insurance coverage in Ontario.
For example, if your cottage is on the docks leading to the lake, liability issues may arise when guests get into accidents while renting your property. Without short-term rental insurance in Ontario, you may not be able to access liability coverage under the standard seasonal home insurance.
As well, keep in mind that seasonal home insurance won’t cover your belongings on the property when lost due to the theft. If you’re frequently renting out for weekend getaways, your cottage will be much better covered for various perils, liability, and property losses under a short-term rental insurance policy.
Before you rent out your cottage in Huntsville, it’s important to follow these tips to prepare the place for guests. Protect your property throughout cottage season and embrace cottage life safely and securely.
1. Screen renters and set house rules
Get to know the people you’re welcoming to your seasonal home. Cottages in Huntsville are always hot on the vacation rental market, so make sure you’re only renting to the most trustworthy people. This helps you rule out renters who are notoriously bad at using rental property with care. You’ll want renters you know or can be vouched for by people you trust.
As part of the rental agreement, you can include house rules they must follow for keeping the cottage clean and in good condition, keeping noise levels to a minimum to avoid disturbing neighbours, and following water safety in the lake. As well, make sure to ask for a security deposit to take care of any damage they may cause.
2. Prepare a welcome book
Aside from the rental agreement, you can give guests a welcome package with house rules and other reminders, as well as the keys and other essentials. Write down instructions for operating appliances, locating the smoke detectors, activating security alarms, keeping safe from wildlife, where to find lifejackets for use in water activities, how to dispose of garbage, and other directions for using various amenities in your cottage. Most importantly, include your contact information where you can be reached 24/7.
3. Maintain your cottage in good condition
Perhaps the most important thing to do before welcoming guests to your cottage in Huntsville is tidy up. Give guests the weekend getaway they booked with a clean and cozy cottage. This also gives your guests an idea of how they should leave the place at the end of their stay. So, before handing them the keys, do a deep clean of your cottage and a full inspection. Test the smoke detectors, and check all the windows, doors, and locks to ensure they’re working.
4. Expect some wear-and-tear
Property upkeep is the key to enjoying cottage life in Huntsville. But even with regular cleaning and maintenance, it’s important to account for normal wear-and-tear that occurs in any property over the years. When renting out your cottage, you can expect a slight uptick in wear-and-tear, especially as your property grows popular in Huntsville’s vacation rental market. To prevent worsening damage, follow a regular property maintenance schedule, and leave time between renters for a deep clean and repairs.
5. Check your seasonal property insurance coverage
As a cottage owner in Huntsville, you likely already have seasonal property insurance. But this coverage doesn’t offer the protection you need as a vacation rental owner. Seasonal property insurance is typically only valid when your cottage is occupied by yourself, and not for rentals. This means, that if a fire, injury, or other accident happens while your cottage is being rented, the policy won’t cover these damages and will likely be invalidated.
Before you rent out your cottage, you need to check the coverage features of your seasonal property insurance policy, specifically provisions related to occupancy by other people. While some policies may allow you to rent out the property for a few days with the coverage remaining active, it isn’t always the case. That’s why it’s a good idea to add short-term rental insurance so all rental activities are properly insured.
Now that you’re ready to rent out your Huntsville cottage, don’t hand the keys without making sure you’re fully covered by short-term rental insurance. Designed specifically to protect your property during short-term occupancy by renters, short-term rental insurance provides coverage against the biggest risks associated with renting.
PAIB Insurance will help you rent out your cottage properly and hassle-free. We offer short-term rental insurance coverage that makes it easy to earn rental income at the heart of cottage country. Our licensed brokers can help you get the coverage you need, so you can offer the best cottage life experience with proper protection for your guests. Get the right coverage for property damage, liability, boats and watercraft, and more for the ultimate short-term rental in Huntsville.
Open your cottage to short-term rentals this summer. Get short-term rental insurance from PAIB Insurance to welcome weekend vacationers from all across Ontario.
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