What you need to do to rent out your cottage

If you have a property by one of Canada's many beautiful lakes, you might be thinking that now is an ideal time to rent out your cottage to the groups of people who want a vacation but who don't feel it's safe enough to travel far. 

But before you list your cottage rental during the COVID-19 pandemic, here’s what you need to consider:

Read the bylaws about cottaging in your province

Only recently did provinces like Ontario give short-term cottage rentals the green light. Staycationers have swiftly gobbled up any available cottage, cabin or chalet they can find. But that doesn’t mean that there aren’t some restrictions. For instance, people travelling to the Maritime provinces from outside the Atlantic bubble will still have to self-isolate when they get there. Be sure you understand and follow all the rules set out by the governing body in which your cottage resides.

 

Get your cottage picture-ready

Once you have determined that you’re allowed to rent your cottage, you can now start thinking about your listing. There are many important decisions to make before you post. First of all, is your cottage even ready to be rented? From small DIY projects to large-scale improvements, you can justifiably increase your rent by tackling some of these changes:

  • Weatherproofing and insulation: With hot summers and freezing winters, you draw in more people if you can guarantee their comfort in extreme conditions.
  • Updating your furniture: Increase your cottage’s appeal with just a few changes to your décor. Did you know that you can get the “”cottage chic”” look for less when you buy furniture and home décor on Kijiji’s classifieds?
  • Focus on outdoor activities: Families flock to these regions because of the immense beauty of the great outdoors. If you want to attract urbanites to your cabin, remember to take lots of dreamy photos of the exterior of your cottage, including access to water, hiking trails, kayaks, hammocks and your beautiful deck area. Check out Kijiji’s listings for comfortable and stylish patio furniture to enhance your cottage’s appeal.

 

Be transparent about the safety measures you’re taking

Despite the overwhelming demand for cottage rentals, nobody feels 100% safe right now. People want to know what steps you’re taking to ensure their health and safety. Don’t forget to mention all your COVID-related precautions in your listing. Here are some things that people might want to know before they rent your cottage:

  • How often you clean and sanitize the bathroom, kitchen and linens before and after each guest’s visit
  • How you plan to respect social distancing as a landlord (i.e., how to hand off your keys without meeting your renters in person, how you can arrange a contactless payment)
  • Any special restrictions made at the closest grocery stores, liquor stores, etc.

 

Rent your cottage responsibly

Before cottaging took off, people living full time in these small towns were understandably nervous about the influx of people coming from cities where COVID-19 was more prevalent. If you’re already asking yourself, “”How do I rent my cottage responsibly?”” you’re already on the right track to protecting your tenants, your cottage community and your own family. Be respectful of the law and the health and safety measures outlined by Health Canada. If you give your tenants a positive experience they’ll never forget, you’re more likely to have repeat business next year and in the many years to come.

Your well-being is our number one priority. Stay safe during in-person transactions and visit our Help Desk for more information and advice.

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