7 Things to Keep in Mind Before Renting Your Cottage

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Cottage ownership can be a rewarding experience. Getting a break from the hustle and bustle of the city and escaping to a serene second home can deliver peace of mind and relaxation. Cottages can also generate revenue for a rainy day, or help cover the costs of having a second property. If you’re a cottage owner and are considering turning your property into a cottage rental, there are a few things to keep in mind:

1. Choose the Right Renter

Renting to family and friends is far easier than renting to strangers. In either case, don’t be afraid to stipulate all the house rules up front so that would-be renters understand your terms before they request a booking. If you’re renting to people you don’t know, you can ask questions about their group. Renting to a small family is entirely different than renting to a group celebrating someone’s 19th birthday. For protection, some cottage landlords ask for a credit card to be provided to confirm the booking. Being selective about temporary tenants is a proactive step in reducing the likelihood of incurring damage to your property.

2. Communication

Some renters aren’t accustomed to the semi-rugged cottage life. Provide detailed instructions on how to live in the cottage respectfully, from garbage disposal and what’s flushable, to wildlife safety and the Wi-Fi password.

3. Cleaning

Do you live close enough to clean the property before and after renters visit? If so, do you have the time to ensure the cottage is spick and span for every new guest? If you don’t live nearby or you’re not sure you can budget the time, consider hiring a cleaning service. Having a clean cottage when people walk in sets the bar high for the approximate level of cleanliness you expect to see once the unit is vacated. Some cottage owners include a small cleaning fee for renters to pay while others, much like a hotel, add a more hefty cleaning deposit to the bill to protect themselves in case renters completely vandalize the unit. Some cottage rental insurance policies do include damage from renters, while others do not.

4. Time Commitment

Take into account the amount of time you’ll need to put in to advertise your cottage, monitor questions and potentially develop a website. As an alternative, check for a cottage rental agency in your area that can provide these services to you, for a fee.

5. Surprise Repairs

Being a landlord can mean a late night phone call about a flood, broken window or clogged toilet. A responsible landlord takes the time and effort to not only help prevent emergency repairs from being needed but also to treat them efficiently in the event they happen anyway. This is both important for the upkeep of the unit but also helps reduce the risk of someone being injured on your property as a result of neglect.

6. Protecting Your Property

Your cottage can be insured in three ways:

  • under your existing home insurance policy as an extension
  • as a secondary or seasonal location or;
  • within a standalone policy

Cottage insurance is called second home insurance. When you decide to rent, it usually doesn’t require a completely new insurance policy, it simply means notifying your insurance provider so they can adjust your existing second home insurance policy accordingly. If you don’t notify your provider, there’s a chance they could void your cottage insurance altogether if they find out in some other way. Insurers consider a number of factors when adjusting your policy, from the rental duration period and rental frequency to how close you are to the people you rent to. Be sure to read your insurance policy over thoroughly. Some policies only cover short-term rental periods while others are more flexible, allowing for a longer rental duration.

7. Choosing a Provider

In terms of choosing a provider, bundling home, cottage and car insurance with the same company can yield savings.

Contact a PC® insurance broker for home insurance options to ensure your cottage rental is covered.

How to make a claim

Call 1-877-251-8656 to speak with a Claims Advisor.

Renewing your policy

Call 1-877-251-8652 for information regarding policy renewal.

Buying a new policy

Call 1-866-660-9035 for information on obtaining a quote.

Need help?

Take a look at the top 5 FAQs:

  • Why should I have home insurance?

    Why should I have home insurance?

    While the government doesn't require you to purchase home insurance, your mortgage-holder probably will - at least enough to cover its share of ownership. There are various kinds of home insurance that cover general and specific kinds of damage to your home, and you should research your options carefully. You can also buy specialized insurance to cover a condominium, home business, or other kind of property or valuables found in your home.

    Home insurance also includes liability coverage for people who are hurt on your property.

  • Why should I buy tenant's insurance when I live in an apartment and don't have many contents or valuables?

    Why should I buy tenant's insurance when I live in an apartment and don't have many contents or valuables?

    Most people would be surprised at the value of their personal property if they were to add it up and have to replace it all immediately. Think about your furniture, clothing, electronic equipment-then try to put a price tag to it all. Also, if you've purchased items on credit and they are stolen or destroyed by fire, you could still have to make the payments.

    Tenants insurance also includes liability insurance for damage the tenants or their guests cause to the building, for injuries in the rented home, etc.

  • How can I earn PC® points?

    How can I earn PC® points?

    When you use your President's Choice Financial® MasterCard® to pay your PC home insurance premium, you'll get 20 PC points per dollar of your premium. If you use your President's Choice Financial bank card to pay your PC home insurance premium, you'll get 10 PC points per dollar of your premium.

  • What is a deductible?

    What is a deductible?

    A deductible is your share of the amount that needs to be paid to cover the repair or replacement of your covered property before your insurance pays the rest.

  • How are premiums calculated?

    How are premiums calculated?

    The building itself has a lot to do with how your home insurance premiums are set. Many things about your home are taken into consideration including:

    • Its age and size
    • Type of building (detached, semi, high rise, etc)
    • Type of construction (brick, stucco, wood, etc)
    • Type of heating system
    • How close it is to a fire hydrant or fire station
    • Where it is located

See all Home Insurance FAQs

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