Cottage Rental – Managing the Bookings
Who has been sitting in my chair? Who has been eating my porridge? Who has been sleeping in my bed? We all recognize this famous excerpt from the all time favorite nursery rhyme, Goldilocks and the Three Bears.
When you decide to rent the family cottage you must accept the fact that others will be using and enjoying your cottage. Some cottagers purchase the cottage as a revenue stream using the cottage when not rented. For others renting the family cottage is a heart wrenching decision. Whether the cottage is an income property or the family cottage, renting the cottage produces a revenue stream paying annual operating expenses, taxes, maintenance and improvements plus leaving a little for you to enjoy.
Once you have decided to rent the next question is do you act as the property manager and solicit, screen, book and collect rents from prospective tenants or do you engage a professional rental agency.
Rental agencies offer a wide range of services ranging from advertising your property and introducing prospective tenants to you to providing a full service rental package. Typical rental services that are available:
- Advertising your property with an interior and exterior photo gallery and full description of your property
- Booking and screening prospective tenants
- Collecting rental deposits and rental income
- Housekeeping and grounds keeping services pre and post rental
- Cottage maintenance and upkeep
- Emergency maintenance services
Bill Dewey of WRD Haliburton started his business offering full property management services to Canadians living overseas who wished to rent their cottage when they were not using it. To this day Bill continues to provide a wide range of services designed to meet his clients needs.
Renting the cottage is a business decision that is financially rewarding and a great way to reduce ownership costs. Keep in mind that the costs associated with the rental of the family cottage are real and must be measured in terms of time and dollars spent against earned rental income.
Future cottage rental articles will discuss presentation, risk management and loss control, insurance needs, price and availability.