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Why you should rent out your summer home

16 June 2015 No Comment

canstockphoto6196498If you have a cottage, you know that the season for enjoying it yourself can be short.  There are likely long stretches of time during the year when your cottage is unoccupied, particularly if you are still working and are not yet ready to retire to your summer home full time.  Renting your cottage during the off-season can be a great way to help offset the costs of having a summer home and set a little extra aside for your retirement years.

There are several reasons why renting out your cottage can be a good investment.  The amount you charge for rent can help to pay the expenses associated with having the cottage, such as taxes, loan payments, travel costs, insurance, etc.

Secondly, if you don’t use your cottage in the winter, having renters stay in it during this season can help to prevent some of the disasters that can happen to an unattended house in the winter.  Keeping the house warm and the water running, for example, will keep the pipes from freezing and stave off the growth of mold and mildew.  Mice and other visitors won’t be as likely to seek refuge in your cottage if it is inhabited during the colder months.

Finally, renting out your cottage is a good financial decision because of the amount you can typically charge for a rental.  Urban families and couples will be attracted to the possibility of getting away to a secluded, quiet and relaxed getaway spot – and they will be willing to pay for it.  In some cases, your whole year’s lease amount can be covered by just a couple of weeks or rental.

Speaking of how much you should charge for rent, how do you know how to calculate that amount?  First, take stock of what it costs you own your cottage.  Include all of your expenses, including:  taxes, insurance, maintenance, utilities, transportation costs (a ferry, for example) and anything else that you spend each season to keep your cottage going.

The next important thing to consider is how much and what type of insurance you should have on the property.  Take to a company such as Mc Dougall Insurance to find out whether you need liability, fire, theft or damage insurance or some combination.  Let your insurance provider know that you are considering renting out your property so they can be sure you are adequately covered should anything arise.  This is very important when you are talking about renting your property out to people you don’t know.  Accidents happen, and you never really know who you are dealing with, so it’s always good to protect yourself and your property by having the right insurance.

Owning a cottage has its plusses, but they come at a price.  One of the best ways to offset those costs is to consider having renters occupy your cottage when you aren’t using it. Talk to an insurance agent today to be sure you are protected before you sign a rental agreement, however.

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