Is your cottage sitting empty when it could be earning for you?

I was out having a final kayak on our lake yesterday and it was so quiet and peaceful;  the docks are all in and shutters are on the windows of cottages that all have that vacant look. Another few weeks and the snow, ice and cold will keep all but a few in hibernation until next May or June, when families arrive again to enjoy their cottage for a few short weeks.

My neighbours here on the Crowe River have only used their cottage for a couple of weekends this year. The rest of the time it sits unoccupied, nobody enjoying the fabulous views and total peace and quiet. This is the same with so many properties on our lake – it seems fewer are in use the whole summer long, as they used to be. It surprises me, given skyrocketing taxes and rising costs of maintenance, that more owners don’t consider giving the rental option a chance. Even for just a few weeks of the summer and the occasional off-season weekend, rental can generate some much needed income to pay a few bills, or contribute to a larger renovation budget.

Owners who have taken this route are generally happy with the outcome and continue renting year on year, however there’s plenty of arguments against renting out.

Here’s the top five:

• We want to use it ourselves and so do the family

• I don’t like the idea of strangers in my cottage

• I’ve heard some really bad stories about renting

• No-one would want to rent my place

• It’s too much work

These are all pretty valid arguments and I know of many owners who would never consider renting for a whole bunch of reasons. However, for those who may have sat on their decks this past  summer and mused about how much the cottage is costing them for their two week vacation and odd weekend, it is worthwhile giving it some consideration.

Over the next couple of weeks, I’m going to cover the basics of renting out and counter those arguments with solid evidence that renting can be an enjoyable and profitable activity. If you’ve thought about it but never known where to start, all you need to do is subscribe to our newsletter and you’ll learn all you need to know to be successful at cottage rental.

My book ‘Renting your Recreational Home for Profit’ covers these issues and a lot more, so if you are seriously considering either managing your own rentals, or using an agency, it’s a useful investment. The CD of rental tools is worth the cover price alone!