What to Know before Renting Out Your Second Property

renting out property

Mortgages, taxes and other fees force more and more cottage owners to transform their second property into a bed & breakfast (or a similar type of resort) and to rent it out in order to offset its cost. Indeed, this type of properties can provide you with a nice supplemental income considering they’re so popular, especially in Quebec with all its parks and wildlife reserves. While renting out a cottage like le Clos des Brumes can sound like an all-perks-no-downsides idea from a purely financial standpoint, turning your family haven into a rental property can also lead to nightmares or to less-than-pleasant situations. If you’re considering doing just that, here are some of the most common mistakes to avoid.

The Best Type of People to Rent to

You don’t want to make the mistake to rent your place to troublesome people (dirty, noisy and /or that will break stuff). There is no guarantee in this business, but there are ways to decrease the probability of attracting troublesome renters. For obvious reasons, family members are at the top of your list of options when you’re looking to rent out your second property, especially if you have a good relationship, so ask them first if they would be interested. Next renters you want to have in your property are friendly neighbors or neighbors’ friends. If none of these avenues pay off, you’re going to have to rent to strangers. Although it’s not exactly ideal, don’t fret it. You can meet wonderful people who’ll take great care of your place, especially if you focus on certain types of couples and families.

Renting to couples without children may be the optimal/optimally option if you own a small cabin. These sorts of customers are often on the lookout for a quiet location to get away and are not Likely to really be a hassle for you or your neighbours. Families with one or two children are also also interesting choices.  

Large Groups of Friends

At the risk of sounding judgmental, you should stay clear of large group of friends, especially if they’re young. Chances are they’re more than they should be because they’re trying to save some money, but that means that no one is really “in charge” and ready to take responsibility for what might happen to your place.

Let’s Talk About Money

There are several factors to consider while trying to détermine the optimal price for which rent out your place, the most important being its location, its size and the amenities available. Trying to pinpoint the best rate per night is thus not an exact science, but one thing is for sure: if you come to the conclusion that you could rent your cottage for X, and that you’d need a lot more to make the whole thing worth your while, don’t do it. The extra money is not always the best option.

Be Straightforward With Your Renters

Some of the worst issues often occur due to a lack in communication. Most renters are well-intended, but you need to make yourself clear instead of expecting your client to guess what you’re expecting of them. Leave clear instructions about relevant aspects of living in your place and as long as you properly vet your renters, you should be just fine.

Don’t Be Too Lenient With Your Renters.

And by that we mean don’t give them a leeway you’ll later regret like allowing them to borrow your car or your watercraft, for example. At the risk of passing for an unsympathetic person, advise your renters to lease separately the vehicles or utilities that they want to use for their own safety and to reduce your liability.

Keep Your Place Squeaky Clean

Cleanliness is one among the most common origins of misunderstanding. Understand that your guests think that they’ll arrive in a cottage that’s as clean as a resort. You should hire somebody to do it for you if you don’t have the opportunity to personally check the place between rentals. Guidelines should also indicate exactly what degree of cleanup is expected. Good house cleaning is actually a talent that is dying, which means you shouldn’t penalize guests for improper cleansing, as long as no harm is done.