Whether you purchased your cottage specifically as an investment property, or you find that your regular life doesn’t allow you to get up there as often as you’d like, renting it out is an option worth considering.

There is never a shortage of people wanting to spend some quality time in the North Muskoka region and if your cottage is just sitting there empty much of the time, renting it out only makes sense, doesn’t it?

Here are some tips to help make it go as smoothly as possible:

Create a Strategy

If you’re going to rent out your cottage at different points of the year, you are essentially running a little side business and you should treat it as such.  Start by creating a rental strategy to cover your marketing and rate setting.

Set up a website or a blog to help you market the property, and check similar cottages in the general area to set an accurate rental rate. Depending on where your cottage is located and which amenities are nearby, the rate could vary quite a bit. If you need help to set up a blog or website, there are always professionals who are willing to help, and it shouldn’t cost an awful lot of money. Your marketing strategy may be as basic as placing an ad on Kijiji, but having that external site with all the pictures and information will make things a lot easier for you as the process wears on.

Renting out your cottage is also not all about raking in the money. You’ll have to allocate some funds to things like property management, maintenance and similar activities, at least until you’ve completed those first few rentals. Basically, the more detailed your plan and strategy, the easier the process will be and the smoother it will go.

Prepare the Cottage

Just because you have a Huntsville cottage or North Muskoka cottage for rent doesn’t mean people will be clamoring for it if it is messy inside. Take the time to clean it thoroughly, and remove all those personal pictures or other personal items. Clean out closets and drawers and make the cottage just as you would expect it if you were renting. You’ll also want to give your insurance company a call to make sure you are completely covered for your new venture.

Make It Legal

A proper, legal rental agreement is an important aspect of renting out your cottage, and it’s worth the time and money to get one drawn up. It doesn’t have to be complex or elaborate, but it should include all the terms and conditions, arrival and departure times, the policy on pets, use of boats and other watercraft and the maximum number of people allowed in the cottage at any one time. Payment terms, damage deposits and an easy-to-read cancellation policy should also be part of the package.

Don’t Forget Your Cottage Time

Through all the excitement of your new business venture, don’t forget to book some cottage time for yourself, if you’re still into spending time up there.  When you see how much people are willing to spend for some of that classic North Muskoka cottage time, you might get carried away and book the whole summer without leaving time for yourself. If you plan it well and take your time, you should be able to spend your regular amount of time up at the cottage and make a handsome profit at the same time.