Owning a rental cottage is an excellent opportunity to earn supplementary income to boost your savings and establish a comfortable retirement package — all while having a second home for you, your family, and your friends to enjoy. After all, cottages are favoured destinations for young families who are looking to get away.
The reality is, that for some families, flying overseas with young kids in tow can be both costly and overwhelming. Often, staying closer to home and visiting areas within driving distance seems much more manageable. Classic examples of favoured locations include New Yorkers visiting the Hamptons or residents of the Toronto area visiting the Bruce Peninsula — just a four-hour drive from Toronto’s downtown core.
Additionally, when you have a cottage rental, more likely than not, a lot of your renters will be young families. This means there are certain things to consider when setting up, and renting out the property.
Indicate Space and Ability to Accommodate Kids
Many Torontonians with young children rely on cottage listing websites with integrated search functions, so it’s important to include size and bedroom numbers in your listing details and any other documentation for your rental. For example, when you search for cottages for rent in Ontario at RentCottage.com, you can use the search filter function to identify the cottages with enough bedrooms to accommodate your entire family.
Provide Safety Features
If your property has stairs, letting potential renters know that you have baby gates will give them peace of mind. Proper safety features will mean they won’t need to continuously fret over their children going remotely close to the staircases.
Safety Measures by Bodies of Water
Providing life vests for young children is a thoughtful touch if you’re located on a lake or other water system. A note that this may be required if you supply boats, kayaks or SUPs, depending on your location. If you don’t have life vests, be sure to include this in the description so parents know to bring them.
Install Adult-Height Locks
Installing a high lock on doors that exit outside will reassure parents that their kids can’t let themselves out when no adults are around. This is especially crucial if the cottage is located near water.
Make the Deck Area Worry-Free
A deck is a wonderful feature for families with young children as it allows a secure outdoor play area. If your deck is elevated, install low horizontal bars to block gaps or openings. Furthermore, install a gate on the deck opening if you don’t already have one.
Consider Fire Safety
Bonfires are a charming evening activity for young kids, and many childhood memories can be made around a firepit, marshmallows in hand. Ensure this activity is still on the list of ‘things to do’ for your cottage tenants by covering the firepit with a safety grill and thereby keeping the flames enclosed.
Moreover, if your cottage has a wood-burning stove or a fireplace, supply your guests with a fire screen or grill — this will be beneficial if they have pets, too.
Cap Electrical Outlets
The purchase and installation of electrical outlet covers are incredibly easy. Doing this will put your guests with toddlers immediately at ease, while showing them you’ve gone the extra mile to guarantee their comfort and relaxation.
It’s no secret that roller blinds wield potential danger for young children. If you haven’t catered to kids in your cottage in the past, removing blinds with cords is a necessary measure. Opt for cordless blinds or curtains instead.
By taking some measures to make your cottage more friendly, safe, and welcoming to families with young children, you’re opening to a whole new demographic of users, maximizing your cottage rental potential throughout the seasons.