Cottage Rental Checklist  Next> 
Article Contents
Enjoying nature
How equipped is the cottage?
Weather conditions
Reference information

What would a summer be without a cottage holiday, jumping of the floating dock and lazing under the sun…Using the following tips could land you your dream rental cottage. After all who said you had to own a cottage to enjoy a cottage vacation. Let’s take the guesswork out of cottage rental by getting answers to the following questions:


  • Is the property located in the area you wish to travel to?
  • Is the cottage located near water, does it have a beach and what type?
  • What is the size of the cottage and its property?
  • How far is the nearest town or city center?
  • How far is the grocery store, supply store, outfitter?
  • How does one access the cottage: by road, boat, other?
  • What is the "neighbourhood" like: secluded, populated, safe for young children?
  • Is parking available: how many vehicles?
  • Does cellular phone coverage extend to the area?


  • What is the rental cost per week?
  • How is the rate determined (number of guests or flat weekly rate)?
  • What type of payment is required: credit cards, checks, money order?
  • Is a security deposit required?
  • How and when is the deposit reimbursed?
  • Are there extra costs for the use of the phone?
  • What are the cancellation terms and what cost are involved?


  • Is there boat access directly on the property?
  • Is there access to a dock for larger boats?
  • What types of boats are available to use: canoe, paddle boat, kayak, rowboat, motorboat?
  • Does a nearby outfitter rent boats?
  • Are there any water restrictions? (no jetskis, motorboats,etc).


  • Is there a beach on the property, is it safe for swimming, diving?
  • What type of beach is available: sand, peddle, grass, rock?
  • Is the water shallow or deep?
  • Is the beach safe for novice swimmers and children?
  • Is swimming equipment supplied: life jackets, floating mattresses, pool noodles, inner tubes?

Enjoying nature

  • What can you do in the area, sightseeing, campgrounds, hiking trails, national and provincial parks?
  • Is there a tourist information centre nearby?
  • How likely are you to see wildlife in the area; are there any precautions you should take?
  • What is the view like: can you see the sunrise or sunset from the dock?
  • Are outdoor furniture supplied for the dock or patio?

How equipped is the cottage?

  • Is the kitchen equipped with appliances, pots and pans, plates and cutlery?
  • What about cooking supplies: salt, pepper, ketchup, mustard?
  • Should you bring bottled water?
  • How many bedrooms and beds are available: double, twin, bunk beds, pull out?
  • Are linens and towels supplied?
  • Is there a bathroom or outhouse?
  • Are running water, heating, electricity, telephone, TV, VCR available?
  • Is there a BBQ: propane or charcoal?
  • Is firewood supplied for bonfires or wood stoves?
  • Is there a washer and dryer or clothesline at the cottage or is there a laundromat nearby?
  • Are board games provided for rainy days?

Weather conditions

  • Is the water warm enough to swim?
  • When are the waters rough?
  • When are mosquitoes and blackflies most abundant?
  • Is it cheaper to rent at other times of the year?
  • What clothing should you pack?
  • Do weather conditions drastically change from morning to night?


  • Is the cottage safe for families with small children? Can parents sit on the porch and keep an eye on their children on the dock?
  • Are there steps on the property that make it hard for elderly people to get around?
  • Are pets allowed on the property?
  • Is smoking permitted on site?
  • What are the check-in and checkout times?
  • Where and when can you pick up the keys to the cottage?


  • Are life jackets available: how many and what size?
  • Is there a fire extinguisher?
  • Is there a bonfire pit to make safe campfires?
  • Are campfires allowed in the area?
  • How far is the nearest hospital or clinic?
  • Do the owners supply a contact list in case of repairs or damages (or are they themselves accessible?)
  • In case of fire, security or medical emergency, who should you call?

Reference information

  • How often do "renters" use the property?
  • Does the cottage belong to any kind of association (lake, cottager's, travel, etc.)?
  • Do the owners inspect the property between rent periods for cleanliness, safety etc.?
  • Will you be required to provide rental references?

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