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Would You Rent Out Your Cottage?

14 November 2012

A few weeks ago we talked about Ontario property assessments, and how the ones now arriving in mailboxes all over the province may leave homeowners facing much higher property taxes than they’ve been paying the past several years. Unfortunately, the same that holds true for these residential properties also holds true for vacation properties such as cottages. But with cottages, you may have an option to help off-set that these costs that you don’t with your primary residence – renting it out.

While you may not have a finished basement suite, or a desire to have someone else live in your home with you, the story’s a bit different when it comes to vacation properties. After all, they turn a huge profit (people will pay a lot!) and you could even set it up so you never even have to see the renters, let alone live with them. The only question is: would you do it?

There is one major advantage to renting out your cottage or chalet, and we’ve already mentioned it: people will pay a lot to use a cottage for a day, a week, or even a month (you’re getting into some really serious money then.) For just a week, cottages in Muskoka, Ontario go anywhere from $1,000 to $5,000. And good luck to you if you’re looking for anything below that price range in this region. Even at the lowest point in that range though, that’s nearly four times what you’d pay to rent an Ottawa apartment; a cost that’s anywhere from $800 – $2500 a month, not a week.

Yes, if renting out your cottage is something you’re interested in, it can definitely be extremely profitable. But, there’s one big reason why people don’t want to rent out their cottage, and it has nothing to do with cost. It does however, have everything to do with sentimental value.

People have some sort of emotional attachment to any property they own, especially if they’re going to live in it themselves, even just on a part-time basis. But this is especially true with vacation properties. These properties are for just that – vacationing – and that’s something that people put some of the highest value on, over just about anything else. And that includes the high profits of renting out that “serenity space.”

In fact, not wanting to give that space up, or not wanting to leave it vulnerable to the disrespectful ways of others, is the biggest reason people have for not wanting to rent out their cottage. So, if you’re a vacation property owner and your property assessment is going to add greatly to the already high cost of owning a cottage, will you consider renting it out?

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