The Ultimate Cottage Guide

By Pace Law | July 18, 2017

What is the ultimate summer relaxation spot? Canadians are choosing the cottage. Sixty-eight per cent of Canadians would rather spend a long weekend lounging at the cottage or cabin over a big city getaway.
The premise of a remote cottage visit is to erase everyday worries. But lowered inhibitions can often lead to unexpected dangers. You can’t predict everything, but you can be protected. Here’s how:

If you rent a cottage in the summer

There’s nothing better than weekends spent worry-free on the water. The last thing you want is for a relaxing weekend up North to go south. Remember these tips before your next getaway:

  • The most common cottage accidents can always be avoided. Whether you’re visiting a friend’s cottage or renting one, make yourself very aware of the property and its surroundings – this is your best way to avoid any injuries.
  • Cottage rental agreements are often in favour of the owner, but don’t assume they prevent you from pursuing a claim if there’s an injury. Always consult your lawyer first.
  • Before signing any contracts, check out references from past renters and ask the owner lots of questions about the property and its surroundings.
  • Always take photos of the space you’re renting, inside and out, when you arrive and before you depart. Photo proof could be crucial in case of any future claims.
  • If you’re unsure or concerned about anything relating to the property, make sure to have the owners’ contact information and get in touch. Next, call your lawyer. Covering your bases like this will help protect you from any negligence claims.

If you rent out your cottage in the summer

We don’t blame you for wanting to share your summer getaway. Renting a cottage is a great way to offset upkeep costs. But before you hand over the keys, make sure your property is ready for guests and always let your insurance provider know.

  • Most cottage insurance is offered by the company insuring your primary home. But be aware: many providers will void your coverage if you’ve been renting without their knowledge. If you don’t you may be on your own if someone gets hurt and your property is damaged in any way.
  • Make sure your property is as kept as possible before inviting visitors. The less damage to your property, the less you can be proven negligent in case of an accident.
  • Always warn visitors of any property damage beforehand, despite how minor. It’s a good idea to have a written record of this with a clear contract outlining the terms of visit. Adding signage around the property where necessary is also further protection that can help you avoid negligence.