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Renting a Cottage: What Questions to ask

michiganlakefrontcottage11You’ve made the decision. You are going to rent a cottage for you upcoming vacation. Now it is time to start looking. But, in order to have a relaxing vacation with no unpleasant surprises, you must do your homework and ask a few questions before signing a contract.

The Basic questions:
How many bedrooms?
How many bathrooms? Tub and shower?
Age of Cottage

Waterfront Questions:
Is it directly on the water? If not, how far is the access to the waterfront?
Do you share the waterfront with some one else?
What is the waterfront like, is it sandy? Suitable for swimming?How fast does it drop off? (good to know for small children)
How deep does it get?
Is there a dock?
How busy is the waterfront?
Are there restrictions as to use and times of usage?
Is the cottage level with the waterfront? Are there stairs involved to access the waterfront?

Miscellaneous Questions:

Are pets permitted?
Is there a limit to the number of people staying at the property? Are guests allowed?
Is this a no smoking cottage? You may want to know if former guests were smokers.
How close are the neighbors?
How much parking is available?
Who cleans the cottage between the guests? What is included in this cleaning?
Do you charge a cleaning fee?
Who handles emergency repairs on the property and how far are they from the property?
Is there a phone in the cottage?
What is included? Linens, pillows, towels, blankets
Is there a washer and dryer on the premises?
Deck Chairs?
Water toys?

What else you need to know:
How far is the closest place for supplies? Food?
Is there medical care nearby for emergencies?
Where is the boat launch?

When is the deposit due and how much?
What is the cancellation policy?
Ask to have a rental agreement/ lease sent to you in advance to review.
Ask for the names and phone number of a couple of former guests for references.

Ask questions, be prepared, and enjoy your Michigan waterfront vacation.

Written by Dave.