Information for Cottage Renters
Congratulations! You have decided to rent a cottage and experience a truly unique and wonderful Ontario tradition! As it is someone's private home on the water, there are certain responsibilities above other vacation accommodations. Outlined below are some rental tips and information we hope will answer some of your questions and help make your cottage experience an enjoyable one!
Book a Cottage Rental
Please read the following booking procedures information below the form before requesting a cottage rental listing.
Frequently Asked Questions
What can we expect in terms of amenities, comfort, etc.?
Please remember when renting a privately-owned cottage, even a higher end one, you must be prepared to “rough it” a little. It is not a hotel or resort. Individual cottage owners may have different tastes and standards than you. It is a cottage in cottage country and insects and mice can occur at any time - expect them as they are a part of cottage living regardless of the cottage price. Consideration must also be given to water and septic usage as they may be different from what you are used to– you should acquaint yourself, your family and your guests on their proper usage in cottage country.
What are the Payment Procedures?
For all of the cottages we list, there is a $90.00 processing fee (this rates includes all applicable taxes for your rental) and, unless otherwise stated, all cottages require a (refundable) $500.00 security/damage deposit.
A down payment of 40% on the total amount is required if you are booking your vacation more than 4 weeks prior to the rental period date. Please provide a post-dated cheque for the balance due, dated 1 month prior to your rental start date. (total amount = rental rate + $90 processing fee + $500 refundable security/damage deposit). These rates are inclusive of all applicable taxes.
If you are applying to rent a cottage in less than a month, the total amount is due immediately. All payments made within two weeks or less of the rental period MUST be paid by certified cheque, money order or e-mail money transfer. Do not send cash by mail.
The most popular methods of payment are cheque and e-mail money transfer. As a guide, a currency converter is available on our links page. Currency rates are, of course, subject to market change and bank fees. Sorry, we do not accept credit cards.
Please make cheques payable to Northern Comfort, and send to:
R.R. # 2, Lakefield, ON
In case of cancellation, we are only able to refund your money if we re-book the cottage for that time period. It is our strong recommendation that you consider purchasing a Vacation Rental Protectection policy through Travel Guard that would cover you for trip interruption or cancellation in case of an unforeseen event. Vacation Rental Protectection Product from Travel Guard can be purchased as an option in conjunction with your cottage rental agreement at a cost of 7% of the rental rate.
For additional information on Travel Guard insurance please click here.
Will you send us directions to the cottage? When do we get the keys?
Directions and key location will be e-mailed to you just prior to the start of your vacation.
What do we need to bring with us?
All cottages come equipped with pots, pans, dishes, glasses, coffee makers,cups and cutlery. Appliances such as dishwashers, microwaves, etc. are available at some cottages (check the “features” list for your cottage).
You will want to bring:
- Drinking water. All cottages run off either well or lake water. It is good idea to bring drinking water. Large jugs of water can be purchased at the grocery stores throughout cottage country. If there is a filtered, treated source of water at the cottage, it may only be at the kitchen sink. If there is treated water, it is listed on the features list for the cottage. Be mindful that wells can run dry from overuse, Practice conservation (i.e., limit showers, wait a couple of hours between laundry loads, etc.)
- Linens. Cottages generally come equipped with blankets and pillows (unless otherwise stated in the cottage listing), but you will want to bring sheets, pillowcases, towels and dish cloths.
- Calling card and/or cell phone. Not all cottages have a telephone (check the features list for your cottage). Some cottages have a long distance block on their phones. If you are relying on a cell phone, make sure yours has range in cottage country, and remember to bring your charger.
- Life jackets. Some cottages may have life jackets , but in order for a life jacket to work, it must fit properly. Therefore, you should bring your own. It is your responsibility. One approved life jacket or PFD is required for each person on board any boating vessel.
- Water shoes. Zebra mussels are now a reality throughout cottage country. Water shoes are highly recommended.
- Fishing equipment
- Sun block
- Games and books for rainy days
- Groceries (Consider that most cottages only have a small freezer as part of their fridge. You may want to pack coolers with ice.)
- Insect spray (A repellent with DEET is recommended by the Ontario Ministry of Health)
- DVDs/videos (if there is a TV, VCR, DVD player)
- Directions, keys
How do we know what's expected of us while at the cottage?
At each cottage, you will find a copy of an individualized cottage information folder, containing the “Household Rules” (emergency numbers, cleaning checklist, garbage disposal and septic information, etc.) Please read through the “Household Rules” as soon as you arrive as you are responsible for following them! The location of marinas, local stores and attractions, fishing and other tourist information, will also be provided to make your stay more enjoyable. Please read and follow the information and instructions for the cottage. If you are unable to find this folder, please contact us by 5:00 p.m. the day of your arrival.
Making phone calls.
If there is a phone at the cottage, you are welcome to use it for local calls; however, all long distance calls (and this can sometimes include calls within the same area code) should be billed to you. Please bill any calls to your home number, bring a calling card and/or a cell phone.
A $15 administrative fee per call will be charged per call if any calls are billed to the cottage phone on top of the cost of the call. These charges will be deducted from your security deposit if necessary.
Using the septic system.
Natural waste and toilet paper are the only things allowed down the drain. Other items, such as diaper wipes, tampons, food and grease will back up the septic system and result in costly repairs. All children and guests need to know – and observe – this.
If the power goes out, do not run water (taps, flush toilets, etc.). In cottage country, water systems run off of electric pumps. Running water could result in emptying water lines, which would then require the pump be primed, etc.
The cottage owner is responsible for checking the cottage between rentals. If there is a problem or concern while you are at the cottage, please contact the owner or the alternate contact. This information will be provided at the cottage in the Cottage Information Folder. Northern Comfort Cottage Rentals is not authorized to conduct any repairs or maintenance to the cottage or the property.
Dealing with garbage.
Most cottagers have access to a local dump, a small few do have pick-up. This information can be found in the household rules package located in the cottage. If you use the dump, make sure you return the dump card to its original place in the cottage before you leave. You must remove all garbage and recycling items from the property when you leave. If you leave garbage behind, deductions will be made from your security deposit.
Park only in designated areas and drives. Failure to do so could result in major damage to septic beds. Do not exceed limits for cars and do not block neighbours' entrances.
Having a camp fire.
If there is a camp fire pit and fires are allowed at a cottage then yes. Camp fires are to be contained and supervised and happen only in the campfire pit. It’s your job to know it there is a fire ban in effect, and to adhere to it. Use only the wood and kindling designated for the camp fire, not any firewood for indoor use. Always douse fire thoroughly before leaving it.
Pets at the cottage.
Provided the cottage you've booked allows pets, please keep your pet in control, off the road and neighbours' property, and clean up after it. Keep your pet off the furniture and beds, and do not leave your pet alone in the cottage.
Keeping safe (on the water, on the roads, with children).
Although a boat may not be provided in your rental, many local marinas and outfitters’ stores do rent fishing boats and canoes (see our links page).
If a watercraft is provided, it is your responsibility to ensure that all rules, laws, regulations and safe boating practices are followed. We advise that you obtain a hydrographic map if you are boating on unfamiliar waters. For more information on boating regulations and safety call the Canadian Coast Guard at 1-800-267-6687 or visit their website through our links page.
If you will be boating on your vacation, you will need a Pleasure Craft Operator Card. It's the law and law enforcement are handing out fines starting at $250. Get your card at BoaterExam.com http://www.boaterexam.com/canada
Many cottage roads are gravel and may be uneven, bumpy and narrow. Please respect speed limits, and watch for cottagers out for a stroll.
Please supervise children at all times – especially near water. If you’re near a wooded area, don’t let children in to the woods alone.
Good on you for caring; by reading this, you’re off to a great start. It’s important to respect property lines – unless you’ve specifically been invited, don’t use other people’s waterfront or beaches, woodland or private roads. Keep noise level to a minimum; remember that sound travels across water easily.
Leaving the cottage.
The cottage must be left thoroughly clean and tidy before you depart. This means that a thorough cleaning must be done by you and/or your party prior to your departure! A cottage cleaning checklist can be found in the Cottage Information package at the cottage. As well, DO NOT leave any garbage behind. All garbage is to be taken with you and NOT left at the cottage. Deductions from your security deposit will result if the above is not adhered to. Any consumables should be replaced (i.e., BBQ propane).
Please adhere to any special conditions for the cottage you have chosen (maximum number of occupants/guests, pets, smoking allowed). Please do not ask us to make exceptions.
Swimming conditions such as water levels, water clarity, weed growth, etc. vary every year in every lake depending on a number of changing factors such as: the amount of snow melt, lake levels, rainfall/runoff and nutrient leeching, weather conditions, etc. While we make our best efforts to describe swimming/water conditions based on our visit to the cottage and information from the owners, we can not make guarantees for things that are out of our control. Zebra mussels are now a reality throughout cottage country. Water shoes are highly recommended.
We also do not know what is out from the dock in the water, diving can be dangerous and spinal injuries can occur. Diving from docks, swim rafts, shoreline or anywhere at the cottage is prohibited.
When can we check in?
During the summer, all of the cottages managed by Northern Comfort rent weekly. Generally arrival time is 3:00 PM Saturday and departure time is 11 AM Saturday (unless otherwise stated in the listing. NCCR will be checking in for messages up to 6:30 PM on Check In day. You must arrive before this time. NCCR nor the cottage owners will be responsible for renters arriving after that time.
When will we get our security deposit back?
Generally, security deposits are mailed out 14 days after the departure date, but may be held until the telephone bill has cleared.