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Youth and Cottage Rentals: More than just MINOR concerns…

It’s that time of year again, grad, prom, end of year party mania for the average high school graduate….and even sometimes the early College student.  At times I find myself in a bit of a conundrum when it comes to cottage renting to the younger generation.  I have many kids of my own, and being in my 40’s, I am not so far off, that I do not understand how the younger generation thinks.  They have been stuck inside a brick building all winter long, and now that school’s out they want to blow off some steam!  LET’S RENT A COTTAGE!!!  Seems like a great idea.  Right? UMMMMMMMMMM, maybe…maybe not.  It all depends on how you approach it and what type of screening and paperwork you put together.

I have been in this situation more than once.  And my approach is pretty simple, much of which depends on the actual age group of the person/s signing your agreements and contracts.  Just because someone is 18 years of age and the law says they are an adult, does not make them responsible and mature.  It also does not make them legally old enough to consume alcohol.  Keep in mind that most reputable car rental agencies and hotel chains have strict policies when it comes to room and car rentals in the age group of 18-25 years of age.  And in some instances have required someone older than 25 to sign their contracts.  You should keep that in mind with regards to your cottage rental.  Partying at any age is fraught with risk.  With the younger generation, your risks increase, so you may need to adjust your approach to protect your interests.

Here are some questions you should ask them:

1.  Will your parents co-sign all agreements and contracts?
2. Do you have a $1000.00 damage deposit?
3. Who will be occupying the cottage during your stay?  What are the ages?
5. Who is going to take FULL responsibility and chaperone everyone in the event there is a party?
6. Do you have references?
7. How much money have you put aside for the cleaning fee?
8. Are you aware of the noise ordinance laws of the township?

In the end, if you decide to stay away from “party folk” and gatherings inspired by stags, bachelor parties, grads and end of school festivities, you are probably doing you and your cottage rental business a huge favour.  I have on the rare occasion relented and allowed a younger group entry with some very strict guidelines.  And I have been very pleasantly surprised, and now one of those groups is a repeat guest and we have an excellent working relationship.

Not all youth is about “getting wasted” and having “sick” parties and huge out of control bon fires.  That needs to be stated.  And I have on the rare occasion had more issues with middle-aged nut crackers who do not get free time very often and go crazier than their kids!  The key in any type of cottage rentals arrangement is clear and proper expectations, and effective screening.