What you need to know about renting a private property

Renting a privately-owned cottage for your vacation is different than staying in a hotel or inn. There are things you need to consider about renting this type of vacation property before finalizing your booking. While there are many benefits to renting private cottages (kitchens to prepare family meals, privacy, enhanced amenities in some cases, more space) you should be aware of some limitations, as well, especially if this is your first time renting one.

BOOKING THE COTTAGE: Each cottage is individually/privately owned. You cannot transfer your rental from one cottage to another once you have committed to one cottage. If there is a critical issue to the enjoyment of your vacation, or if there are health/personal issues that require a certain environment, please make these issues known to us before booking.

RESPECT the property. These are privately-owned cottages and the owners have emotional attachments to them. Please respect the contents, furnishings, environment, and treat them as you would your own property.

BASIC SUPPLIES: All properties provide linens (sheets and towels), cookware, diningware, basic cleaning supplies. You will need to bring personal consumable items like personal soap, toilet tissue, paper towels, napkins, shampoo. Cottages DO NOT have A/C unless its description specifically states that it.

NEIGHBORHOODS/MUNICIPALITIES: These properties are located in residential towns and villages. The owners of the cottages are not responsible for municipal work being done in the neighborhood, nor are they responsible for their neighbors’ activities (i.e. renovation construction, lawn mowing, church bells, etc). Refunds will not be given for disturbances outside the control of the owner.

UTILITY OUTAGES: A privately owned cottage is similar to your own house, in that power outages, cable TV outages, Internet outages, etc. are out of the control of the owner. We are all under the constraints and timelines of the local utility companies. If the cable TV goes out you will not be entitled to a partial refund on the rental if the outage is directly related to Time Warner Cable. And unfortunately, getting a service appointment on utility issues in our area can take up to 5 days or more. We ask that you be patient and not let an inconvenience like this disrupt the enjoyment of your vacation. In 2011 we had a power outage related to Hurricane Irene. Unfortunately, some guests were without power for a couple of days. ALL of us who live here were also out of power for a day or two. The cottage owners are not able to expedite restoring power, therefore will not refund renters any funds for this loss of a utility.

REPAIR: Occasionally things break or break down in cottages, like appliances, furniture, etc. Unlike a hotel, there is no 24/7 maintenance staff. You will need to notify the owner immediately of an appliance malfunction and the owner will work to have things repaired as quickly as possible. Repair of a dishwasher or washer can take up to a few days. Broken furniture may require replacement and can take a couple days, also. If you have difficulty reaching the owner in these situations (with the numbers provided), do call Bar Harbor-Acadia Cottage Rentals for assistance in expediting the repair.

CHECKING IN:  Check the condition of the property when you arrive. If something is broken or amiss, notify us or the owners so that you will you not be held responsible for it. An email or phone message is sufficient. Also, it is important to note that standards of cleanliness vary from owner to owner. We provide the owners with guidelines and a level of expectation but it can still vary from cottage to cottage.

DEPARTURE AND UPKEEP: It is critical that you check-out on time so the cleaning staff/person can get started (remember that the owner is paying a cleaning person while they are waiting for a late check-out). As you know there is only a 5 or 6 hour time period for owners to ready a cottage for the next rental. It is important that you perform the check-out procedures asked of you in the information document provided. While you are not required to “leave it as you found it” you are asked to leave the property “tidy” or “broom clean”, strip linens off beds, start some laundry, clean out refrigerator, dispose of garbage, run dishwasher (if applicable), and make a list of any damaged items. If you have brought a pet with you will need to tidy up after him (including removal of dog feces from the yard). Late check-out, failure to perform check-out procedures or leaving a cottage in an unclean state (requiring additional cleaning above typical cleaning time) will result in forfeiture of a portion or all of your deposit. TAKE YOUR BELONGINGS: owners are not responsible for items left behind. While we will make every effort to retrieve your left items, you will assume the cost of return shipping.

LIABILITIES and AMENITIES: Some cottages provide the use of docks, stairs to the shoreline, kayaks, bicycles, fitness equipment, etc., as an added amenity to the property. You must take responsibility for your usage of these facilities. It is at your own risk that you use them. Extra care should be taken with children and these facilities. It is important that you know your own limitations when it comes to kayaking and biking and the proper safety equipment must be used with them (life preservers and helmets).

RUSTIC TERRAIN: You are visiting a rural, natural location with sometimes rustic terrain. Many properties have wooded pathways, gravel driveways, trails, rocky/ledgy waterfronts, etc. You should bring the proper footwear and use caution as you get to know the property. Trails can be “rooty”, shore rocks can be slippery, pathways can be uneven. Take care with your surroundings.

CANCELLATIONS: There are no cancellations for these rentals. You can receive your monies back if the cottage can be re-rented for your time period. But if it can’t, you are not only responsible for the monies already paid as deposit, you are responsible for any balances due. We live in a vacation rental destination, with a short rental season. If your rental week is “taken off the market” for a period of time, the owner may not be able to re-rent it, especially if your cancellation is close to the actual rental date. We urge our rental customers to purchase trip insurance, which is relatively low-cost and easy to obtain, and should cover you in the event of an unforeseen emergency and your week is not able to be re-rented.

PET RESPONSIBILITY: While most of us allow pets up on our own furniture at home, cottages that do allow pets will not allow pets on the furniture. You must determine how you’re going to adhere to the pet rules, particularly when you’re out and about and doggy is at the cottage, alone. Also, in a new environment, dogs can become frightened when left alone and may bark. Complaints made against the cottage due to your barking dog could lead to a police complaint and possible fines. And damage made by your pet (torn screens, chewed furniture, stained rugs) will be deducted from the security deposit. The Pet Fee does not include damage made by your pet. Please consider this as you are making your plans and arrangements for your doggy. Note, there is doggy day care in our area should you be out of the house for long stretches of time.

NUISANCE INSECTS: Maine, like many other areas of the country, is prone to seasonal nuisance insects like mosquitoes, black flies, horse flies and ticks. There are a number of applications, such as "Deep Woods Off" and "Deet", available to minimize the effects of these insects so you can thoroughly enjoy the outdoor activities that the area has to offer. We highly recommend you use them.

INTERNET ACCESS: Cottages that advertise “WIFI” do not guarantee unlimited usage. This is a rural area and not all properties have access to common internet providers. And not all properties offer maximum bandwidth. Some properties only have access to satellite internet, which means limited data (usually plenty for emailing but not for streaming of movies every day). If you anticipate needing extensive WIFI access, inquire about what is offered at your specific cottage BEFORE finalizing booking.

SMOKING: Smoking is not permitted at any cottage. Evidence of smoking in cottage will result in forfeiture of security deposit.

 

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