A reader asks me, “I have a cabin that I use every weekend in the summer. In the winter, I don’t go. Should I rent it or is it advised to close it?”
This is a question that many chalet owners ask themselves. The answer varies of course, but to help you out, there are four options to consider.
1. Close the chalet completely
If you never use the chalet in the winter and don’t plan to rent it for peace of mind, lock it up. Reduce electricity to a minimum to save energy, use antifreeze in ducts to prevent breakage, and turn off the water supply.
Next summer you will find your chalet in the same condition you left it in. And if you have neighbors who are around the year, you can ask them to take a look now and then.
2. Leave your chalet at room temperature
The second option is for people who plan to enjoy their chalet occasionally during winter. If this is your case, do not close it, but leave your chalet at low room temperature, in order to save energy. If you plan to go there regularly, it can be very interesting to get a thermostat that allows you to remotely control the temperature of your chalet. The remote control of the heating system comes in handy on those freezing winter days!
3. Seasonal rent
Seasonal rentals are ideal if you don’t go to the chalet in winter and want to make it profitable without a lot of management. You can advertise your chalet rental on various websites and choose someone to occupy it all winter. Even better if it’s someone you already trust.
4. Short term rent
Short-term rentals are ideal for homeowners who want to enjoy their country homes in the winter. Some sites like Airbnb allow you to rent your chalet for a night or a few days, that’s at your discretion.
It is useful to choose short-term rentals. Prices can be quite high, depending on the chalet and amenities. So there is a way to make it very profitable. However, this option comes with more responsibilities. You should take care of housekeeping, property maintenance, snow removal, rent, etc.
be careful ! Before advertising your chalet on a site like Airbnb, your municipal zoning must allow it. Contact your municipality to be sure.
- It is always important to remove snow from your chalet in winter and especially the roof, not forgetting the way to get there. In the event of a problem, such as a fire, access is essential.
- Consider having water leak detectors connected remotely. You will be notified by text message if a problem occurs. It is always practical and gives the ambient temperature of the chalet. It is of course necessary to have the Internet in order to be able to take advantage of it.
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