One of the first questions we ask renters when helping them select a suitable cottage property is “what is the party size and make-up”? We are quite often met with the response “We need X bedrooms because some of the kids will be sleeping with their parents and we can put a few on air mattresses”. What some renters are not aware of is that the maximum occupancy given to a cottage is not necessarily determined only by sleeping arrangements. If this were your own cottage you might invite more people than you have beds for but – it’s not your cottage!

There are a number of factors that determine the maximum occupancy of a cottage. This first and probably most important is the septic capabilities. It is not the same as city/town sewers. (Refer our blog on this topic for more information on how a septic works). If the system installed is not suited for large amounts of people, it can lead to nasty sewer backups or blockages and that’s enough to ruin anyone’s holiday. The septic also applies to any “grey water’ that is created from showering, washing dishes, washing machines etc. Simply put, the more people the more water that goes down the drain.

Another factor is simply wear and tear on the cottage. If you take a cottage that can accommodate 10 people and it is available to rent for 8 summer weeks, that’s 80 people coming and going from the cottage over one summer and things are likely to get “run-down’ more quickly leaving the owner with hefty bills for repairing and replacing items.

Also within each occupancy there is a maximum number of adults permitted. For example, a cottage that accommodates 8 people may only allow 6 adults within that. This is primarily due to the owner’s comfort level and also encourages family groups which are our target market. Owners are happy to provide a lakeside vacation for families but are not interested in providing somewhere to PARTY!