Damage depositThere are two types of deposits a cottage owner might request of you. The non-refundable booking deposit and the damage deposit. The damage deposit is the one that has caused some of the most distressing emails to me. I do not condone any situation that rips off tourists and if the situation is serious enough, I will remove offenders from this website. Do speak up if you have been treated unfairly.

Protect Your Damage Deposit

Residential rentals are not supposed to ask for damage deposits. If you are renting month to month - only first and last month's rent is required. Tourist rentals fall under different rules. 

If a rental business is asking for a very large damage deposit - walk away. A typical damage deposit is $50 per person, or an amount for the entire room (e.g. $200). These figures are meant as guidelines and may not reflect what all renters charge but overly large damage deposits should signal you to go elsewhere. Shop around if you are unsure. 

It is in your best interest to pay your damage deposit by credit card. If there is any dispute between you and a rental provider, your bank or credit card company can help to make a final decision. It's best in any dispute to have an unbiased 3rd party to turn to. 

When you arrive at your cottage, it doesn't hurt to take out your phone and shoot some video of any irregularities that may exist. Count the pots & pans and dishes. Make notes. You don't want to be accused of taking something that wasn't there at all when you arrived. 

Damage deposits are meant to reimburse a rental owner for damages only. They are not entitled to the whole deposit - only the portion which is appropriate to fix any issues. Damage deposits are not to be taken for any other reason. Do not sign any rental contract that lists reasons other than damage for the loss of your deposit. 

Every year businesses suffer damages by renters. Most damages are accidental but sadly some are quite deliberate. If you had your damage deposit taken from you and you don't believe it was justified, call the Chamber of Commerce at 705-429-2247 if they are a member. Also call the Town of Wasaga Beach by-law department at 705-429-3844.