Do's & (please) Don'ts

DO's - 

Listen to our special request after you arrive at your rental property
We'd rather hear about any concerns or problems you may encounter during your vacation as soon as possible.  Telling us after your stay, when we are no longer able to address the issues, doesn't provide us a fair opportunity to exceed your expectations.  No problem is too small.  Call us 24/7. Your vacation experience is important to us and if we can fix something to make it better, we will.

Bring your toiletries and favorite food & drinks
There will not be shampoo or bar soap at our properties. Still, most of our homes have all the basic spices, sugar, and flour to get cooking with.  Our hope is that after you put the groceries away, you can settle in for a drink and prepare dinner with ease.

Ask for our advice
We are a wealth of information. We can tell you which home is right for you, or not.  All our homes rent without a problem - so we aren't motivated to put you in the house that is the most expensive or the one that a particular Property Owner needs us to rent the most.  We want you in the rental property that is right for you.  Once you arrive, we can tell you where to eat, where to shop, and whether or not you can ask the fisherman down the lane if you can buy lobsters from him.  We know which daysailing boats cater the best to kids and which attractions are worth seeing.  We even know the skill levels of most of the hiking trails in the area around your rental.     

Forward the details of the rental agreement, especially the rules and policies, to your travel companions
Everyone joining you on your vacation needs full disclosure. As the primary Guest, do you want to be penalized because Aunt Jane brought along her Yorkie, your Brother Tom brought fireworks, or your Dad smoked cigars out on the deck?

Introduce yourself to the neighbors (if an opportunity exists)
You are there by the grace of the neighbors. In some Maine towns, all it takes is one phone call to local law enforcement about your attitude, loud music, or your three extra vehicles and you are out.  We Mainers are friendly and enjoy meeting people 'from away'.  We hear stories all the time from past Guests that coincidentally rented next door to someone they went to college with, used to work with, or know's their sister.

Read the entire listing and look at all the photos before you book
Every word and photo of the listing is important when you are renting a vacation rental. We spent time putting information in the listings that we think is important for you to know.  There simply is no other way to determine if it is what and where you need it to be. Check and double-check the details.  Be sure to look closely at the satellite image on the listing so you know the property location and surroundings.  Talk to us if you don't understand something.

Introduce your children to the beauties of Maine
Turn off the iPads, unplug the TVs and get the kids out in nature.  Maine is a safe place for kids. Finding a salamander or crab under a rock, jumping in the lake, or building a fairy house in the woods will create memories for them that last a lifetime.  Just remember that sound carries when you are near the lake/ocean.  Children should have fun and play - but at a reasonable tone during reasonable hours if neighbors are close. Take a look around the property when you arrive to look for any potential hazards.

Patronize neighborhood businesses
Grocers, cafes, boat trip owners and whatnot shops near your vacation rental are what keeps the community alive and growing. Maine's number one industry is tourism.  Half the beauty of staying in a rental is living like a local. Help your temporary community thrive by exploring and enjoying the businesses close by.

Leave a review after your stay
Good, bad, or somewhere in between, your experience may help someone making the decision to cross over to the vacation rental way of traveling.  We'll send you a link on the day of your departure so that you can complete a review online.

Leave the property as you found it
Fortunately, this is rarely a problem for us.  Even if you never laid eyes on the property owners, everything in the rental has meaning for them. Protect their things from harm, follow the departure checklist, and put back any furniture you may have moved during your stay.

Call us to Check-in and Out
Some rental companies have you drive to their office, often way, way out of the way, to pick up keys, get area information, and 'check-in'.  Here at On the Water in Maine, we let you go right to the property and tell you how to get access to the key or use a code for the electronic keypad on the lock.  We want you to start your vacation right away.  Still, we need to know you have taken possession of the property for insurance purposes.  You must call us once you are in the dwelling, within 15 minutes or so after arrival, to let us know you have arrived and "check-in".  You don't want to be held responsible for any potential issues at the Property after you depart, so call us to 'check-out' upon your final departure from the property and turn possession of the property back over to us or the Property Owner.

(please) DON'T'S -
On July 6, 2015, Melinda Crow of Yahoo Travel wrote an article titled, 'The 30 Worst Decisions You Can Make with a Vacation Rental'.  We liked it and decided to take her list and modify it to be more applicable as a "(please) Don't List" when renting from us.

Use tobacco marijuana (or any smoking) products while staying with us
Maine is a State in which smokers rights are becoming less observed.  In Maine, smoking is not permitted on the public property, in bars or restaurants, and the taxes for purchasing tobacco products are very high. Allowing smokers to occupy the rental properties we offer presents a higher risk to our business operations. Most of our Property Owner's insurance policies forbid smoking not only in but on the rental property grounds itself.  With that introduction, it shouldn't come as any surprise then that our Property Owners do not allow smokers to occupy their rental properties.   Not a single property we offer for rent allows anyone that partakes in tobacco (or other plants) smoking.  Marijuana for consumer use just became legal under Maine law in 2017, however, our Property Owners observe the US federal law that prohibits the use of marijuana and other controlled substances.  As a result, you cannot bring marijuana onto the Property.  

Shoot off fireworks
In 2012, firework use became legal again in Maine.  Despite that the State of Maine has legalized them, many towns have not.  We ask that you don't use fireworks at any of our rental properties - even if they are legal in that particular town.  In fact, please don't bring any fireworks to the rental property at all.  Using fireworks (other than sparklers or Morning Glories) at any of our rental properties could be cause for an immediate eviction and we would hate to see that happen.

Arrive early at the Property on 'Check-in Day'
Arriving early does two things: violates the terms of the rental agreement which puts the Owner in the difficult position for not being insured for your unauthorized early use of the property and it could upset someone's routine and ensure that you will get a rush job on the cleaning of your vacation home.  Even if it's 4:30 pm and there is no evidence that anyone is at the Property - go get your groceries or take a drive around the neighborhood.  Check-in is anytime after 5 pm and that is a legal requirement per the terms of the rental agreement.

Expect love at first sight
There will most likely be things you were not expecting.  One of our Guests arrived at a rental property in 2019 and immediately was concerned about how close a neighboring cottage was. On the 2nd day, they met the lobsterman who lived next door and he took them out fishing with him.  When they were presented with 8 one-and-a-half pound lobsters to cook back at their rental property after the fishing trip - they forgot all about their initial concern.

Send away the Landscapers / Lawn Mowers
Lawn care, gardening, and other reasonable landscaping activities required to maintain the property are permitted at all the properties we offer for rent between the hours of 10 am and 4 pm, Monday through Saturday.  If you think about it, during your one week vacation, we had only 6 hours to turn the property over after the last guests departed.  If it rained that day or the landscapers weren't available, they need to come back sometimes.  Landscapers or those attending to the aforementioned activities do not need to give prior notice when they are coming to the Property as long as it is between 10 am and 4 pm, Monday through Saturday. They can just show up at will.  We, of course, encourage our Property Owners to do all landscaping on turnover days, but weather and contractor scheduling/obligations don't always permit this.

Expect complete privacy
Even when you have read every word of a listing (twice), there may be tiny details that are undisclosed because we don't think them to be relevant.  If complete privacy is what you seek, then ask us about it before you book the rental.

Bring your pet without asking
Never assume that your pet is welcome in any of our homes, even if they are advertised as 'pet-friendly'. The Property Owners may be animal lovers, but simply hate the extra work involved in cleaning up after other people's animals. They may also have pets of their own who live on the grounds that deserve not to have their territory constantly invaded by Guest pets. Always ask.

Exceed occupancy/capacity
If the listing says the rental sleeps two, that does not mean two plus your brother-in-law, or even your 2-year-old, unless you cleared it with us first. It does not matter that your brother-in-law doesn't mind sleeping on the floor. Our Property Owners have their reasons for setting capacity, some of which may involve local ordinances, safety considerations or things like the septic systems being able to handle extra waste.

Throw a party
There are towns across Maine looking into strengthening ordinances that cover vacation rentals. One of the primary concerns is disruption in neighborhoods caused by parties/events. You are renting an accommodation through us for a predetermined number of people, not a frat house.

Run up the utility bill
No matter what outrageous success stories you have read online, renting space to strangers is not the way to get rich. It helps Property Owners pay the bills, but only when the bills are reasonable. Go easy on the electricity usage, especially out of care for the environment.  Rental owners take utility bills seriously.

Depart later than 10am
Checking out late could lead to a disruption in the cleaning schedule at best and at worst financial penalties.  We've been forced to charge a penalty of $100 for every 30 minutes a Guest is still at the Property past the 10am check-out just to point out how serious this matter is.  Just because the cleaner isn't there at 10am doesn't mean you can hang around until they arrive, unfortunately..  'Depart' means leave the property, not just vacate the dwelling.