Self-isolation requirements in the Maritimes have created a new niche market for property rentals, with some renters offering two-week leases for visitors to the province who need to quarantine for 14 days.
Some property owners say they can barely keep up with the demand.
With a guest arriving in just a few hours, Wendy Hanlan does a final walk-through of her rental cottage in picturesque East Petpeswick, N.S.
Construction on the property just wrapped up last fall, and the place has been in high demand since she started listing it online.
While cottages are usually in high-demand for a weekend getaway, rental properties in the Maritimes are seeing a new type of clientele.
Hanlan says her guests are looking to book 14-day stays at her properties- the exact period a newcomer or traveller needs to self-isolate under the Maritime provinces' COVID-19 restrictions.
“I’m only one little tiny house, so my bookings happened really fast,” says Hanlan.
The entire rental market is seeing a trend of COVID quarantine units becoming a hot commodity.
From single bedrooms, to deluxe apartments, property owners are offering places to wait out the 14-day quarantine, with most offering nightly rates like hotel rooms.
The organization that represents rental property owners in the province says that they are hopeful this trend can help them survive a trying economic time.
“The market is soft, mainly due to immigration numbers being low,” says Kevin Russell, executive director of the Investment Property Owners Association of Nova Scotia. “Good for them for coming up with a niche that seems to be needed.”
Russell is optimistic that the rental industry will turn around as vaccines start to do their job.
For renters like Wendy Hanlan, it is about providing a need for those who may be struggling to find a place to spend two-weeks on short notice.
“It was specifically listed as quarantine,” says Hanlan, who offers grocery delivery, laundry and other services with her package.
“This isn’t a vacation. They have to quarantine, they have to do this, and we have the space. So I just felt it was the right thing to do.”
A sentiment perhaps shared by others who have discovered a niche market, a new cottage industry delivered by COVID.