IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR TENANTS
Please read this information very carefully — all or part of the following may pertain to your rental and is subject to change without notice.
LEASE AGREEMENTS AND RENTAL CONFIRMATION: The Knowles Company represents the rental property owner and has a fiduciary duty to them. As leasing agents for the Owner or property Lessor, rental agents work to match each visiting Tenant with the home, cottage or cabin that will best meet the criteria of that Tenant. A verbal agreement to hold dates or a verbal offer of first refusal is not legally binding. Once Lessor and Tenant verbally agree to enter into a rental agreement, The Knowles Company will issue a lease for both parties to sign. The lease becomes fully binding once The Knowles Company receives a signed copy of the lease agreement from each party and the Tenant’s first payment has been received and cleared by the bank. The lease is a legal agreement between the Lessor and the Tenant. The Knowles Company serves as the leasing agent and not a party to the lease. The Knowles Company also serves as a liaison between the Lessor and the Tenant before, during, and, if necessary, after the lease period. Once the lease is fully executed, The Knowles Company collects payments and provides the Tenant with information about the cottage, the area, and how to reach us should a problem arise during the term of the lease.
RENTAL RATES AND PAYMENTS: Rental rates quoted reflect the discounted, cash price for each property. Preferred payment is in the form of a personal check, cashier’s or certified bank check, electronic transfer or wire transfer. Payments received within two weeks of arrival must be in the form of guaranteed payment (bank check or wire transfer). Contact a rental agent to discuss alternative options. Tenant shall be responsible for the actual cost of any bank fees associated with transactions such as wire transfers, international checks and returned checks. If paying by personal check drawn from a bank outside the U.S., funds must be in U.S. Dollars and a $10 fee per check may be assessed. Canadian Tenants might be able to avoid this fee if the check is drawn from a bank that is affiliated with a U.S. “sister” bank. If any payment is more than 14 days late, the Lessor and The Knowles Company reserve the right to assume default of the lease, keeping all monies received, and the Tenant is still liable for the remainder of the rent due. If The Knowles Company and/or the Lessor are able to sublet the premises for the same period of time covered by the lease agreement to another Tenant, monies received from the second rental will be paid first to the Lessor to fulfill the balance of the original lease. The remainder, if any, will be paid to the original Tenant as partial or full reimbursement, less The Knowles Company Commission and booking fee.
TAXES, FEES, AND SECURITY DEPOSITS: Security deposits, pet fees, Maine State lodging tax, and a nominal booking fee are not included in the rental rate. In the event of a lodging tax rate increase prior to occupancy (but after a lease has been executed), the Tenant is responsible for the full amount due to the State. The security deposit, also referred to as a damage deposit, is collected with the Tenant’s final payment, and is held by The Knowles Company. As per the lease agreement, Tenants agree to pay for any damages to the rental property above and beyond normal wear and tear. Tenants also pay for any charges incurred during their stay for which their lease agreement states they are responsible. Charges may include, but are not limited to, long distance telephone charges, cleaning, and utilities. Balance of security deposit will be returned within 30 days of Tenant’s departure, unless otherwise notified in writing. Neither the Lessor nor The Knowles Company is required to pay Tenant any interest on the security deposit. Security deposit amounts vary by property, but generally range from $500 to $2500.
CLEANING COSTS: The property will be cleaned prior to Tenant’s arrival at the Lessor’s expense, and upon Tenant’s departure. Some Lessors include departure cleaning in the cost of the rental; others do not. If departure cleaning is included, Tenant is responsible for “excess cleaning” charges, which will be deducted from the security deposit. Excess cleaning is defined as the amount of extra time (in dollars) necessary to clean over and what is typical after most departures. Tenants responsible for cleaning upon departure pay “Departure Cleaning” charges, which is the cost necessary to fully return the property to a rentable state. Basic cleaning charges are generally paid from Tenant’s security deposit. Cleaning rates vary by property ranging from $25 to $30 per hour. Interim cleaning services are generally at Tenant’s expense, but can typically be arranged through The Knowles Company.
RENTAL PERIODS AND ARRIVAL/DEPARTURE TIMES: Tenants should refer to their lease to confirm dates and times for arrival and departure. A Saturday arrival time of 3 P.M. and a Saturday departure by 10 A.M. is standard for "weekly" and “biweekly” cottages. There are a few Sunday to Sunday exceptions, and for very large homes that require more turnover time between parties, the lease period might begin as late as 5:00 P.M. and end as early as 9:00 A.M. Unless the lease states otherwise, rental periods for "monthly" cottages generally begin the first day of the month at 3 P.M. and end the last day of the same month at 10 A.M. With such tight time frames to clean and prepare between parties, cleaners and caretakers cannot accommodate early arrivals or late departures.
CANCELLATION POLICY: Once a lease agreement is executed and payment has been made, should the Tenant be unable to occupy the rental property for any reason except the fault of the Lessor, the Tenant is still responsible for the remainder of the rent due. If the Knowles Company and/or the Lessor are able to sublet the premises for the same period of time covered by the lease agreement to another Tenant, monies received from the second rental will be paid first to the Lessor to fulfill the balance of the original lease. The remainder, if any, will be paid to the original Tenant as partial or full reimbursement, less The Knowles Company commission. Trip insurance may help protect Tenants from unforeseeable circumstances that prevent them from taking occupancy. Websites such as insuremytrip.com, csatravelprotection.com and aaa.com are good resources for comparing policies and prices.
BREACH OF LEASE: If any part of the lease is violated, at The Knowles Company and/or the Lessor’s discretion, all or a portion of the security deposit may be forfeited without recourse. This includes but is not limited to breaches in the agreed upon payment schedule outlined in the lease, the allowable maximum occupancy per residence, bringing pets without permission and smoking on the premises. Lease agreements made under false pretenses will cause forfeiture of all payments and the Tenant will be asked to vacate the property immediately.
SMOKING, PETS AND OCCUPANCY LIMIT: Smoking is not allowed inside rental properties or near entrances. Outside smokers must safely dispose of cigarettes in an outdoor receptacle. They must NOT be discarded in a garden or indoor garbage can. Pets are allowed only by special permission from the Lessor and only if agreed to as per the terms of the lease. If pets are permitted, the number of allowed pets agreed to in the lease cannot be exceeded. Maximum occupancy is set by the Lessor and agreed to by the Tenant in the lease. The occupancy limit cannot be exceeded without prior consent from the Lessor. Tenant agrees that at Lessor’s discretion all or a portion of the security deposit may be forfeited without recourse if any or all of these terms are violated.
PROPERTIES FOR SALE: It is common for rental properties to be listed for sale. As such, Tenants should not be deterred from renting a home that is also for sale. In the event that the property being rented is listed for sale at the time (or after) a rental agreement is signed, the Owner and/or Owner’s broker has the right to show the property with 24-hour notice, or include the property in an open house during Tenant’s stay. Should a showing be necessary, The Knowles Company will make every attempt to schedule showings at convenient times so as not to disturb Tenant’s enjoyment of the property.
FURNISHINGS: All properties are individually owned and decorated. Items such as furnishings, appliances, equipment, style, quality, colors, etc. are provided solely by the property Owner. The Knowles Company does not accept liability for the aesthetic or functional perception of the property’s contents, and no rate adjustment can be made. Property Owners ask Tenants to leave furnishings in place. Tenants who move furnishings, do so at their own risk, and understand that additional costs may result if damage occurs during the move, and/or if furnishings are not returned to their original places prior to departure.
ACTS OF NATURE: The Knowles Company cannot be held liable for any acts of nature or events beyond our control. No rate adjustments will be made if weather delays Tenant’s arrival or for loss of utilities or equipment due to weather or acts of nature.
QUIET USE AND ENJOYMENT: The Knowles Company or property Lessor does not guarantee quiet use or enjoyment of the property due to noise from other persons, construction, maintenance, road work, etc. from neighboring properties or municipal areas and will not grant a rebate for circumstances originating outside the property.
WILDLIFE: Tenants should not be surprised to see non domestic animals such as deer, turkeys, raccoons, and squirrels. Even smaller animals such as mice, chipmunks and bats may try to retreat into a home or cottage. If an unwanted pest takes residence inside a vacation rental, The Knowles Company and the property Lessor will make every effort to have the animal removed. Tenants are asked to show reasonable patience and understanding that wildlife is a normal part of living in Maine, especially in rural areas.
AMENITIES AND EQUIPMENT MAINTENANCE: All properties are individually maintained by the Owner and include linens and dishes. Most come equipped with basic kitchen and laundry appliances, phone, cable and Internet service and some also offer nonessential items such as air conditioning, elevators, fireplaces, pools, hot tubs, kayaks and canoes. In the event of equipment malfunction, Tenants are asked to notify The Knowles Company as soon as possible, to take reasonable steps to limit any damage, and to show patience and understanding in regards to unforeseeable issues that may disrupt access to or use of an appliance or amenity normally included with the house. The Knowles Company will work with the Owner’s caretaker or service company to expedite repairs as quickly as possible, but due to the rural nature of our community, immediate restoration of services or replacement of nonessential items cannot be guaranteed. The cost of repairs will be borne by the Lessor unless due to misuse, waste or negligence of the Tenant. Should Tenant experience a malfunction or loss of use of any equipment, utility or amenity, no rental rate adjustments are due back to Tenant if the loss was due to circumstances that were unforeseen or beyond the control of the Lessor or The Knowles Company.
URGENT PROBLEMS: With three experienced agents working Monday through Friday and an after-hours agent on call whenever vacation tenants are in residence, someone is always available to resolve issues or emergencies as they arise. To report an urgent problem with a cottage during non-business hours, Tenants should call (207) 276-3322 and follow the prompts to leave a message for the on call agent.
DEPARTURE DUTIES: Out of respect for cleaners who need to prepare the property for the next party, Tenants are asked to depart on time and to leave the property in broom clean condition with all dishes washed and put away, leftover food discarded, garbage bagged, bed sheets stripped, and at least one load of laundry in the washer. Tenants who will be leaving a day or more prior to their scheduled departure, should notify their rental agent and not leave wet laundry in the washer.
PACKAGES AND FAXES: Tenants may have up to two UPS or FEDEX envelopes or small packages sent to The Knowles Company address for pickup by Tenant. The Knowles Company does not have the space to house large packages or the resources available to deliver items to the Tenant’s rental property. Incoming and outgoing facsimile services are also available. A small handling fee per fax or package will be collected and donated to local charities.
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