Renting out the family getaway

Screening prospective renters can reduce risk, worry

Howard Craft is one of four adult children who inherited a lakeside cabin from their parents. Every year, the kids gather for a dinner meeting to decide the dates that the individual families will use the popular getaway, assign cleanup chores and discuss possible improvements to the aging structure.

For the first time since the parents stopped their summer residency at the lake place, none of the four children could schedule vacation time to take advantage of the family cabin. Two of the siblings had moved out of the area to take different jobs and could not justify the costs to return to the North Cascades for vacation.

Another, Howard, had accepted a teaching job in New Zealand for a semester, and the fourth felt pinched by the economy and had decided to postpone any vacation time away from work.