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Frequently Asked Questions

Rental Guidelines & FAQ's

  • Important things to keep in mind when choosing a vacation rental:

    Location: Keeping in mind the location of the property is especially important when traveling with children. We have many rentals that are located along cliffsides overlooking the water. In addition, we have many places with lofts or high outdoor decks. If you question the safety for people in your party at any property, please feel free to contact us and we can help you choose the best fit for your group.

    Occupancy: Our occupancy limits are based on the fact that all our properties have private wells and septic systems (more info on these systems at the bottom of this page). With that being said you may find a house that you think is big enough to have a few extra people sleep on the couch or an air mattress. However, exceeding occupancy is not allowed so please be aware when choosing your rental.

    Accessibility: If you have someone in your group that needs specific accommodations due to mobility issues, we are happy to help you find your way to a house that suits their needs.

  • Are weddings or large gatherings allowed at any of your properties?

    Most of our owners will not allow large gatherings or weddings at their property. If you are planning to do either of these, we will need to approve it prior to your stay. Maximum persons limit varies from property to property.

  • What time is check-in? What if I’m going to be arriving late?

    Check-in time begins at 4pm. We are happy to accommodate later check-in times. If you will be arriving later than 4:30 pm please let us know ahead of time so we can make alternate arrangements if necessary.

  • What time is check-out?

    Check-out is NO LATER THAN 10am. We have a very short window to get houses ready so unless this has been pre-arranged with our office, we can’t allow a later checkout.

  • What is your pet policy?

    Some of our vacation homes will allow you to bring your dog. We do not allow cats. We will need to approve your pet before you can bring it along, and you will also have to sign our pet agreement (if you have not been sent a pet agreement please know that means your pet was not approved, and you should reach out to us ASAP). You will be charged a non-refundable fee of $50 per pet. All pets are expected to be flea and tick treated before your arrival. The pet is not allowed on furniture and should be crated if you leave it alone at the house. Before you depart you are responsible for cleaning up after your pet outside and inside. Please vacuum and clean up the dog hair on the floors and clean up all waste in the yard. Thank you for cooperation.

  • Can we rent a property less than a week?

    We now offer many properties that can be rented for less than a week during peak season! You will see them listed on our website under the vacation rentals tab as 2- or 4-night minimums. In the off-season, generally May to mid-June, and Labor Day through the end of October, almost ALL our properties will allow for less than a week.

  • We are renting in the Off-Season (after September 1st and before June 30th) - will all the advertised property amenities be available?

    Not necessarily. For example, some floats or docks may not be in the water at properties until May/June and then pulled out in September/October. Call us for more details if you have questions.

  • Is booking online secure?

    We implement a variety of security measures to maintain the safety of your personal information when you place an order. We offer the use of a secure server. All supplied sensitive/credit information is transmitted via Secure Socket Layer (SSL) technology and then encrypted into our payment gateway providers database. It will only be accessible by those authorized with special rights to such systems. They are required to keep the information confidential. After a transaction, your private information (credit cards, social security numbers, financials, etc.) will not be stored on our servers.

  • Do you accept credit cards?

    Yes, we accept all major credit cards (Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover). If you would like to pay with a credit card you can do so through our customer portal or call our office.

  • What if I book online but want to pay by check?

    You can send us an email to [email protected] and let us know you wish to pay with a check. We can then cancel your pending credit card payment.

  • If the house is not big enough for our group can we bring an air mattress, camper, or tent to house more people?

    No. Due to the delicate nature of septic systems and wells on each property the maximum occupancy is very strict and cannot handle more than the specified amount.

  • Can we have fires on the beach in front of our house?

    You will need to have a fire permit to have any fires on the beach. Fires must be below the high tide line. You are responsible for making sure the fire is completely out prior to leaving the beach. To obtain a fire permit please click here.

  • What happens if there are specials on the property we have rented after we have booked it?

    Unfortunately, we cannot apply any special pricing to already placed reservations.

  • Is the internet connection reliable on the islands?

    Although we can’t always guarantee it most of the time our internet connections are good. Like anywhere else in the world internet can cut out and we do our best to get the company to fix it as soon as possible but we cannot control how quickly the cable/internet company fixes it. Internet speeds vary by whatever plan the home owner has.

  • How is the cell phone coverage in the area?

    While cell phone service has greatly improved in recent years there are still dropped calls and the dreaded “dead zones”. We would suggest utilizing the “wi-fi calling” feature on your cell phones so while you are at the property you will have reliable service. To find out how to turn on the feature simply google the type of cell phone you have and wi-fi calling feature, a step by step guide should pop up in the search.

  • What items will be at my house when I arrive?

    All houses are equipped with enough paper towels and toilet paper to get you started. After that runs out you are in charge of purchasing your own. There will be trash bags, dish soap, hand soap, and cleaning products in the home. However, if it runs out during your stay it is up to you to replenish. If you run out of charcoal or propane for the grill, please purchase and return the receipt to Your Island Connection where you will be reimbursed. The kitchen will be fully equipped with all you need to make a meal. If there are any specific items you would like to inquire about please contact us.

  • Can we mail extra luggage, forwarded mail, etc. to you during our stay?

    Yes, of course. If you are sending a package through USPS you can send it to our postal box; the address is PO BOX 300 Bailey Island, ME 04003. If the package will be coming via Fed-Ex or UPS then you can send it to our office location at 2067 Harpswell Islands Rd., Bailey Island, ME 04003. Be sure to make it out to Your Island Connection and put it to C/O of your name.

  • Do I need to bring sheets and towels?

    All of our houses have sheets and towels included. A few houses have linens bought and provided by the owners. Most of our homes utilize rental linens from Pratt-Abbott and get washed off site. Those houses come with a towel set per person and sheet set per bed. If you are interested in renting more, please contact us ASAP as we order them weeks before your arrival.

  • What is expected of me before I check out of my house?

    You are not in charge of deep cleaning the house before your departure as we do have a cleaning crew who will be coming in. However, we kindly ask that you tidy up before you leave. All trash will need to be taken out, perishables taken with you or thrown away. Some houses ask that a load or two of laundry get started, this would be listed in the property binder at the house. Any sea treasures should be returned to nature, not left inside the house. This allows our cleaning crews to clean the house within the short turnover period. Please be sure all furniture and decor are returned to its original place if you moved it. If you find you are leaving earlier than check-out time, please either text or call our office at 207-833-7779, or email us.

  • Will you do a “showing” of a rental home I may be interested in?

    Of course we will. However, sometimes houses are not available to show due to being rented so it is best to make an appointment with us first. This also ensures that we are available to show you the properties.

  • Is the water safe to drink at our rental?

    All of our rental houses have had their wells and water tested, they have all passed inspections. The water IS safe to drink. However, the taste may be different than what you are used to, so you may prefer to buy bottled water.

  • Will my rental house have an Air Conditioner?

    No, your rental house will not have an air conditioner. Most of the time there is a nice sea breeze and opening the windows will cool off the house. Many of our rentals have at least one fan. We do have a few houses that have Central A/C (West Shore House, Sunset Shore, Genimatas, Homeport, Sea Scent, Nautical Nest and Sand Dollar).

  • Can we go above the “Max Occupancy” at a house?

    No, you cannot do above the “Max Occupancy” of the house. If you plan to have overnight visitors, please feel free but do not go above the Maximum Occupancy. If you are going to have “day visitors” that exceed the maximum occupancy of the home, please let us know. Although most of the time this doesn’t create a problem, we still like to be made aware as neighbors may say something to us or the owners.

  • Will I know everything there is to know about the property I am renting just by the listing on your website?

    While we try to make our website listings extremely thorough, it is impossible to include every single itty bitty detail. Our team has been to every house and knows them inside and out. If you have specific questions, we are happy to answer them, please just never assume! We can also not guarantee that something didn't go missing throughout the season.

  • Are we expected to tip (provide gratuity) the cleaning staff?

    Our cleaners are all independent contractors, meaning they are not employees of Your Island Connection. They are paid a set rate per house and provide their own cleaning supplies. If you were happy with all their cleaning efforts upon your arrival, please feel free to leave them a tip in the envelope provided. They work very hard, and it is always appreciated!

  • What do I need to know about the waterfront in Maine?

    There are local public beaches and a few rentals have beach areas. However, this is generally coarser sand than Florida beaches. Some of the waterfront at our houses is rocky. Please use caution when climbing down over the rocks. When the tide comes in and goes back out it leaves the rocks very slippery and can be hazardous. We also recommend bringing water shoes. The barnacles and rocks can be vicious sometimes and having cut up feet is not the best way to spend your Maine vacation so always wear your water shoes!

  • Are there medical services nearby?

    There are a few different medical facilities in Brunswick. Please Click Here for more information and the list of facilities nearby.

  • Bugs? Mosquitoes? Ticks?

    While we wish we didn’t have them, mosquitos are most active at daybreak and dusk and on cloudy, warm days. If you want to avoid them, stay away from where they tend to concentrate - in tall grass, margins of wooded areas, or in heavily wooded areas in dense vegetation. Don't wear dark colors. Mosquitoes and other biting flies are attracted to dark greens, browns, and black. They are less attracted to light-colored clothing, especially whites and yellows. Citronella candles and bug spray help keep them away. We do have other bugs that have migrated to our area, such as wood roaches and grubs. The wood roaches while in the roach family are not like the city roaches and we have begun seeing these minimally and mostly where the outdoor vegetation is lush like knotweed. If you see more than a couple of wood roaches inside a property, please feel free to let us know so we can make property owners aware. The grubs generally aren’t seen but you will see where they have been outside as they tend to dig up lawns like little divots. We also have ticks in the area. If you walk the trails in the woods, please be sure to check for ticks after.

  • Water and Waste?

    One final note that is important is related to water and septic systems. ALL our homes are on a well and use a septic system to treat wastewater. The coast of Maine is notorious for having a high iron content in the groundwater. Most of our vacation homes also have filters and water treatment systems to address these issues. Occasionally, especially after a rain that was preceded by a long dry spell, the water treatment systems in some of our homes can be overwhelmed and rust-colored water may appear. Also, a bad sulfur smell can come from heated well-water. This is hydrogen sulfide, which can be caused by the metabolism of a non-harmful bacteria called “sulfate-reducing bacteria”. Those of us who live in Maine year-round have adapted to these well-water challenges without issue. Be prepared that you shouldn't expect any water-quality issues in your rental property - but we just wanted to make sure you were aware of some of the challenges we have. Because many of our vacation homes are on sensitive septic systems to treat wastewater, we restrict the occupancy in the homes to what the recommended daily human intake of the systems are rated for. It is also VERY important that you don’t flush wipes, sanitary products, or dispose of cooking greases in the toilet or sinks.

How to Reserve

  • Reservations MORE than 30 Days Before Arrival

    To “book” your desired rental property with us, if there are more than 30 days until the rental start date, we’ll require a 50% deposit of the total rental amount which includes tax and fees. You can pay this by credit card, check, cash, or money order. We accept all major credit cards.
    We will send you a rental agreement electronically (we use e-signature) to process the rental agreement between you and the Property Owner. You have 7 days to sign the agreement to lock in the rental. Once we receive your signed rental agreement back, you will be locked into the rental.
    Payment is due in full 30 days prior to your reservation start date. (Please note – Any checks returned for insufficient funds will require replacement funds by cash, certified bank check, or postal money order, plus a $35 fee.)
    21 days before your rental begins, an automated e-mail will be sent to you with all the information you’ll need to know about getting to your rental property, including driving directions and access information. If you don’t receive the information on how to get to your property at least two weeks prior to your rental, and after you have checked your “spam” or “junk” e-mail folders – call us right away so we can resolve the issue!

  • Reservations LESS than 30 Days Before Arrival

    If there are 30 days or less until the rental start date, the entire balance in full will be due right away. If you make the reservation online less than 30 days before you arrive, your entire credit card balance will be charged immediately.
    We will send you a rental agreement electronically (we use e-signature) to process the rental agreement between you and the Property Owner. You have 7 days to sign the agreement to lock in the rental. Once we receive your signed rental agreement back, you will be locked into the rental.
    21 days or less before your rental begins, an automated e-mail will be sent to you with all the information you’ll need to know about getting to your rental property, including driving directions and access information. If you don’t receive the information on how to get to your property at least two weeks prior to your rental, and after you have checked your “spam” or “junk” e-mail folders – call us right away so we can resolve the issue!

  • Rental Agreements

    In order to process a rental, each Guest will need to sign a Rental Agreement that is between the Property Owner and the Guest. This Rental Agreement will be sent by e-mail with a link to the e-signature contract that needs to signed within 7 days of booking the property. Deposit – 50% of the payment needs to be made within 7 days of receipt (unless there are 30 days or less until you arrive, in which 100% of the payment is due).
    Our rental agreements are “generic” in that we use the same rental agreement for all the properties we offer for rent. Each Property Owner that lists with us has given us a limited power of attorney to sign the rental agreement on their behalf. We believe you will find them fair and balanced to both the rights of the Guest and the Property Owners.

  • Payments

    Once you have made a booking you will have 7 days to make your initial payment. We accept Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover. 50% of the total rent, taxes, and fees is due to reserve your chosen property. The remaining balance is due at least 30 days prior to the arrival date. Last-minute reservations (less than 30 days before arrival) require payment-in-full at the time of booking. In the event your check is returned for any reason, a $35 returned check fee will apply, and the reservation will be voided until satisfactory payment has been received.

  • Credit Card Required

    You will be responsible for negligent damages to the property. You will also need to agree to pay all rent and/or outstanding charges caused by any purchased cable charges (on-demand/pay per view), or damage beyond normal wear and tear (that was unreported or over $1,000) during the term of the Rental Agreement.

  • Booking Fee

    This is an administrative cost associated with your vacation rental. These fees vary widely across the country, we have chosen to be on the much lower end of the cost spectrum.

  • Damage Waiver (replacement of traditional Security Deposits)

    This covers renters for up to $1,000 in accidental damages to the property. This is in lieu of a traditional “security deposit” and is non-refundable. If you break something at the property accidentally during your stay, just let us know right away, we’ll pay for it. If something is damaged by your neglect or lack of care, you will be charged for those incidents and repairs. Even if there are accidental damages to the property – we ask that you report the accidental damages to us right away. This prevents them from being considered as “neglectful damages”, so be sure to let us know right away of any issues. If we find damage after checkout that was unreported it will NOT be covered by the damage waiver and your credit card on file will be charged.

  • Cancellation Policy

    While we look out for the interest of our Guests when it comes to rentals – we must also pay special attention to our Property Owners, who are also our Customers. Many of our Property Owners depend on the income generated by renting their vacation properties, and when a week is canceled, they must contend with lost revenue and the possibility of the unexpected situation of the property, not re-renting for the week they had intended to see rented by a Guest. Maine has a short rental season, and every bit of revenue counts towards our owners paying property taxes, maintenance, and upkeep for their properties. Once a reservation is confirmed (i.e. rental agreement signed) any cancellations, changes of dates, or switching of properties will invoke the cancellation policy. So, be sure when you proceed with initiating a rental transaction with us that you are committed to the rental.
    Here are the legal Cancellation Terms from the Rental Agreement:
    If the cancellation is greater than thirty (30) days prior to your rental date the following applies:

    • If we are able to re-rent your rental dates you will receive a full refund less the booking fee.
    • If we are unable to re-rent your dates you will receive half (1/2) of the weekly rental rate.

    If the cancellation is thirty (30) days or less prior to your rental date the following applies:
    • If we are able to re-rent your rental dates you will receive a full refund less the booking fee
    • If we are unable to re-rent your dates you will not receive a refund.

    You can purchase Travel Insurance to cover your vacation to Maine. You can choose CSA travel insurance when booking through our website or over the phone. If you wish to have traveler’s insurance, it must be done prior to making your final payment. Any CSA insurance questions need to be directed towards the CSA company and not through our office as we cannot act as their representatives. Click on the link above to get more information or to file a claim.

Please Do

  • Slow down and relax, when you’re here you are on ISLAND TIME!

    Welcome to Maine! You’ll notice things slow down a bit up here, everything from drivers to internet speed. So, sit back, relax, have cocktail, a cup of coffee, enjoy the scenery, do a crossword puzzle whatever floats your boat

  • Unplug!

    We know many of you still need to work while you are on vacation but treat yourself to at least one day of completely “unplugging” from the ol’ world wide web. Lobster will taste sweeter, the sun will shine brighter, and the fish will speak…ok that might be a little bit of stretch but trust us you’ll be glad you did it!

  • Patron Local Businesses!

    Our community LOVES to support local businesses when possible. Swing down to Land’s End Gift Shop and visit Howie, Karen, Ruby, and the rest of the crew you’ll be glad you did. They offer everything from Maine made jams & soaps to lobster hats & t-shirts. There are many local restaurants all with their own specialties, from delicious higher end meals to good old island home cookin’.

  • Read the property listing more than once, prior to booking. Never assume, if you have specific needs or desires please don’t hesitate to ask!

    We spend countless hours on our website listings making sure they are the most accurate and up to date as possible. Each word, and photo is important in the decision-making process. If you have specific questions that you don’t find answers to in the listing, PLEASE don’t hesitate to call or email! Having a dialogue can help us find you the best home to fit your needs!

  • Engage with the Locals

    As Mainers we are a friendly, albeit curious bunch who enjoy meeting folks “from away”. If the opportunity arises introduce yourselves to the neighbors, they can be another helpful source of recommending fun things to do, or places you shouldn’t miss on your trip. Sometimes you are even lucky enough that they are lobstermen and you can buy fresh off the boat!

  • Take a few minutes when you arrive to walk-thru the house & read through the property binder.

    It is always good to familiarize yourself with the house upon arrival, this gives you a chance to ask any questions you still might have. We have put a property specific binder in each house that should answer any questions you might have from how to run the tv to where to find the outdoor trash cans, and everything in between. Please reference this binder both at the beginning and end of your stay, as there is important information pertinent to your trip.

  • Explore the area beyond your cottage!

    Visit the area hiking trails, beaches, and landmarks. You’ll be surprised at how much history Harpswell and its surrounding towns have to offer. Most importantly make memories and start traditions with your friends and family!

  • Leave us a review!

    We will send you a link to our online survey just before your departure. Whether your review is good, bad, or indifferent, it helps us to improve our services and we pass along your feedback to the property owners.

  • Please leave the property as you found it.

    Luckily, we have AWESOME guests, and this is VERY rarely a problem. If you move something, please put it back where you found it. Please be mindful of the “stuff” in the house as many places are generational properties that have many sentimental items, that may not seem important but to the owners they mean a lot.

Please Don't

  • No Smoking

    NO Smoking at of ANY of our rentals.

  • Use of Fireworks

    While they may be legal in Maine, we do NOT allow fireworks at any of our properties (with the exception of basic sparklers and morning glories). If we find out that you have fireworks this can be grounds for immediate eviction from the property, which we would hate to do.

  • Arrive Early to the Property

    We know you are eager to get your vacation started! However, there is SO much that goes into getting the houses and cottages ready for you. To ensure that the property is at 100% move in ready we ask that you please respect our check in time of 4pm (unless other arrangements have been made). If by chance your property is ready earlier, we will always give you a courtesy call/text to let you know.

  • Bringing a Pet Without Permission

    If you have been approved to bring a pet you have done the following, signed our pet contract & paid the $50 pet fee (per pet). If you have not done both things your pet has NOT been approved and you should reach out to us ASAP.

  • Throw a Party

    This doesn’t mean you can’t have a few friends over to entertain. This means that you can’t have an all-out party. If this is something you had been considering doing on your vacation, please air on the side of caution and let us know. We can either say yeah that’s fine at this house, or no let’s try and find some homes that will allow larger gatherings.

  • Property Maintenance

    Landscaping and lawn mowing will continue during your stay, it is important that you DON’T send these kind folks away. They are generally very courteous and come and go as quickly as possible without too much distraction. In the event we need to schedule a repair person we will let you know of this prior to their arrival to the property and will do our best to schedule a time that fits your needs.

  • Exceed Occupancy

    We ask that you don’t exceed the number of people that the house is listed as “sleeping”. While having a few people over is ok on occasion we expect that doesn’t happen every day of your stay. You might wonder why this is so important? It is because of two reasons, EVERY house or cottage uses private septic systems and having more people than allowed can cause those systems to be over stressed, and that would lead to an unpleasant experience if you run out of water or couldn’t flush a toilet. Also, to ensure that the noise levels & parking limitations don’t get out of control and bother the neighbors.


  • Testing Sites in Maine or near you:
  • Cancellations and Policies:

    As of right now our cancellation policy is still in effect for all reservations.
    If the cancellation is greater than thirty (30) days prior to your rental date the following applies:

    • If we are able to re-rent your rental dates you will receive a full refund less the booking fee.
    • If we are unable to re-rent your dates you will receive half (1/2) of the weekly rental rate
    If the cancellation is thirty (30) days or less prior to your rental date the following applies:
    • If we are able to re-rent your rental dates you will receive a full refund less the booking fee
    • If we are unable to re-rent your dates you will not receive a refund.

  • Cleaning Precautions and what we are doing to keep you safe –

    YIC is doing all they can and taking the proper precautions to make sure your vacation rental is fully disinfected upon your arrival. We are using EPA approved disinfectants throughout the house and making sure “high touch” surfaces are disinfected multiple times throughout the cleaning. All linens and towels will be laundered off-site with our commercial laundry service company. That being said to be sure all beds are made with fresh sheets beds will not be made this summer – all CLEAN sheets will be folded at the end of each designated bed and extras will be left in the house if needed.
    As always if you have any questions or concerns please feel free to reach out to us at [email protected]or 207-833-7779.

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