Pleasant Forest Shores cottages - South Chatham MA / Cape Cod

1, 2 & 3 Bedroom cottages & efficiency apartment - Weekly rentals


How to make a reservation:

As you can tell by this site, reservations are also handled in a very simple manner! Nothing fancy here! The typical process is as follows:  

  • First, make sure you've read all the pertinent pages here, such as More Info and the remainder of this page, and understand all the rules and procedures for my cottages, especially the NO SMOKING and NO pets!    The NO SMOKING rule as used here means: If you're staying overnight(s), you will NOT smoke anytime/anywhere on the property, ok?
  • Then you contact me by phone or email (giving me a contact phone nbr)...If you email, I'll almost always call you to discuss it. If you leave me a message on Google Voice nbr (727-346-6464), it may take me a bit longer to retrieve it via my computer so be patient.  Please let me know how you found this site, such as via the Chatham Chamber of Commerce (chathaminfo.com) or other web listings (Superpages.com, CapeCod.com, AllCapeCod.com, etc.) so I know what marketing options are working and which aren't.
  • Once we've talked to clarify any details you need to know, please send me an email giving me full contact info and rental details. 
  • The email should have something like "Rental - Cottage #2 - July 20-27" in Subject line, and contain your name, mailing address, home phone nbr, work phone nbr (if applicable), and cell phone number(s), as well as unit nbr and dates.  Please use a descriptive Subject line! It really helps me find your email at later date.
    Should your contact info ever change, please notify me promptly by email and/or phone, as I don't have the time to try and locate you, ok? An old cell phone number or email unanswered for days by customer could lead to a lost/cancelled reservation and you don't want that to happen, right? 
  • Once I receive your email, I will update the schedule on web and locally to mark the week(s) as "On Hld - xxxx". 
  • You will then send a deposit as described in next section, and upon receipt, the schedules will be updated as "RENTED - xxxx"
  • NOTE: Reservations/rentals are almost always handled on a "seniority" basis! This means that established/prior customers/tenants (and even contacts from prior yr's) have some ability to override a potential/new/newer customer's choice, but only during the period before deposit being received. Prior customers who skip a year or more may lose some or all of their accumulated seniority so it pays to be a consistent regular customer as you get better chances/choices for the weeks you desire.
    For example, a customer who has rented cottage #1 for the last two full weeks in August consistently "owns" those weeks, and a repeat customer who has been coming for 4 years would have priority over a 2 year customer, but if the 2 year tenant had taken the same weeks in same unit both years, that would offset the seniority difference in most cases. It's NOT a hard and fixed rule as to how it's done but that is the general policy.   
  • That's all there is to it! smilie   

Deposits

  • Amount :  Requested minimum amount is 50% of base rate amount, rounded up to nearest $5. When number of additional people and length of their stay is definitely known at reservation time, please include this in your calculation, and send a note with those details.
  • Payment method : Personal check is the preferred method, but money orders, traveler's checks and bank checks are also accepted. Credit cards are NOT accepted.  Please make checks payable to John Hallgren. (Checks payable to "Pleasant Forest Shores" cannot be accepted! It's not that big of a business.) Also, put "Dep"/"Deposit" plus unit number & rental dates on "memo" line. A short note enclosed with check with unit nbr, rental dates, and amount sent is helpful, but not required. 
  • Due date :  In general, for all reservations made and confirmed before April, deposits are due by April 1st, at the latest.  Deposits are normally processed in batches, so it may take some additional time for your check to clear. First time customers have slightly different deadlines as listed in next item.
  • New customers : Deposits are normally due 10 days after reservation is arranged by phone or email. If possible, please send deposit within 7 days, as when deposit is received, schedule will be updated and marked as "RENTED". In the interim, schedule will be marked as "On Hold" to indicate week(s) are 'In Process' but not yet fully confirmed. This shorter deadline is due to past cases where potential customers had made and cancelled reservations thus affecting other rentals. If deposit is not received within two weeks, and customer via email or phone makes no other contacts/arrangements within that time, the reservation is subject to being cancelled, especially if customer does not respond to phone/email in a timely manner. 
  • Prior customers : Deposits are normally due two weeks after reservation is made/confirmed, when done after March.  The same process for updating schedule applies as listed above. 
  • Exceptions : When confirmation date to rental start date is less than time frames above, deposit is normally due within a week.  For last minute rentals (less than a week between confirmation and start date), deposit may be waived. 
  • Where to send : Until April 25 : 1939 Atlantis Drive, Clearwater, FL 33763-4506 / After April 25 : 259 Pleasant St, So. Chatham, MA 02659-1525
  • Return policy : Full amount of deposit will be returned when unit is re-rented for that same period. It will usually not be sent until completion of the original rental period, and may be further delayed in rare cases. When unit cannot be re-rented for that period, the deposit will be retained as partial compensation for lost rental. If unit is re-rented for any portion of the cancelled period, all income from that rental will be applied as credit towards your deposit so you will receive a refund based on the amount of that income. If unit remains empty for full period and you did not provide a full 50% deposit of applicable base rate, the difference must be paid before the end of that calendar year. Any deposit exceeding 50% of base rate will either be refunded or applied as deposit credit for following year.

Balances and late check-out fees

  • Extra people? : Since base rate is for two people, please keep track of how many nights that you have had (or will have) additional people, and provide this before, or at time of payment so correct balance may be determined.  The honor system is in effect, and with add-on rates this low, you can afford to be truthful!  Donations above amount due are always gratefully appreciated. However, there is a maximum capacity for each unit as listed here and should you be found to have exceeded this for any overnight, you may be charged at the penalty rate of $100 per person per night for those excess persons and you can be flagged as "NEVER RETURN" for future. This is done to discourage excess overnight tenants.
  • Payment method : Personal check is the preferred method, but money orders, travelers checks and bank checks are also accepted. Cash is accepted but not desired. Credit cards are NOT accepted.  Please make checks payable to John Hallgren , and put "Bal"/"Balance" plus unit nbr & rental dates on "memo" line.
  • When to pay? :  Don't worry about paying immediately when you arrive! In general, you may pay at any time during your stay, but...please, no later than 10:30 a.m. on Friday. Balances are also normally processed in batches, so it may take some additional time for your check to clear.
  • Late check-out fees : Check-out time is 10:30 a.m. on Friday (or scheduled departure date). If you've not vacated the unit by 11:00 a.m. (unless a later time is pre-approved prior to 10:30 a.m. by tenant and owner) a series of late fees will begin to accrue (effective as of 06/29/12)! For each one hour period or portion thereof, a fee of $75 will be incurred. For example, if you don't leave the unit until 12:15 p.m., a fee of $150 will apply. This fee is payable and due before you leave or before you are even considered for rental the following year. In addition, you will be flagged as a "LATE" tenant and these fees will be DOUBLED the following year for you. You may feel this penalty fee is excessive BUT in order to properly prepare the unit for the next tenant, sufficient time is needed to have Laiza do the cleaning AND for me as owner to do my tasks before and after Laiza so based on past experience, a significant fee appears to be required to insure compliance. 

Other issues

Ok, so here's a few policy and procedure things that customers/tenants need to know...sorry for length but these items are important.

  • Capacity of units : The normal maximum capacity of each unit is listed on the main page of this site, and is based on conventional beds available.  Children younger than age 4 who typically sleep in a (tenant supplied) portable crib or similar, may be, at owner's discretion, exempted from this policy.  Infants less than a year old are NOT counted for capacity purposes. Overnight guests using sleeping bags (and/or sofas) are normally NEVER permitted, but in special rare cases, with proper pre-notification to owner, might be allowed under exceptional circumstances. Any persons allowed under this special case are not subject to the penalty rate in prior section but may be charged at double the normal rate for age class.
  • Check-in : There is no formal check-in process here! The only request I make is that when you arrive, that prior to any moving in, you notify me that you've arrived and check with me to make sure unit is ready and so I can notify you of any issues, ok? This applies especially to new customers or anyone who arrives prior to 4:30 p.m. official check-in time. If you're arriving after 7:20 p.m. on most Friday's during July/August, I'll be heading to the Chatham Band concert so I'll "leave the light on" for you. 
  • Vehicle parking : Each unit has room for a maximum of THREE vehicles of which one is intended as a temporary guest spot. On occasion, there may be room elsewhere on property for an additional fourth vehicle but that cannot be guaranteed as it depends on vehicles from other units.  Park in designated locations only and so as to not block golf cart paths. Some locations that appear to be parking spots are not and should not be used as such. Other locations may be used while checking in/out but not on regular basis. If in doubt, please ASK!
  • Noise :  Please remember that South Chatham is usually very quiet at night, and noise thus can be heard at greater distances, so be kind to other tenants and keep it down as much as possible, especially after 10 p.m.  Should any other tenants be bothering you with noise levels, please notify owner A.S.A.P., and if noise is due to neighboring properties, please feel free to contact the Chatham Police at 508-945-1213 (non-emergency nbr).
  • Wildlife : You may likely encounter or see a variety of wildlife while at PFS. While some may appear friendly, please use common sense, especially with those who may carry diseases or may bite, such as foxes, raccoons, skunks or squirrels. Thus, do NOT FEED any of these!  Feeding of small birds or rabbits is encouraged. Feeding of chipmunks can be acceptable, within reason. Also, please do not harass or disturb wildlife unless they are causing you a problem.
  • 911 : Should you need to call 911 from your cell phone while here, be aware that your call will be handled first by the State Police, and then transferred to county/local dispatch so you may need to repeat info more than once. Let them know you're in South Chatham at John Hallgren's cottages at 259 Pleasant St and which unit. EMS response is usually 8+ min because they are coming from downtown Chatham.
  • CLEANING : Unlike many other rentals on the Cape, there is no excessive ($100+) cleaning deposit or fee! Why? Because the tenant is expected to leave the unit in as close to the same condition as they received it as possible, with some exceptions. This means tenant should, at minimum: Return furniture/items to their proper locations, have the dishes/silverware done and put away; make beds as they were; vacuum any excess amount of pine needles/dirt on floor, etc.  A checklist is provided to assist in this process, and is now not applicable in many items due to change in who does the cleaning, but the "Golden Rule" still applies here!   Remember also that if you're paying for cleaning crew, you don't need to do the tasks they will do. So...if you're not sure what to do or not do, just ask. And should something be missed when you arrive doesn't mean you can ignore it when you leave, but it should be reported when noticed. Mistakes happen, and may be more likely now due to owner's vision limitations, but cannot be used as reason for declining to use/pay for cleaning service.

    Starting in 2008 and due to medical issues and customer demand, owner now has Laiza's Cleaning Service to assist him, but at a negotiated rate thus reducing overhead so the savings are passed on to you! Charges vary, based on unit, from $40 to $75 in 2014 for this service. Laiza's crew does the vacuuming, mopping, dusting, sweeping, cleaning of bathroom and major items in the kitchen, etc. but they do NOT do everything so tenant still must do some tasks in return for this lower fee. The appropriate cost for this service will be added to your balance due.

    Use of this mandatory cleaning service may be waived in some special cases, such as: When you are the last tenant for the season; When other members of your family are the new tenants; When there is a minimum of two full days unoccupied before new tenants arrive, etc. In all other cases, Laiza will be hired/retained to verify that unit is cleaned to the basic standards for a turnover.

    Tenant assumes all responsibility for having unit vacated and all tenant tasks completed by 10:30 a.m. at latest when leaving on Friday, unless special arrangements have been made with owner prior to Friday.

    NOTE: Any unit which requires more than 1.5 hrs of work by owner (in addition to any time spent by cleaning crew) to clean/restore it back to "move in" status may be charged/billed an "Excessive cleaning" fee of $25 for the first hour or portion thereof and $50 per hour for any additional hours or portion thereof. You will be notified via email/phone if this situation occurs and it will affect your status to return as tenants in future. This fee was added in June 2014 to encourage tenants to properly maintain/clean/restore units prior to departure.

    Also, leftover and usable food items should not be discarded in trash when leaving as it encourages wildlife to make a big mess, makes the trash handling more of a stink/chore and is just a waste. Please leave whatever you don't want in an organized manner (in shopping bag, etc.) in the refrigerator or on counter as appropriate.  Meat products especially attract raccoons and skunks and we both don't want that, right?

Other things that are unique to Pleasant Forest Shores: 

  • Trash handling : Garbage cans for each unit are provided.  Owner collects and transports trash and recyclables to disposal area on most Tuesdays and Saturdays, using his personal vehicle, so please insure that bags are properly sealed and not leaking. This also helps keep wildlife out of the cans. Plastic bag liners in cans are for backup purposes, so all trash should be wrapped as needed. Doubled grocery bags are generally adequate for this purpose, and makes collection easier. Recycle items are to be placed in the laundry baskets beside the cans. This includes all cans, glass bottles, and any hard plastic, as well as clean paperboard/cardboard. Newspapers should be left on owner's porch so as not to get wet. 
  • Damage/breakage/malfunction/lost : Should something fail, please notify me promptly so it can be corrected. Should you break something, such as a dish or glass or similar, or lose a key, please DO NOT replace it yourself without prior owner approval! Items broken/damaged but not reported or lost/removed from premises may be billed to you at three times the replacement value. I understand accidents (or unintended loss) can happen, but just don't keep it a secret, ok? Thanks!  Replacement charge for most keys is a fixed $5, except for the Swedish keys for Cottage #1, which are $12 because replacements are not available in USA.    
  • Pets and smoking : Because PFS is a No-SMOKING/No-Pets establishment, this rule applies to visitors/guests also with minor exceptions:  All visitors/guests (anyone staying less than 24 hrs) who are smokers MUST do so only outside the cottage and at least 25 feet from building/porch. This stricter policy was caused by some problems in prior years. Should you have a visitor/guest with a pet (dog or cat), please do not allow the pets inside the cottage. Also, make sure they do not leave any visible "deposits" on grounds.
  • Windows : When leaving cottage for any extended length of time, PLEASE do NOT leave windows/doors in their fully opened position!  Yes, it may be a hot day but if it rains suddenly and heavily, water can then damage the cottage, so keep windows/doors only open at a 45 degree angle or less so that they are under the eaves/roof. This permits ventilation but protects the building. In some cases (i.e. heavy thunderstorms that pop up unexpectedly or major bands of heavy rain when tenant appears to be gone for the day or similar), owner may enter cottage briefly only for the purpose of closing windows to protect the cottage from rain and will notify tenant of that entry. This was done only twice in 2008 so it's unusual and can be easily prevented by tenant exercising care with this issue.  This will be done only when windows are fully open and cannot be adjusted from the outside (or when time is an issue), as can be done in some cases with certain windows/doors.
  • Power: These units were built in the 1950's with fuse boxes and less outlets than now typical so they are slightly limited for capacity but should suffice for your typical vacation needs. This means, however, that you may not be able to run the toaster and/or hair-dryer and/or coffepot at same time so just be aware. Also, leaving lights or fans on when not needed has an effect on utility costs (and thus rent!) so please be considerate and turn things off whenever possible. A nightlight is provided and should be used instead of leaving bathroom light on, for example. Fans left going for hours when away from unit are not friendly to the environment either.