Apartment rents vary hugely across Canada, but if you want a place in a vibrant city like Toronto or Vancouver, it’s going to cost. CTV News report that the average one-bedroom apartment would set you back $1,900 in Toronto, or $1,950 in Vancouver – and this is after a drop. With a lot of money on the line, it pays to get your rental experience right the first time in order to make your home a haven.
Before you set out on the journey to finding your first apartment, it’s a good idea to compose a list of red flags. This should come before your wants and needs list, as it will eliminate a lot of properties very quickly. A scan of the Reader’s Digest reveals some big ones that should top any list: for instance, whether the apartment is on the bed bug registry, whether the apartment is warm enough, and if there are any major structural issues such as mould. As a bare minimum your apartment must be liveable, and putting together any factors that will go against this will help you immeasurably.
With the basics in order, it’s a good idea to start thinking about what you might like in your apartment. This could be something as simple as to whether the bathroom has a bath, or just a shower, through to the amount of space you need. Are you a family, or expecting to have children? You might need a spare room. Are you a professional, looking to work from home and enjoy a work/life split? It may be beneficial to have area for an office. Only you can know exactly what’s going to work for you, so make sure you think about it in depth, and decide on what you will or will not compromise on.
Knowing your rights
Unfortunately, landlords and tenants often have fractious relationships. While this isn’t always the case, there are enough cases of conflict between the two that it necessitates preparation. Being aware of your rights, through advocates and research, can help you to mitigate risk. This can also help you to mediate issues with your landlord if you do have an amicable relationship. Knowing your rights and being prepared is more important than ever, with a bill moving through Ontario legislature described by critics as giving an ‘unfair advantage to landlords,’ according to CBC.
Bring all of this together, and you’ll have a great shot at landing a place for yourself. Your house is your home, and so it’s really important that you take all the necessary steps to give yourself the best place to establish yourself.