Your Rental Guide!

Facts that are important for a renter?

Everyone has a different lifestyle. What might be suitable from one person's perspective, may not be true for others. There are several student housing search options that are not fulfilling the demands for each individual. Various needs such as budget, proximity to their school as well as shopping and services, and personal preference all play a major role in the selection of a rental search. There are a few common things that each individual should consider from a rental property:

Make sure your lease is in the form of a written contract. Never provide money until you are certain of your decision to rent. Always ask for a payment receipt from your housing provider. Ensure the rental meets the minimum health and safety standards.

Watch for these four red flags

Fake housing ads on various channels such as Facebook groups, Kijiji, Craigslist and other social media, are often aimed at university students looking for last-minute rentals. These fake ads generally ask for an online rent deposit but the problem is there's no apartment. Here are some ways to avoid falling victim to a fake rental advertisement:

If a housing provider is unavailable to show the property, there is a reason to worry. Potential renters should be concerned if there are only photos or verbal agreements in place without seeing the rental property in-person. Sending deposits without actually seeing a property and signing a lease agreement in person is never a good idea. According to a warning on Kijiji, if users meet up with the person face to face at the rental property, most scams can be avoided. It's important to do your homework and know the average price range for apartments in the area. If a rental property is priced well below the average for that particular town, or area of town, it may be too good to be true. Look for duplicate ads with varying prices. Imposters can copy and paste somebody else's listing and claim it as their own. Be on the lookout for an overeager housing provider trying to lease an apartment to you. A legitimate property owner will do some typical screening and ask questions to ensure renters are credit worthy.

Aside from the four major red flags listed above, renters should also take some precautions when considering their rental unit:

Ensure the housing provider has done due diligence from a safety standpoint. An unsafe rental unit can result in fires or physical harm to yourself or guests. An insecure unit can attract thieves, who are particularly drawn to small expensive electronic gadgets such as popular cell phones, laptops and iPods. Be sure that the apartment is clean and meets health requirements. A unit with mold, mildew, dust mites or animal dander can make some people sick, or can aggravate allergies. A unit with insects or rodents can make food impossible to keep around. Check windows and doors for drafts and make sure to test heating and cooling units. A unit with poor heating can be uncomfortable and can even make you sick. If heat is not included in the monthly rent, a poorly insulated unit or one with electric heat can add over CAD 100 per month to the cost of the room. Check the plumbing in the drains and toilets. A unit with plumbing problems can become unlivable in less than 24 hours. A housing provider who does not respond to urgent matters promptly can render you virtually homeless in the middle of winter. Choose roommates that fit with your personality and lifestyle. A bad choice of roommate can turn a home into an uncomfortable place to stay, where no one will speak to each other and everyone is complaining.

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