For some clients, they will not be moving into another house they have just purchased. Instead, for various reasons, they will be renting. For some, they are cashing in on the equity in their house. For others, they are building a new home and it is not yet finished being built. For others, they may be moving to a new town or in a new life situation where buying immediately does not make sense. They are waiting for things in their life to stabilize or they waiting to figure out their new town or neighbourhood before buying. Whatever the reason, you might find yourself renting after you sell.
Finding the perfect apartment doesn’t happen by chance. Before you commit to a lease, here are some tips to help you navigate the rental market:
Know your price range: Remember to factor in utility costs and parking cost, if applicable.
Location: If you plan to buy a home down the line, why not get an apartment in the general area you’re considering, so you can get to know the area? Renting is an ideal, low-commitment opportunity to get to know a neighbourhood.
Type of apartment: Size does matter. You might be in your apartment for longer than you think. Plan for as much space as you can comfortably afford, so you’ll have the room you need.
Features and amenities: Is an en suite or on-site laundry facility important or do you mind going to a laundromat? Does the building feature security features such as security patrols or video cameras? Do you want the convenience of a dishwasher, an on-site gym or pool, a balcony etc.?
Inspect the apartment carefully before signing a lease. Whether you’re looking at high-rise buildings, a privately owned duplex or triplex, or you will be renting a house or townhouse, remember that landlords are landlords: there are good and bad ones everywhere.
If the apartment needs work, does the landlord promise to complete this work before you move in? A landlord’s reluctance to make repairs is not a good sign and is a good reason not to rent that particular place no matter how good a location it is or how cute it is or the great price you are getting on rent. You don’t need the headaches of dealing with a difficult landlord. You don’t want to spend all of your time and energy hassling your landlord or property management company to get basic repairs and maintenance done.
Don’t be afraid to negotiate with a landlord for upgrades and freebies. They may reject your requests, but they could also accept them or counter-offer. Most importantly, don’t let a low price suck you in. There is often a very good reason for that low price. Here some the things you’ll want to look for:
The building: What is the state of repair outside and inside? Are common areas kept clean and in good repair?
Look at the windows of other units in the building. Do you see mostly curtains and blinds, or do you see a lot of flags and/or blankets being used as window coverings. That can often be a sign that you will encounter problems with other tenants.
The apartment: Take note of general appearance and upkeep. Are the carpets or flooring worn? Are the walls cracked or in need of paint? Is there staining on the roof or walls (an indication of a water leak)?
Check all light switches and outlets to ensure they are working.
Doors and windows: Are there secure locks, a peephole and deadbolts on all outside doors? Check for drafts around windows, doors, light switches and electric outlets. If you are paying for heating, a drafty apartment could be cold and costly in winter.
The kitchen: Check faucets for water pressure and hot water. Examine the base of the faucet for leaks and look under the sink for signs of water damage. Turn on the stove and oven and check that the fridge, dishwasher and any other appliances are in good working order.
The bathroom: Check faucets for water pressure and hot water. Examine the base of the faucet for leaks and look under the sink and around the tub or shower stall for signs of water damage. Press gently on tile. If the tile moves, it could be a sign of water damage in the wall behind the tile. Flush the toilet to ensure it drains properly.
If you’ve found a great place and thoroughly checked it out, it’s time to ask the landlord about the details of the lease and any other building regulations. Get promises in writing if you can. You’ll want to know…
How long is the lease? Can you arrange a short term lease or better yet, rent month-to-month?
Can I sublet the apartment if I want to move before the lease period is over?
How much of a deposit is required?
Can I have roommates?
Are any utilities included in the cost of rent? What about parking?
Are there special building rules regarding pets or noise?
What is the procedure for obtaining repairs to the apartment? Is emergency maintenance available 24 hours a day?
What maintenance am I responsible for?
What changes can I make to the apartment? Can I paint? Hang pictures? Put up shelves?
When can I move in?
SERVICE | KNOWLEDGE | RESULTS
Thinking About Selling?
Is Now the Time to Sell?
The Buyer’s Perspective
De-Cluttering and Staging
Selling Your Home
The Importance of Pricing
Marketing Your Home
Home Selling Documents
The Deal Is Firm, Now What?
Your Lawyer’s Role
Getting Ready for the Buyer
After Closing Day
334 Wellington Rd. S
London, Ontario N6C 4P6