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Before Renting

What a Tenant should know

When you're looking for a place to rent, ask yourself the following questions:

  • How much rent can I afford to pay each month?
  • Is it in an area convenient for me (close to schools, etc.)?
  • Do I want a non-smoking apartment?
  • Do I need an apartment whose owner allows pets?
  • Do I need an apartment with accessible entrances?

When you find a potential new apartment, first note the condition of the apartment, for example, take special note of the flooring/carpeting, appliances, walls, and windows. Find out what services are available, for example, laundry facilities, appliances and utilities.

If you plan to rent the apartment, ask the following questions:

  • How much is the rent and when is it due?
  • What kind of rental agreement is it? Is it weekly, monthly or a term from 6 months to a year? Do I want to sign an agreement?
  • How much notice is required if you want to move out?
  • What is the earliest move-in date and at what exact time?
  • What is included in the rent?

If you want to rent the apartment, you may have to complete an application form and give a Security Deposit PDF (68 KB). Before signing any Rental Agreement PDF (42 KB), read the agreement carefully and review our Information on Rental Agreements PDF (86 KB). You should not sign the agreement unless you are sure the apartment is right for you. Remember, once you have agreed to rent the apartment, you are a tenant and have all the obligations of a tenant.

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What a landlord should know

It is suggested you require a written application from prospective tenants and request information such as, character references, name of employer and income, credit reference, names of all the people who will be living in the rental unit, and date of birth. This application does not enter you into an agreement with the prospective tenant.

When you approve a tenant, collect your first month's rent and security deposit before providing keys to the rental unit. Remember once you have agreed to rent the apartment, you have all the obligations of a landlord. Once you have entered into a rental agreement, you must provide your tenant a copy of the Residential Tenancies Act. You should ensure the rental unit is available on the date agreed.

You must provide the tenant with a copy of any Rental Agreement PDF (42 KB) signed by you and the tenant within 10 days after signing. The agreement must contain the required information as outlined on our Information on Rental Agreements PDF (86 KB).

If there are rules such as "no pets" or "no smoking" it is best to ensure that these rules are part of the Rental Agreement PDF (42 KB). The types of rental agreements allowed are weekly, monthly and a term of 6 months to a year.

You should complete a Rental Premises Condition ReportPDF (55 KB) with the tenants at the beginning of the tenancy. This helps protect you and the tenant in the event of damages to the rental property or clean up claims.

You cannot collect a Security DepositPDF (68 KB) until you have decided to rent the unit to the applicant. (Note: you may collect up to 3/4 of a month’s rent as a security deposit. You can also collect the first month's rent. You cannot collect the first and last month's rent.

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