HELPING YOU FIND YOUR WAY HOMEWARD
Now that you have figured out how much rent you can afford…where you want to live in the city…what type and size of apartment you want…you are ready for the next step: looking for your new rental accommodation!
When apartments are listed for rent, they are usually vacant and move-in ready (or will be ready for occupancy within 30 days at most). In order to give yourself sufficient time for a proper search, you should start looking anywhere from right away to 60 days before you want to move in.
Documentation required to rent an apartment usually consists of:
1. completion of a rental application,
2. letter of employment or proof of self employment,
3. reference letter(s) from someone who has known you more than one year (or reference contacts that can verify information you have supplied), and
4. credit check.
You will most likely be asked permission from the landlord to obtain their own copy of your credit report but you can also obtain your free report in advance by contacting Equifax at http://www.equifax.ca. Having the information available in advance will not only save you time but may also give you additional leverage when negotiating the rental price or terms of your rental agreement.
Once you have found the apartment you want to rent, you need to determine exactly what is included with your rental payment. Depending on the type of rental accommodation, you may be asked to pay utilities in which case you will have to have them transferred into your own name. You will also likely be asked to obtain contents insurance as part of your rental agreement (the amounts will be stipulated in the agreement).
Many of condominium buildings offer amazing facilities such as gyms, pools, saunas, tennis and/or squash courts, pools, etc. so you will need to find out if use of these are include in the lease. The landlord would already be paying for the maintenance of these items through his monthly maintenance fees, so why not ask that these items be included in the lease. If possible add a clause that a key to these facilities will be provided to you upon occupancy. Sometimes you may be asked for a separate deposit for the security fob that allows entrance to these facilities as the fobs are very expensive to replace if lost or stolen. If you are already paying a private gym fee membership, this might also save you some money in the long run.
If you are interested in renting a condominium apartment, you should be aware that many condominium corporations have strict rules about pets. If you are told they do allow pets, ask for a copy of the Condominium Rules and Regulations to confirm the restrictions that are place (such as weight, size and how many are allowed).
When you have negotiated your price, terms and occupancy an Offer to Lease will be prepared by your realtor outlining the monthly rental rate, what is included, occupancy date and other common terms and conditions which you will review in advance of signing. Once an Offer to Lease has been accepted, you will need to secure the property so it's yours while you are waiting for your move-in date. To do this, you will need to provide a deposit cheque for the first and last months rent to the landlord.
Once the occupancy date arrives, you can move in and enjoy your new apartment!!