For one reason or the other, not all of us can start off our independent living situations as home owners. In fact, the majority of young Canadians become renters long before they buy their first houses or condos. Rooming with friends, family members and/or love interests are all part of the plan for most people leaving the nest. But the majority of first-time renters often get hit with a hard reality: finding a place to live isn’t as easy as it may seem!
Here are four simple tips for finding yourself the perfect place to rent:
1. Be on the lookout for “For Rent” signs in your favourite areas.
There’s nothing like a little (and literal) legwork to get the ball rolling on the whole “finding a place to live” thing. If you’re interested in a particular area of your city – perhaps, because it’s close to where you work – take a walk through the neighbourhood. Be on the lookout for properties that are up for rent and be sure to inquire within. There’s nothing like seeing a place for yourself to determine if it’s the right spot for you.
This do-it-yourself practice is encouraged by Stacey Sleightholm of BlogTO.com. Among her tips for finding an apartment in Toronto, she suggests that you walk around neighbourhoods of your liking. “If you know the general area you’re interested in, take a stroll around the neighbourhood and keep an eye out for ‘for rent’ signs,” she advises, “Not only will you get the jump on any great units in the area, but you’ll also learn where local amenities exist.”
2. Try an age-old tradition: contact a real estate agent.
Sometimes, it’s best to leave it to the experts. If you’re one of those individuals who would rather let a professional find a rental space for you, don’t hesitate to reach out to one. After all, there should be no cost to you for using a real estate agent. They generally receive commissions from the owners of the properties they find tenants for. Lauren Pelley of CBC News recommends real estate agents and cites Toronto-based renter, Ben Singer as an advocate for them.
“Singer…swears by the real estate agent who did all the legwork,” she reports, “And he didn’t have to pay a penny for the service — the fees are actually paid by whoever is trying to rent out their unit.” Singer adds that real estate agents “have the capacity to filter out a lot of stuff and save you a lot of time.”
3. Seek out referrals.
Today’s consumer is very savvy. He/she will often look for word-of-mouth recommendations before making buying decisions. As well, most people will take to the internet to read online reviews about businesses before giving them their support. When looking for a place to live, this is a great strategy. Ask around. Try to attain information about living spaces from a variety of sources you trust, both online and offline.
4. Find a landlord who is a Single-Key customer!
At Single-Key, we make it so that once you’ve found the perfect place to rent, the rest is easy. That is, of course, if your landlord is a Single-Key customer. If so, we offer you payment flexibility like no other rental agreement can. At no cost to you (the monthly fee is paid by your landlord), you will be able to postpone your rent for a month and also be able to choose between cheque and Interac as your payment method!