So we talked about the things you need to consider when you need to consider before you start looking for apartments. If you have not read this post I encourage you to read it here before reading this one. In the previous post, I walked you through all of the things you need to consider when you decide what you want in an apartment. In this post, I will go deeper into how you actually go about searching for an apartment.
So, how do you search for an apartment? It’s pretty simple honestly. Just type into google “apartments for rent “your city”. You will likely get kijiji pages or some other site like that. Use the filters in the beginning at least for price and take a look at what is available. Make sure to use google maps to pinpoint the exact location and decide whether it’s in the right location for you.
Ask around and see if people you know have apartment reccommendations. An apartment that has already been vetted by someone who has the same preferences as you can be an easy way to find a place you want to live.
Contacting the Landlord
After searching, the next step is contacting the landlord for a viewing. Call the number attached to the listing and ask if you can come for a viewing. They may also hold open houses at the apartment complex where people are just free to come and go in a show suite they have set up. A show suite is a furnished suite that they have ready just for potential renters to come see. Make sure that you view an apartment with the specific layout you want to rent. If you are wanting to rent a two bedroom, don’t settle for only seeing a one bedroom suite when you go.
When you go for your viewing you will likely have to check in at the leasing office. Tell them that you are there for a viewing. They will probably ask you a few questions; two bedrooms or one bedroom, what floor, which building (if there are multiple).Have answers prepared to these questions so you don’t have to think about it too much while you are there.
Questions to ask at the viewing
Utilities, pet deposit, visitor parking and more! If you are interested in this, stay tuned and I will be linking to a new post about these questions in a few days!
Once you have decided on the apartment that you want to rent, it’s time to fill out the application. You will be asked for a ton of documentation. At my current apartment we had to submit our application online which I think is very common now adays. If you have lived in dorms, you can ask them to write you a letter of reference but if you haven’t lived anywhere but your parents place, make sure you ask the landlord about that at the viewing (it’s likely not going to be a problem). You’ll have to provide employer information, two pieces of identification (SIN, Birth Certificate, Drivers License) and your last two pay stubs. If you aren’t currently working because you are a student, make sure to talk to them about that. You may have to get a co-signer.
After the Application- The Approval Process
After you apply, it could take anywhere from a couple of days to a couple of weeks to get approved. They will have to call previous landlords if you have any, they may call your employer to confirm your position, and they will have to draw up the lease for you to sign.
Signing the Lease
I only have one thing to say about this. Read your lease people. It is a binding contract and it needs to be thoroughly reviewed before you sign it. If you want to review it beforehand, ask if they can send you an electronic copy so you can read it over before going to the leasing office to sign it. They will go through the main points with you while you’re there but I still urge you to read it over on your own. Look for hidden fees and ask about them. If you see anything concerning, talk to the landlord about it. It’s your responsibility to ask the questions because once you sign, that’s it.
Other things to Do
Take a walk around while you are there
Visit at different times of the day
Try and do a viewing during a time when you know it would be pretty noisy so you know what the noise level is like in your suite.
Ask if you will get to pick out your specific suite. My current apartment is the only place I’ve been able to do this in but we got to look at 4 different suites in one of the buildings and pick from them. We chose one that had actually never been lived in by anyone because the building was so new.
Check out where the garbage, recycling, and laundry (if not in your suite) is at the apartment. Our current apartment has a garbage chute and it is the coolest thing ever. We don’t have to go outside to throw out the garbage in the middle of winter!
Moving in the winter can sometimes provide incentives like a free 500.00 credit toward rent. However, moving in winter can be really awful so it may not be worth it. I, personally, would not want to do that but if you have a minimal amount of possessions to move, it could be ok!
These are just a few things that I think are important in terms of apartment hunting. There are likely many more things to consider. I will be posting a lot more about apartment hunting so stay tuned! Comment down below if there are specific questions you have that you would like answered!