You’ve saved some money and landed a good job. Now you’re ready to take the big step of getting a place of your own. This can be an exciting yet stressful time, as you may find yourself with many unanswered questions. Great news – we’re here to answer your questions and ease the transition into your new home.
Q) How much should I spend?
A) Knowing what you can afford is hugely important when it comes to searching for a new apartment. A good rule of thumb is to not spend more than 40% of your monthly income on rent. Ie. If your monthly income is $3,000 (after taxes), you should not spend more than $1,200 a month on rent. This will help ensure that you have fund available to cover vehicle payments, insurance, electrical bills, and food.
Q) How do I make a good impression on my prospective landlord?
A) To make a good impression on your prospective landlord, arrive at your appointment prepared – bring all the paperwork you may need with you. Landlords will typically request the following of you:
- Proof of income – 2 most recent pay stubs, a letter of employment, or a T4 will often suffice. Be sure to arrive prepared with contact information for at least 1 work reference.
- Photo identification – bring a copy of your government-issued photo identification (eg. license or passport) so that your prospective landlord can verify that you are who you say you are.
- Banking Details – bring a void cheque or direct withdrawal form for rent withdrawal purposes.
- Co-signer – If you suspect that you may require a co-signer, bring a qualified co-signer to the appointment with you as they will need to sign the appropriate paperwork.
Q) What questions should I ask my prospective landlord?
A) Resident Managers, Landlords, and Leasing Agents can all be valuable sources of information. If you haven’t done your research on the neighborhood, ask them about nearby grocery stores, restaurants, schools, and transit stops. Is security a priority for you? If so, ask how tenants access the building and whether there’s video surveillance. Always be sure to ask what’s included in the rental rate, if there are any additional costs, and what sort of promotions they’re offering.
Q) What is a security deposit?
A) A security deposit is a one-time payment made to the landlord or property management company, which they retain throughout the course of your tenancy in case damages occur to the property. In Alberta, the security deposit must be paid prior to move-in and may not exceed the rental rate.
Q) What is tenant insurance, and do I really need it?
A) Tenant insurance is absolutely mandatory! Though policies vary based on the insurer, they all contain 2 types of coverage – content and liability. In short, tenant insurance covers your belongings from damage and covers you in the event that you cause unintentional harm or damage to the property or it’s occupants.
Though moving out on your own may seem like a scary experience, it will ultimately be one full of freedom and reward. We hope this has answered some of your questions and helped ease your transition into your new home!