How to Avoid Common Rental Housing Mistakes
Looking for affordable housing can be a difficult and overwhelming task. There is no need to make it more difficult on yourself. Be sure to avoid the following Rental Housing Search Mistakes:
Set Your Expectations and Budget:
- Before you start looking for a rental, you should have a good idea of how much rent you can afford and what needs you really have. Most financial experts recommend that you spend approximately 30% of your take home income on housing. However, in today’s market with rental prices being higher than ever, be prepared for a very competitive approval process where you may need to budget more than you expected.
- Depending on your other financial obligations, your own financial goals, and the rates of rentals in your area (this is an increasing concern), you may now have to spend more.
- Be aware of the rental prices in your area and target rentals that fit within your allotted budget. You may need to be creative to meet your budget like sharing or renting a room.
- Try not to become focused on the details and understand what essentials your rental must have to meet your needs in other key areas. (Affordability, location, inclusive rent, proximity to amenities such as shopping, groceries, schools, appointments, parks, public transportation, unit size and many other considerations)
When You Find a Potential Unit:
- Always view the unit in person. Online shopping may seem like a quick and easy way to find and view rentals, however viewing your potential rental in person protects you from falling prey to scam artists while ensuring you really are getting what you hoped for.
- Some Landlords will try and convince you the details you see in the pictures or floor plan are what you are agreeing to rent.
- Photos can be deceiving, so don’t run the risk of disappointment after signing the tenancy agreement.
- On the day you get possession of your rental, walk through it with the Landlord if possible, and take pictures of any damages that were there upon your move in. This can help you prove the damage existed prior to you taking possession and did not occur during the term of the rental.
Use these Tips to Create:
- A realistic set of expectations
- A clear idea of what your rental budget is
- A sense of confidence that you are ready to move and have explored all options to address any issues
For more information or help with housing, call our Housing Resource Centre at 519-749-2450
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