Planning to Rent - Plan Ahead

1. Finding a good place to rent is not easy. First, the best places are most often taken. Second, you have to know where to look. Third, you have decide on your own wants, needs,. affordability and lifestyle.

2. Some renters may take the perception that they want the cheapest place possible. The cheapest place is a room for rent. However, can you live with other strangers? Can you put up with the possible mess, noise and share responsibilities? There is a lifestyle you already have for your self. How much of your lifestyle are you willing to sacrifice for a cheaper rent.

3. Renting can be viewed as an experience. You're moving to a new place, a new environment and with new possibilities. Regardless of whether the experience was good or bad, you will certainly learn a lot. Take light in the possibilty that you may rent a bad place and be prepared to move if that occurs.

4. Plan several months a head to view the market and what is available. Look in newspapers, Internet and referrals. Get to know the area you intend to live in. What activities are available and how to intend to enjoy your new stay. Get to know the landlord and make sure you can work with him. Just like there are bad tenants, there are also bad landlords.

5. Know the law. Each province has it's tenant act that helps renters resolve issues. Most of the time, the province law is designed to help the tenants, but you need to know what you can do. Do you know what you can do if you get evicted? Do you know what you can and can't do while rening someone else's house? Do you know how much rent the landlord can charge and how often they can raise rent? The main page of RentBin.ca provides you with a link to the tenant laws to each province.

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Make a good first impression - this matters

Dress to Impress

Too many times, renters think just because they are the clients, they think there is no need to present a themselves and it is up to the landlord's job to do all the work.

The monthly rent doesn't cover the cost of the house. Smart landlords are very cautious when rentng out a house. They need to make sure the renter is reliable enough to pay the rent on time and still not damage the house. Any other type of renter would be unacceptable.

I once met a renter who was more than an hour late for our scheduled appointment and he didn't even have a reason. He then continued to make commitments to show up in 15 mins every 15 minutes! Clearly, I didn't give him the room. It was a pain just meeting him.

I had another case who thought he had the house because he had good references and was reliable. He was so mad when he discovered I gave the house to someone else that he sent me an e-mail complaining that I had wasted his time. Fact is, I only had one house and two renters. I do not need to reveal anything to my renters and my renters do not need to know anything about my approach to selecting my tenants. Applications can get rejected for many reason.

As a renter, show up on time, present yourself as a reliable, responsible, mature citizen. Impress the landlord and then, if you don't like the house, you can reject it rather than getting rejected by it.

Smart landlords only want good tenants!

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Evaluate your Landlord

How to evaluate your landlord?

Before beginning to even renting a porperty, make sure you get a landlord you can reason with. Make sure the landlord is reasonable and trustworthy. To do that, just like a landlord can ask for references, so can renters. That is, get references from your landlord from past tenants.

I once rented a room from this inexperience homeowner who really didn't know what she was getting herself into. She thought I was going to only sleep there and never cook or actually stay in that room. She started complaining that I turned on the lights too many times and cooked too late. These complaints were never in any any agreement or rental contract that she never created or even verbally stated. She even started going into the room that I rented when I wasn't around! She didn't know her rights as a landlord and she didn't know the responsibilities of being a landlord.

As a tenant, you also need to know your rights. Your landlord won't tell you and you really don't want to learn it the hard way.

Once when you know your rights, managing your landlord should be much easier. You know your landlord has an obligation to repair damage rental property items through wear and tear. Make sure your landlord is making the effort to keep the rental property in good condition before signing a lease.

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Is it possible to negotiate the Rent?

Renting a property is not the same as buying a car or buying a product. The property is limited in quantity to only one renter and so, the need to reduce the rent may not be seem profitable to the landlord.

To bring up the idea to reduce the rent to the property manager can hurt your chances of getting the rental property. Some landlords do not want to waste their time with cheap tenants.

If you believe, the rental property is of value, then do not bother. There is a high chance other potential renters will feel the same way and bringing up the idea of negotiating the rent will only hurt your chances.

If you believe the landlord has given any indication that the rent is negotiable or that the rental property is not to your interest, than you may be able to suggest a reduce rent amount.

In the most simplistic case, simply ask over the phone "Is the rent negotiable or firm?" This question won't hurt your chances too much because it doesn't waste too much of the landlord's time and you are not directly asking for a rent reduction.

Another idea is to look for rental properties near the end of the month. If the landlord has not found any tenants, then it is not likely the property will be rented out for the next month. The landlord will then be more inclined to reduce the rent rather than to lose a month's worth of rental income.

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Renting Etiquette

One may wonder why tenant etiquette even exist. Since it is the tenants that are paying the rent, does tenant etiquette even matter? My answer is an absolute yes. By being a good tenant, your landlord will treat you better. If things, break your landlord is more likely to fix it faster. If you need references for future rental properties, your landlord is more likely to give you good references. At the same time, it is proper manner to have etiquette in a civilized world.

1. Pay your rent on time without having to be asked.
There are bills that are not visible to the tenant such as property taxes, mortgages and possibly utilities. All these bills need to be paid on time. If not, the landlord will be charged interest. Paying the rent on time lets landlord worry about other things like maintaining the property for you. You are allowed into the rental property every day without ever being asked. So, as tenant, you should pay the rent without waiting to be asked.

2. If you are going to be late for the rent, let your landlord know a head of time.
Money is hard earned. By letting your Landlord know a head of time, your landlord can prepare for other ways to pay the bills.

3. Do not overuse areas that isn't yours.
Generally, unless stated otherwise, a room for rent implies your are only renting the room and not use of the whole house. Only if you are cooking or using the laundry, should you be using the other common areas. Do not treat the common areas as additional space for you to store things and take advantage of. This is not appropriate and actually against room rental standard rules.

4. When you move out, keep it in the same condition it was when you moved in.
This is the gernal rule. It is not against the law to leave it as a mess, but just nice to do. It helps the landlord rent to the next renter and helps you get a good reference.

5. Although having proper etiqutte is nice, but you do not have to be overly nice.
The area you rent is yours. If you find your landlord violating your space by either stepping into it without your permission, your landlord has violated your rights as a tenant. Do complain and make your concern heard. You do not know what your landlord is doing when you are not around.

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Rental Scams

A Toronto couple finds an awesome rental deal.

They had found a modern three-bedroom condo in downtown available to rent for only $2,000. The landlord was kind, pleasant, and professional. After showing them the house, the landlord requested first and last month's rent in certified checks.

When they arrived a week later to move in, they found another couple is living there. The phony landlord had rented the condo out to 7 other renters before skipping town. It turned out the phony landlord had actually rented the condo for himself just a few weeks before advertising it for rent.


There has been many cases of people renting other people houses. In fact, there has even been cases of people selling other people's houses. To make sure the house you are renting is indeed owned by the landlord, get references from past renters and make sure they were indeed legitimate renters. Request to obtain the deed to the ownership of the property. Don't give out any money until you are absolutely sure the landlord is indeed a landlord of the rental property. If you know the landlord is a fraud contact, the police immdeiately.

Real Estate scams scams has been on the rise in Ontario for the past number of years.

For more information on Fraud in Canada, link to the phonebusters website

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What to do if your Landlord wants to evict you

As a renter, an eviction notice can threaten your lifestyle. Before something like this can even happen, you should always have a fall back plan. First, prevention is the best medicine. Always throughly check your landlord in terms of his character and his conditions to renting the apartment. Is your landlord trsutworthy and reliable? How long does the landlord intend to rent?

Second, make sure you are aware of the procedure for eviction.

For example, in Ontario,

1. If the Rental Apartment meets the conditions with the Ontario Tenant Act, then

If the rental property is on a weekly or daily tenancy, then the termination notice must be given atleast 28 days prior to the termination date and the termination date must be the last day of the rental period.

If the rental property is on monthly tenancy or any other kinds of tenancy, then the termination notice must be given atleast 60 days prior to the termination date and the termination date must be on the last day of the rental period.

If the contract has expired, the tenant can choose to terminate the agreement for any reason.  The landlord CANNOT terminate the agreement for any reason even after the lease has expired. Valid reasons includes a family member is moving into the rental property, the rental property has been sold or landlord needs it for their own use. Landlords often attempt to terminate relationship if they do not like the tenant. However, not liking a tenant is not valid reason for termination. Tenants can claim termination was done in bad faith.

Disputing Termination: Some key points to know
1. After the termination notice, the tenant can still chose to dispute the notice if the tenant believes it was done in bad faith.
2. The landlord cannot take matters in his own hands and change the locks on the rental premises or move the tenant's items out.
3. At the point of dispute, the rental agreement continues as it is. The tenant must continue to provide rent.
4. The landlord can only apply to the Board and the Board will give the landlord a notice of hearing.

Rental Contract: The only condition in the rental contract is that if the rental property meets the Residential Tenancies Act, then the contract cannot violate the Residential Tenancies Act. Other than that, there is no set standard to the rental contract.


2. If the Rental Apartment does not meet the conditions of the Ontario Tenant Act, then Social law applies

If the rental property does not meet the conditions of the Residential Tenancies Act., then Social Law applies. In Social Law, it is matter of common sense and putting everything in writing into the Rental Contract. In Social Law, it is acceptable for the Landlord to lock the rental premises. It is acceptable for the Landlord to move the renter's items. One thing the tenant can do is request to agree to follow the Ontario Residential Tenancy Act. and put it in the Rental Contract. Always make sure you have a rental contract.


Check with your own province to make sure you are aware of all your options.

If you have any questions or concerns about these articles, please comment below...

What to do if your landlord wants to evict you

As a renter, an eviction notice can threaten your lifestyle. Before something like this can even happen, you should always have a fall back plan. First, prevention is the best medicine. Always throughly check your landlord in terms of his character and his conditions to renting the apartment. Is your landlord trsutworthy and reliable? How long does the landlord intend to rent?

Second, make sure you are aware of the procedure for eviction.

For example, in Ontario,

1. If the Rental Apartment meets the conditions with the Ontario Tenant Act, then

If the rental property is on a weekly or daily tenancy, then the termination notice must be given atleast 28 days prior to the termination date and the termination date must be the last day of the rental period.

If the rental property is on monthly tenancy or any other kinds of tenancy, then the termination notice must be given atleast 60 days prior to the termination date and the termination date must be on the last day of the rental period.

If the contract has expired, the tenant can choose to terminate the agreement for any reason.  The landlord CANNOT terminate the agreement for any reason even after the lease has expired. Valid reasons includes a family member is moving into the rental property, the rental property has been sold or landlord needs it for their own use. Landlords often attempt to terminate relationship if they do not like the tenant. However, not liking a tenant is not valid reason for termination. Tenants can claim termination was done in bad faith.

Disputing Termination: Some key points to know
1. After the termination notice, the tenant can still chose to dispute the notice if the tenant believes it was done in bad faith.
2. The landlord cannot take matters in his own hands and change the locks on the rental premises or move the tenant's items out.
3. At the point of dispute, the rental agreement continues as it is. The tenant must continue to provide rent.
4. The landlord can only apply to the Board and the Board will give the landlord a notice of hearing.

Rental Contract: The only condition in the rental contract is that if the rental property meets the Residential Tenancies Act, then the contract cannot violate the Residential Tenancies Act. Other than that, there is no set standard to the rental contract.


2. If the Rental Apartment does not meet the conditions of the Ontario Tenant Act, then Social law applies

If the rental property does not meet the conditions of the Residential Tenancies Act., then Social Law applies. In Social Law, it is matter of common sense and putting everything in writing into the Rental Contract. In Social Law, it is acceptable for the Landlord to lock the rental premises. It is acceptable for the Landlord to move the renter's items. One thing the tenant can do is request to agree to follow the Ontario Residential Tenancy Act. and put it in the Rental Contract. Always make sure you have a rental contract.


Check with your own province to make sure you are aware of all your options.

If you have any questions or concerns about these articles, please comment below...

Room Rental General Guidelines

Too many times, renters rent rooms not knowing what they can and cannot do in the vicinities of the house. Yes, you rented a room, but not the house. So unless explicitly stated, the house is not your right to use. So below are some general guidelines to help you understand appropriate etiquette and rights are. 

1. The share area is shared and cannot be hogged by any one tenant. Do not use it as storage space.

2. Shared washroom should be use for at a standard of 15 minutes. Anymore could prevent other room mates from using it.

3. Shared Laundry should only be done once a week. Anymore is considered overuse, especially when someone else is paying for the hydro and utility bills.

4. Keep quiet especially at night. No one wants to hear your music.

5. Do not use other people's stuff even if it is your landlord. Just because it is there doesn't make it yours. 

6. Don't use the common area like you own it. It is simply there to cook your meal and eat your dinner/lunch/breakfast. Any more use is not part of the standard rental norm.

7. Do not move stuff around the common area. Although you can make suggestion, it is not your final decision to make.

8. Bring friends over is kept at a minimum. Since the hydro and utility bills are shared, it is not fair to have to pay for your friends as well.

9. Do not smoke. Do not even ask. Asking makes it difficult for your fellow room mates to say no.

10. Keep the common area clean. More often than not, renters make a mess of things they are not even aware of. So it better to make an effort to keep it clean because everyone is using it.

How to save as a renter - property types

Depending on your lifestyle, there are several different property types that can help reduce your rental cost.

1. If you are single, then renting a small room is all you need and gives you the cheapest savings. You shouldn't need to worry about maintenance, property insurance, house insurance or even paying the hydro bills on time. But you do need to worry about your room mates. They may be too noisy, too quiet, too dirty or just too nosy.

2. If you prefer more luxury or have more people like a mate, then a small apartment. The cheapest would be a basement apartment.This give privacy time for you and your significant other, but it should be more expensive than renting a room.

3. If you have a family, then condo townhouse or a large apartment. You may be expected to pay the hydro bills. You may even be expected to shovel the snow and mow the lawn.You may consider a house, but you will most likely have to mow the lawn, pay hydro bills and worry about fee almost similar to a homeowner.

4. If you are broke and afford anything, ask the government for social assistance. The Canadian government are extremely helpful to those who are about to evicted and can no longer afford to pay for the rent. Do not ask your landlord for free rent. Clearly, their first priority would be to kick you out!