There’s no feeling quite like walking into a rental apartment and knowing that it’s just right for you. It can be the location that speaks to you or the kitchen that you can just imagine yourself cooking in or the way the sun streams through the east-facing window in the morning. Sometimes you don’t know what unique mix of features will resonate with you until you see it. With that said, your dream apartment can too easily become the one that got away, and this rings especially true in today’s super competitive housing market.
Finding the right rental apartment for you can be a process of trial and error. Here are four tips that will help you get ahead of the competition and improve your chances of securing the apartment of your dreams.
Establish a good credit score and rating
While it does depend on the scoring model used, a “good” credit score is typically in the 660 to 724 range. With that said, in a competitive market, a higher credit score is obviously more ideal and will better your chances at landing the rental of your dreams. A score above 725 is considered above average, and the higher your score, the better your credit rating.
Conversely, a low credit score might raise a red flag in the eyes of a landlord, indicating to them that you have had trouble settling credit accounts in the past. If you suspect you have a low credit rating, be prepared to provide proof of income (for example, a pay stub), some recent bank statements, and letters of reference from previous landlords. You may also be required to provide a guarantor or co-signer, who is someone who agrees to pay your rent for you in case that you are unable to pay.
You can find more details about obtaining your credit score in Canada by mail, fax, telephone, or online via the Government of Canada website.
Be exhaustive with your search
Finding the right apartment can involve a lot of misses. You’re bound to encounter apartments that are simply not a good match for you for any number of reasons. With this in mind, it’s in your best interests to be as thorough as possible when apartment hunting. Set up Google alerts, subscribe to listings services, and make your rental needs known to family members, friends, colleagues, and acquaintances. A lot of people own properties that they rent out, and even if they don’t, they may know someone else who does.
Additionally, maintain communication with the leasing agents, landlords, and property managers that you encounter during your search. They are routinely immersed in the world of rental properties, so make sure to let them know what you’re looking for and ask them to keep you in mind for future rental opportunities.
Ask the right questions
As important as the visual aspects of a rental are (the layout, finishings, location, view, etc.), ensuring that the unit and building will be a long-term fit tends to boil down to nitty gritty logistics. For instance, the kitchens and bathrooms could be outfitted with top-of-the-line appliances and equipment, but if there isn’t an efficient system in place to maintain and repair these items, you might end up running into problems down the line.
Here are some questions you should ask the landlord or building manager when touring a prospective rental apartment.
- What types of repairs are handled by building management and what type of system do you have in place for filing and fulfilling maintenance requests?
- Are there any building amenities and if so, how often are things like pools, gyms, lounges, and rooftop gardens cleaned, maintained, and serviced?
- How are security issues handled and are there security personnel on site?
- Are apartments rekeyed after tenants move out?
- Is the building pet-friendly?
Come prepared with standard documentation
Before landlords can approve a rental application, there’s a number of checks and balances that must occur. To expedite the process and show your landlord that you are serious about locking down a lease, come prepared with things like your credit report, proof of income, bank statements, references, and funds for a security deposit. If you’re really keen, you can do some research on renter’s insurance, or go so far as to get a quote. This will show the landlord that you’re willing to do your due diligence, setting your application apart from others in a super competitive rental market.
We’ll be talking about the documents to have and know about if you’re looking to rent an apartment next week on the CPM blog. So stay tuned!
Rental apartments in Sault Ste. Marie, Niagara, Sudbury, and Hamilton
If you’re interested in a redefined rental experience, we offer renovated rental apartments in sought-after neighbourhoods in Sault Ste. Marie, Niagara, Sudbury, and Hamilton. From top-of-the-line finishings to energy-efficient appliances to digital amenities, our units have been upgraded to reflect the unique values of today’s tenants. Get in touch today to find out more about condo-style apartment living with CPM Properties.