Looking for your first apartment? Moving to a new place?
Before you rent:
Whether you’re moving in to an apartment for the first time or you’re looking for a new place to live, the experience can be both exciting and scary. Before you start your search, here are some questions you need to ask yourself:
Starting your search:
There’s a lot to think about before deciding which apartment to lease. Once you’ve decided on the kinds of places you can afford to live in and where you want to live, you should ask some questions and keep your eyes open when you’re out looking for just the right place.
Deciding on just the right place:
Once you’ve decided on a place to rent, there are some questions you should ask before you sign a lease or give a security deposit in order to avoid any misunderstandings.
Signing the lease:
Once you’ve done all your research, asked all the appropriate questions about the unit you want to rent, you may be asked to complete an application form and give a security deposit. You should not sign the application or pay a security deposit, which can’t be more than one-half of the first month’s rent, unless you are sure that the unit is right for you.
It’s important to be confident in your decision to sign the lease because you may lose your security deposit if you decide not to move in. The landlord can also file a claim against you for loss of rent.
Before you move in to your new unit, the Residential Tenancies Branch encourages you and your landlord to inspect the property together and fill out a Rental Unit Condition Report. Either you or the landlord can ask to have a condition report done and the inspection is done by both of you.
Some things you should be looking for during the inspection include:
Either you or the landlord can ask to have the condition report done. It’s important you and the landlord agree on the condition of the property before you sign the report because it can later be used as evidence by either of you to support or respond to:
Contacting the landlord after you move in:
The landlord must tell you how you can get in touch with him/her after you move in. If the landlord doesn’t do this, you should ask: