Here are seven techniques to add to your apartment hunting skills so you can find the perfect apartment in Ottawa more quickly:

  1. 1. Local Charm: First think about the neighbourhoods you love most in Ottawa and why you want to live there. Elect to only look in these areas. If possible, try to only look in one area but you can list three areas in order of preference just in case you find that where you want to live is too expensive or has little available for rent.
  2. 2. List Your Must-Haves: Make a short list of the things you absolutely must have starting with your maximum budget. Consider things from amount of bedrooms to transportation and list them in order of priority to help you in your search.
  3. 3. Keep a Photo Reference: While apartment hunting, snap photos of each unit and make notes about what you like and don’t like. If you don’t like it, don’t take pictures. Afterwards, you can review the photos of the ones you like to keep them fresh in your mind and to help you decide which unit is best for you.
  4. 4. Bring Your Info: When looking for an Ottawa rental apartment, bring everything you will need to fill out applications including a deposit cheque. If you find the ideal apartment, you will know it. You will want to be able to fill out an application right away and leave a deposit so they know you mean business. Bring references, especially for prior landlords, so that they know you are dependable.
  5. 5. Know the Costs: Before you commit, understand all of the fees so that you don’t get in over your head. Look at everything from utilities to laundry. Some apartments might also have a fee for parking. If you decide to rent a condo, they might expect you to pay maintenance fees as well.
  6. 6. Look, Listen and Sniff: Upon entering some apartments, the smell will be the first thing you notice. This could be a problem, as could noise from traffic or neighbours. Pay attention so that you don’t wind up in a musty apartment with stomping feet overhead. Take note of these details in common areas as well.
  7. 7. Dig Deep: Check closets, kitchen cupboards, kitchen appliances and shower/tub areas. Note anything that needs repairing and avoid apartments with a long list of issues. You can try mentioning issues to the landlord, but there is no guarantee they will be fixed before you move in.

Apartment hunting can be a lot of fun if you know how to narrow your search and enjoy the experience.