Whether you are renting your first apartment or want to avoid problems for your new lease, here is a helpful guide to renting an apartment in Ottawa:

First, consider how much you can afford to spend on rent and utilities when renting an apartment. Your monthly housing expenses should ideally be no more than 30 percent of your monthly income. It is very important to take utilities into consideration as they are not always included in your overall monthly housing expenses. Once you have come up with a budget, only visit the apartments within it as you will not want to fall in love with something you cannot afford.

The Search
Some of the best resources for renting an apartment in Ottawa are property management websites. To get an idea of what you want, have a look at some of the buildings in your desired neighbourhood. Afterwards, do some research into the property management company. You can then do a simple search on their website by entering your budget, your needs and your area to get a comprehensive listing of what apartments are available for rent. If you search on unauthorized websites or in the papers be careful as you have no way of knowing if ads are legitimate. Using property management sites ensures everything is on the up and up.

Be Prepared
When you are out looking at apartments, go prepared. Have a cheque ready as well as a letter from your employer and references from previous landlords. If this is your first apartment, the cheque and letter will show you mean business and are dependable.

Be Smart
Read the lease thoroughly and ensure you understand the details such as what the rent includes. Don’t let them bully you into signing with the old “there’s plenty of others who will take the apartment.” Something is most likely amiss if they do not have a lease.

Be Thorough
Check every inch of the apartment by looking in cupboards, behind shower curtains and inside appliances. Take note of anything odd such as unpleasant smells, noise or questionable stains on the walls and ceilings. These are all signs that there might be underlying issues with the apartment. Do the same thorough check of common areas, parking lots and laundry rooms to make sure they are well maintained, well lit and safe.

This guide will help you avoid mistakes when renting an apartment in Ottawa for your home sweet home.