Facts For Renters

1. Start by deciding what area(s) of Winnipeg you could see yourself living in.
Do you want to stay in the neighbourhood or move closer to family?

 2. Review your financials, you need to know what you can afford:
 Decide on how much you are able to spend on rent, be aware of utility costs

 3. Decide what your housing needs are:
 Book a free Housing Consultation to discuss your options with the Housing Coordinator call 204-956-6440
 What type of social activities or amenities are you looking for?
 What is your current health status? Do you need a place that offers an emergency pull-cord? Are you able to negotiate stairs? Do you have a pet?
Do you want social programs? Do you smoke? (many buildings are nonsmoking)

4. Select the places that meet your needs and explore those options:
 Call the managers or contact numbers listed and make an appointment to view the places that may have a show suite.
 Bring a checklist with you and a family member or a friend you trust to help you make a decision that is right for you.
 When you go view a building, do not hesitate to ask questions, this could be your next home and you want to make a well informed decision.
 If there is no suite to view, attend a congregate meal program if available in the building and speak directly to current tenants. Many buildings also have events open to the public where you can ask tenants about their experience living there (craft sales, bake sales, Christmas events, etc.).
View the place(s) of your choice by driving by in the daytime as well as at night. Find out about safety issues: parking, elevator use, security cameras, security staff, and management (on site or off?)
 Check the condition of the building both inside and out. How old is it? Is it clean and well maintained? Does everything work: locks, windows, plumbing, appliances etc? Is it a nice neighborhood? Will you be safe walking in the area? Where is the bus stop? Do they allow power scooters?

5. Know your rights and be aware of what to ask for:
 Are there any membership fees or expenses not covered in the rent?
 Many apartments do not require a security deposit for older adults. If one is required, make sure it is not more that half of the first month’s rent. If it is, they are overcharging you according to Provincial Law
You can call the Manitoba Residential Tenancies Board @ 204-945-2476 to enquire about allowable rent increases, what costs are considered to be part of your rent, and to enquire about any previous complaints and any outstanding issues that may have been filed. Staff can also answer questions about Rights & Responsibilities for the tenant and the landlord and can assist in conflict mediation.
 Inquire about the Tenancy Agreement: is it month to month, or is it a fixed term agreement? Whatever is agreed upon, be sure to get it in writing to prevent future disputes. A Tenancy Agreement should state the amount of rent to be charged, when it should be paid, what is included in the rent, and the utilities the tenant is responsible for
 You should know how soon you can move in and how much notice is required if you want to move out.
 Ask if you have the option to sublet your apartment.
 If there are damages to the suite, be sure to write it down on a piece of paper, or ask the manager to add it to the move-in inspection report. Also if the landlord says there are repairs to be made, get it in writing.

6. Waiting List Information:
 Don't be intimidated by the length of waiting lists, put your name on as many lists that appeal to you
 Keep track of the calls you have made and the lists you are on. Knowing when you called, who you spoke to, and what they said will help avoid future miscommunications.
 Some places require a deposit for holding your name on their waiting list. This is usually refunded if you take your name off the list or it can be applied towards your damage deposit upon moving in. Either way, obtain a receipt as a record of the transaction.

7. Start changing your life and make the move a reality:
 Take inventory of your possessions, decide what to keep, what to give away, what to sell. Invite trusted friends and family over to help you downsize.

 If required, have an antique appraisal conducted to define your insurance needs for moving.  If selling get an estimate on your house.
Keith Tod will do a free, no obligation evaluation on your house or condo.
Start packing! Get started on changing your life, the sooner you start the less overwhelming it will be. 
                                      Be proactive not reactive!
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