Whether it’s your fifth time or your first, finding a new apartment is never an easy task, though the idea can be thrilling.
Fall term is coming up and the hunt for places is becoming slim. Though the pickings seem slim, that doesn’t mean grab the first one you see.
Dave Smith, the Senior Management for Off-Campus Housing at Fanshawe College says, you should compare places, and talk to the landlord.
They seem like pretty simple tips, but Smith says the most common problem he hears from a new renter is, they didn’t know the landlord’s rules prior to signing.
In this case, Fanshawe College has a mediation officer whom can help with your problem and speak on your behalf to resolve the issue(s), if necessary.
Smith recently went through apartment hunting with his son in Ottawa.
“The apartment I just got for my son is $500 a month, which is pretty reasonable. If he had of got a one bedroom it would have been $1,200. This is close to the university and he’s only going to be there for 12 months. It suits his needs. Fully furnished, so we don’t have to move anything. We interviewed the landlord, she’s very nice. It’s in a respectable area.”
Smith adds, ” We looked at the area, as far as crime. You can go on a police website and see what areas have the most crime.”
Once you’ve found a place and are looking at it, there are a couple of things to keep an eye out for.
Smith says, “Location to the college, cleanliness, more or less interview the landlord; you have to have that comfort feeling when you do the interview. Ask them about safety. Look for stuff like mold, cleanliness of the house. Have a look and make sure it is taken care of well. Make sure the appliances work, especially if appliances are included. Make sure that you understand the rules, whether you need to sign a lease; 12 month lease or go month to month.”
Fanshawe’s website has an entire section devoted to helping apartment hunters be as knowledgeable as possible when renting.
If you would like to talk to someone about renting off-campus before you sign the dotted line call 519-452-4260 or e-mail Offcampushousing@fanshawec.ca.
The office is a division of the Retail Services in F1002.
If you’re having trouble with your apartment or landlord, you can ask for help with the Housing Mediator Glenn Matthews. He can be reached at 519-452-4282 or you can visit room F2010 (part of Counselling and Accessibility Services) to make an appointment.