RentSeeker.ca Apartment Rental Blog

Moving Into Your First Apartment

July 23rd, 2014

Moving into your first Apartment We know it’s still summer and you’re probably not worrying about how everything will fall into place come September when you need to head off to college or university. But trust us when we say that looking for a place to live should be on top of your to-do list, despite the fact that it’s still July. In particular, students who are moving into their own apartment for the very first time probably have a lot of questions: What amenities should you look for? What makes a good landlord? Exactly how much money is required for a damage deposit – and is it even legal for a landlord to ask for one? There’s a lot of planning that goes into moving into an apartment for the first time. Don’t leave it to the last minute when you should instead be focusing on preparing for school. Here, we help you to navigate the biggest questions that come along with moving into an apartment for the first time when you’re a student.

Keep It Simple

Ah, the stress of finding your first apartment. While it may seem overwhelming, there is an easy way to ensure that you can tame that strange sense of dread. Take a moment to sit down and think about what you really, really want, then put those wants into writing. If you’re not even sure where to start, enlist the help of your parents or friends that have lived in an apartment before – they’ll be able to tell you what kind of things should be on your list. It’s here that we should remind you that there is a difference between wants and needs. Of course, we all want to have a personal maid that will help us clean the bathroom but we don’t need it. Again, ask for the input of others to help you keep those apartment dreams a little more realistic.

Money Maker

One of the biggest shocks to the system when you move into your first apartment as a student is that you quickly realize how fast your money can disappear if you’re not being careful. Before settling on a place to live, look at exactly how much money you’ll have coming in to your banking account each month. Student loans, scholarships, bursaries, a part-time job – any source of financial assistance should be accounted for so you can determine exactly how much you can afford. We strongly suggest living with a roommate to help cut down on costs (and to commiserate with you about that long essay you have to write for one of your classes).

Stocking Up

It’s not just the monthly costs you’ll have to look at, either. The initial expense of moving in to your first apartment can often catch you by surprise. You have to consider the cost of renting a moving truck (mobilize friends and family to help you do the loading/unloading yourself to save money), purchasing furniture and house wares, and paying either first and last month’s rent upfront or paying a damage deposit. This is a very common concern and point of contention for many first-time apartment renters as they often are not aware of exactly what the rules are in their province. The laws are different across Canada, so it’s important to check with your provincial Landlord & Tenants Board to ensure that everything is above board. If you pay last month’s rent, for example, you should not have to pay a damage deposit, too.

Make the Most of It

Once you’re in your brand new abode, you’ll have new responsibilities that perhaps you didn’t have before. You’ll need to do your own cleaning, your own cooking and your own laundry. Living in your first apartment comes with many duties, some which you might not enjoy. But it also affords you freedom and independence that will help you to grow as a person. To keep things running smoothly, particularly if you’re living with roommates, create a short and sweet chore schedule to make sure that things never get unruly, with dishes piling up and laundry all over the bathroom floor. Taking a few minutes each day (or each week, if you’re particularly averse to housework) will make a huge difference to how your apartment functions. You will be surprised at how much better you feel when your apartment is tidy. And who knows? Maybe you’ll find out that you really love a particular chore. Vacuuming is oddly satisfying.

Above all, enjoy your first apartment experience. You’ll not only be learning from your college courses, but you’ll be learning about yourself.

The RentSeeker Team

Share



Preparing Your Apartment for a Baby

July 17th, 2014

Preparing your Apartment for a Baby Welcoming a brand new baby in to your life? Congratulations! Along with the other things on your mind, you might be wondering exactly how you can transform your apartment into a baby-friendly environment. Have no fear, RentSeeker is here to help make the transition easy on you and your bouncing new addition. Whether you live in one bedroom, two, or three bedroom abode, there are a number of ways that you can prepare your space (and mind) for the imminent arrival of a little bundle of joy.

Picking a Room

First things first – it’s time to decide what room will be transformed into the nursery. If you live in a two or three bedroom apartment, this decision should be relatively easy. If, however, you call a one bedroom apartment home, this will require a little more finesse on your part. Setting up the crib in your bedroom will require you to move around existing furniture (and perhaps even get rid of some things). Consolidate two dressers into one, move your bed away from the center of the room to one of the walls and say adios to that extra nightstand. When you purchase a crib, consider investing in one that has wheels so it will be easier to adjust the set-up of the bedroom as needs change and you discover that baby likes to sleep closer to the door.

Let’s Get Organized

One of the first things you will realize about having a baby is that they require a lot of, well, stuff. Big stuff, little stuff, medium stuff – babies come with a lot of accessories. This means you’ll need to up your organization game if you want to make finding baby-related items a breeze. Before you even begin to purchase all of the baby-related items, go through your own things first to help set the organization tone. If you’re not particularly fond of organization to begin with, this can be a bit of an arduous process. Start with the basics – go through each section of your apartment and set things into piles: the keep pile and the trash pile (don’t even bother with the “maybe” pile – it will only encourage clutter to grow). Downsize your closet and dresser by donating clothes you don’t wear to charity.

Now that you’ve got your personal items organized, you can tackle the way your baby’s things will be set up. Consider unlikely storage sources to help you in this task, such as under your bed or under the crib. For items that you need to have on hand at a moment’s notice, such as diapers, keep several on top of the change table for use throughout the day with the rest tucked away underneath. For toys, forego the traditional toy chest which can be bulky and take up entirely too much room. Instead, purchase stackable bins that can easily slide away and hide under the bed or couch when playtime is over.

Quiet Please

Let’s face it – babies can be noisy. Living in an apartment can make this problem particularly stressful for young parents who want to be good neighbours. Taking a few small steps to help with soundproofing can make a massive difference, including hanging a quilt on a wall that is shared with the person next door (this is particularly important for the room that your baby will be sleeping in) to help with absorbing noise. You may also want to consider folding a towel or blanket and placing it at the front door to prevent too much noise from spilling out into the hallway. Remember that the emptier a room is, the more sound will echo. If the bedroom has hardwood flooring, you’ll want to put down some rugs to combat this.

Some final words of wisdom – look for items that fold and can be easily tucked away. High chairs, changing tables, bath tubs; All of these baby necessities come in foldable options that will allow you to make the most of your apartment space while still giving your little one the room to play and grow. Following these steps should make the transition to a baby-friendly apartment an easy one for you and your growing family.

Happy Apartment Living :-)

The RentSeeker.ca Team

Share



Summer Living: Why An Apartment Makes the Season that Much Sweeter

July 9th, 2014

Apartments for Rent in Toronto
Living in Canada means that sometimes summer can fly by in the mere blink of an eye. Particularly after the long, cold winter we endured (a record-breaker in many parts of the country, according to The Weather Network), we all want to enjoy the summer months with as much gusto as possible.

With summer, however, comes some of the upkeep and chores that are decidedly, well, not that fun. Thankfully, for apartment dwellers, these tasks don’t even enter their lexicon. Living in an apartment in the summer has many other perks that you simply would not get anywhere else. From outstanding amenities to community-building opportunities, residents of apartment buildings have it made in the shade during the summer months. If you’re considering making the move to a rental property, the time is now – and here’s why.

Say Goodbye to the Mower

Picture it: you come home from a long day at work and you want to relax on your patio. But as soon as you set foot into your backyard you see just how long that neglected grass is getting. Instead of kicking back with a cool drink in a comfortable lawn chair, you now have to roll up your sleeves and get to work. Apartment dwellers know that they’ll never have to worry about firing up the lawnmower, breaking out the hedge-pruners or any other implements of landscape maintenance. They also don’t have to worry about painting, window washing and yearly upkeep to the exterior of the building. While they of course still need to concern themselves with the cleaning of their own suite, the big, tough jobs are left to the professionals at no extra cost to them. Talk about easy living.

Taking a Dip

Chances are, most homeowners do not have a swimming pool at their home. If they do, they can tell you just how much work they really are. Daily cleaning, ensuring chlorine levels are just right, purchasing all manner of pool accessories – really, the costs and the headache involved in owning your own pool can often outweigh the benefits. Thankfully, those who live in an apartment building with a pool get all of the perks without the fuss. Apartment dwellers also have the added bonus of fitness centres on site (no excuse to not hit the gym – or the pavement when it’s raining), with many apartments offering organized exercise classes, from yoga to Pilates.

Love Thy Neighbour

Living in an apartment in the summer means you will be presented with many opportunities to build up your community. In fact, most apartment buildings organize BBQ’s, parties and other events throughout the summer to encourage neighbours to get to know each other. It’s a chance to foster a sense of unity and truly make your apartment feel like a home. Many apartments have communal BBQ’s that can be used by tenants who want to organize their own summer parties for friends and family. Imagine hosting a mini-family reunion at your apartment building without having to concern yourself with whether or not there is enough propane in the BBQ tank.

Apartment dwellers have the best of both worlds – their own space to call home that is safe, clean and secure without the usual upkeep that comes along with home ownership. If you want to enjoy all the fruits of our Canadian summers, renting an apartment is the best way to go. See you at the pool :-)

The RentSeeker Team

Share



Knowing Your Tenant Rights

June 30th, 2014

Apartment Lease Agreement Whether you’re a first-time renter or you’ve been renting an apartment for years, it’s up to you to be aware of your tenant rights. Everyone is entitled to a safe environment in which to live with access to vital services (these include heat, hot and cold water, electricity and natural gas). There are also expectations of you, as a tenant, that you must abide by no matter where you live.

It’s important to remember that specific rights vary between provinces, so if you are moving across the country it’s imperative that you familiarize yourself with the tenant rights in your new home province. Unfortunately, sometimes issues do arise between tenants and landlords simply because one (or both) parties either did not understand the law or were not aware of it. Prevent these circumstances from becoming part of your life by learning about your rights and responsibilities as a tenant.

The Basics

There are certain tenant rights that apply to everyone in every province when it comes to renting an apartment. Including access to vital services and a safe living environment, a landlord also cannot discriminate against you based on your race, religion, sex, disability, marital status or sexual orientation. They also cannot refuse to rent you an apartment because you have children or because you are a newcomer to Canada.

Money Matters

The issue of rent is where the province that you reside in will come into play. In Ontario, it’s legal for a landlord to request first and last month’s rent upon the signing of the lease agreement. In British Columbia, a landlord may instead ask you to pay a damage or security deposit (generally the equivalent of half a month’s rent). When your rental agreement ends and both you and your landlord have agreed that no damage was done to your suite, they must return the full deposit plus interest.

As you can see, the laws regarding your money vary widely from province to province and come with a number of stipulations. Visit the website of your provincial Residential Tenancy Board to read up on your complete tenant rights when it comes to rent payments and deposits.

Apartment Access

Another thorny issue for tenants is not knowing when it is acceptable for their landlord or property manager to access their apartment. The short answer is that your landlord cannot enter your apartment for any reason without providing you with 24 hours written notice, explaining when and why they will be entering your suite. The long answer is that your landlord can enter your suite without the required notice, provided that there is an emergency situation or that you agree to let them in. It’s also important to note that you cannot refuse your landlord access to your apartment if they have met all of the above criteria for gaining entrance. On the other side of the coin, if your landlord has indeed entered your apartment illegally, you have the right to file an application with your provincial Residential Tenancy Board who will decide the appropriate course of action.

Saying Goodbye

If you’ve decided you’d like to end your tenancy, your responsibilities again vary depending on where you live. For Ontario residents, you are required to provide your landlord with 60 days written notice. Failure to provide the full 60 days notice may result in you having to pay for an extra month of rent. If you would like to “break” your lease, it is legal for you to do so provided that both you and your landlord agree to it. In cases such as these, you will want to protect yourself by getting this agreement in writing. If your landlord doesn’t agree to you breaking your lease, you have the right to assign your unit to a new party.

If you’ve chosen the assigning route, keep in mind that it is different than subletting your apartment. The Landlord and Tenant Board of Ontario explains the difference on their website:

What is the difference between assigning and subletting a unit?

Assigning a unit means that the tenant moves out of the unit permanently and transfers their tenancy to another person. All the terms of the original rental agreement stay the same – the amount of the rent and what services are included, etc.

Subletting a unit means that the tenant moves out of their unit for a specific period of time but the tenant plans to move back into the unit before the end of the tenancy. The person who moves in is known as a subtenant. They are responsible to pay the rent to the original tenant who then pays it to the landlord. A landlord cannot refuse the idea of subletting the unit, but they can refuse to allow the tenant to sublet to a specific person if they have a good reason.

How can a tenant sublet their unit?

If a tenant has to leave their unit for an extended period of time but they want to return to it, they can ask their landlord for consent to sublet the unit. For example, if a tenant’s job is being transferred to another city for six months and then they want to return to their unit, they might ask their landlord if they can sublet the unit. They must tell the landlord when they are leaving and when they will be returning to the unit, and they must get the landlord’s consent before subletting.

A landlord cannot refuse the idea of subletting a unit, but they can refuse a specific person if they believe the person is unsuitable. However, if the tenant thinks that the landlord is being unreasonable in withholding their consent to sublet to someone, the tenant can file an application with the Board.

What happens if a tenant assigns or sublets their unit without the landlord’s consent?

If a tenant assigns or sublets their unit without their landlord’s consent, it is an unauthorized assignment or sublet. A landlord can file an application with the Board to evict both the tenant and the unauthorized occupant. However, if the landlord does not file the application within 60 days of discovering the unauthorized occupant, the unauthorized occupant will become a tenant.

Laws are in place for enforcement of both renter and landlord rights, however most times landlord and tenants can work things out smoothly by just understanding each others position and working in unison to figure it out :-)

The RentSeeker Team

Share



What Makes a Great Neighbourhood?

June 20th, 2014

Neighborhood Communities Searching for a new place to call home is so much more than just looking at apartment buildings and what they have to offer. The neighbourhood where your new rental is located in is just as important. Depending on your needs, your definition of a great neighbourhood can be completely different than that of, say, your parents. However, there are some constants that help to elevate every neighbourhood to truly awesome-status regardless of your unique preferences.

Walkability

Walkability and nearby amenities and neighborhood shops are a valuable resource when moving in to a new apartment. This means that you’ll want to be able to take a stroll over to a convenience or grocery store, a bus stop or transit hub (if you don’t have a car) and even a local restaurant or bar. For some people, living within walking or biking distance of their place of employment is another huge plus. Good walkability also takes into account some more technical issues that we may not even realize we are looking for. According to Reid Ewing, director of the Metropolitan Research Center at the University of Utah, a walkable neighbourhood should feature short blocks with wide sidewalks, human-scale lighting and benches, tree-lined streets that provide a buffer from traffic and landmarks (such as fountains and gazebos).

Whatever the reason, living a short jaunt away from life’s little conveniences makes for a great neighbourhood, which is why RentSeeker.ca features area amenities in all of our apartment listings, making it easy for you to determine at a glance if your potential home has that “it” factor.

Transportation

Having access to public transportation in a neighbourhood is a must. Even if you do own a vehicle, it’s important to live in an area where public transportation is considered a priority. With buses and subways come retail shops, restaurants and other community-enhancing establishments that will serve to enrich the neighbourhood you call home. This means that, even if you live in the suburbs, you will still get that “downtown” feel. The option to take public transit from your home will also leave you with more money in your pocket – and give you the freedom to enjoy the shops in your neighbourhood.

Community Involvement

When people love where they live, they will want to get involved in their local community. This means that a great neighbourhood will include places that can encourage an area to grow, such as a well-maintained park, a community centre and swimming pools. Establishments that encourage social interaction help to make a neighbourhood stronger and give everyone a sense of ownership over their surroundings. The more services that are available nearby, the more people will flock to a neighbourhood and stay for long periods of time.

The Project for Public Spaces offer even more ingredients of a great neighbourhood on their website:

1. Good places have lots of things to do

The places people love most are the ones where they can pursue a variety of activities. Without opportunities to do something more than sit and look around, the experience you have in that place is “thin” — there is nothing to keep you there for any length of time.

2. Good places are comfortable and attractive

They beckon you to come visit. Flowers, comfortable benches with a nice view, and attractive lighting all make you feel this is a place you want to visit often. In contrast, a place that lacks these kind of amenities often feels unwelcoming and a bit threatening. It may actually be unsafe or just feel unsafe, but either way no one wants to be there.

3. Good places are accessible

These places are clearly identifiable from a distance, easy to enter when you get closer, and it is simple to understand how you use them. A space that is not accessible will be end up empty, forlorn and often dilapidated.

So when choosing your next apartment for rent, think neighborhood – it will be an important factor.

Happy Apartment Hunting!

The RentSeeker Team

Share



The Benefits of Renting a 1 Bedroom Apartment

June 9th, 2014

1 Bedroom Apartment
Renting an apartment on your own affords you more choices and options than you realize. The biggest option, and one that trips up many first-time renters, is the type of apartment they should decide to call home. On the surface, renting a studio or bachelor apartment seems to be the most economical option for your wallet. However, the average price difference between a bachelor and a 1 bedroom apartment are not as disparate as they seem. According to RentBoard, the average monthly rent of a bachelor apartment in Toronto is $916, whereas the average for a 1 bedroom apartment is $1,113. With a difference of just under $100 per month, deciding to move into a 1 bedroom apartment might be right for you.

It’s All Yours:

It is true that it’s important to share – our parents have taught us this from a young age. Sometimes, however, it’s nice to have a space that is just for you. That’s why renting a 1 bedroom apartment is such a great option for those who would like to have their own private sanctuary away from the hustle and bustle of the world. After a long day at the office, coming home to your own space with peace and quiet can be just what the doctor ordered. You’ll also never have to worry about common roommate problems, such as being stuck with a roomie who just doesn’t want to clean up or who eats all of your groceries. When you live in your own 1 bedroom apartment, you’ll have control over the cleanliness (or lack thereof) of your own space.

Independent Women (and Men):

For someone living on their own for the first time, there’s a wonderful sense of self-sufficiency that comes with renting your own 1 bedroom apartment. Everything in the apartment is yours and all of the decisions about how it looks and functions are up to you. Having the extra square footage that comes with a 1 bedroom apartment truly makes the space feel like a home – one that you can be proud of and make your own in any way you see fit.

Let Me Entertain You:

Living on your own has many fabulous perks, but you’ll naturally want to have friends and family over to your home sometimes. With a 1 bedroom apartment, you have more room for entertaining than you would if you rented a studio apartment. The extra space means that your bed, clothes and other personal items will not be getting in the way (and potentially discouraging you from inviting friends over). Having a living room also means you can invest in a pull-out couch so visiting family members will have a place to stay when they are in town.

Workspace/Living Space:

If you’re one of the 1.8 million self-employed Canadians who work from home, you know just how important it is to have a separate area for work in your living space. With a 1 bedroom apartment, it’s much easier to set up your work station in an area that is away from your more personal items. Even if you work from home, it’s still necessary to have a healthy work/life balance. Renting a 1 bedroom apartment gives you the opportunity to set up your work life and your personal life just the way you want it.

Once you’re in your 1 bedroom apartment, you’ll be looking for ways to maximize space and minimize clutter. Check out these great tips from HGTV from their blog “How to Organize a One-Bedroom Apartment”:

1. Use wall shelving to get things off your floor and give you more space without sacrificing storage. The Home Organizing Ideas website suggests using vertical shelves to use more wall space. If you are renting, be sure to check your lease or speak with your landlord before you put any permanent holes in the walls.

2. Invest in a small folding desk and a simple desk chair that can easily be moved out of sight. This will give you an office-like area in your living area that can be stored to make space for times when you entertain guests. If you have a desktop computer or need a more permanent in-home workspace, put a small desk and chair in a quiet corner of the room or in your bedroom where the rest of the furniture will not be disturbed.

3. Get rid of any unnecessary items, such as used books that you aren’t going to reread, newspapers, clothes that no longer fit and kitchenware that goes unused. If your clothes and other items are in good condition, consider donating items to a non-profit organization. Getting rid of the things that just sit in your home untouched will free up space for the things you use the most.

4. Keep personal items such as laundry baskets in your bedroom closet. This will help keep your personal items out of sight for guests. No one wants to look at your dirty laundry over coffee or on game night. If you do not use a laundry hamper or basket, invest in one. Keeping your laundry organized is important in keeping your apartment clean.

There are benefits to renting Bachelor, 2 and 3 Bedrooms as well, so weigh your options and Happy Apartment Hunting :-)

The RentSeeker.ca Team

Share



Inexpensive and Do-It-Yourself Apartment Decor Ideas

May 6th, 2014

Do It Yourself Ideas from RentSeeker.ca With spring in full swing, the itch to refresh your apartment decor might prove irresistible. The sun is shining, the birds are chirping and your apartment is begging for a make-over that will brighten up even the darkest of rooms. If you’ve ever watched a design-centric show on HGTV only to think that you could never possibly do something that incredible on your own, think again. With the DIY popularity explosion, there are now a number of inexpensive and relatively easy projects you can undertake with minimal supplies. Even if you’re all thumbs, refreshing your apartment can be as simple as clicking over to Pinterest to find some design inspiration.

Living in an apartment, you may be concerned that you cannot really dig deep into your design dreams. While it is true that you may not be able to paint your walls that bright aqua blue shade, you can employ a few crafty ideas that will liven up your space while still ensuring your damage deposit stays intact.

Make It Pop:

Pops of colour peppered throughout your apartment will instantly add some vibrancy to a muted room. If you love to knit, buy some colourful yarn and get busy making a beautiful throw for the back of your couch. Not so handy with the knitting needles? You can still purchase some brightly coloured items from a discount store like HomeSense or IKEA. Better yet, grab some pottery paint and put your artistic skills to work on some plain white vases that will soon house spring bouquets on your coffee table. Fabric markers are also available in a wide array of colours and can be used on pillows and tea towels to add some unique flair to your apartment decor.

You’ve Been Framed:

The quickest way to freshen up your apartment decor is with some brand new art. But, if we’re being truthful, art can be very expensive. A simple and one-of-a-kind solution is to frame fabric. This DIY trick allows you to showcase some absolutely stunning fabric, which can be purchased rather inexpensively at most craft supply stores, even if you don’t have the dexterity to sew something out of it. You can even dress up the frame your fabric will be housed in with a little paint to truly add your personal touch. Group a few of these masterpieces together, ensuring you vary the size of the frames for maximum impact.

Go Green:

Nothing screams spring more than fresh flowers and plants. As we’ve mentioned before, plants also help to clean the air in your apartment (something we all want to do after having the windows locked up tight all winter). Exercise your green thumb by purchasing seeds and growing your own plants from scratch on your balcony or windowsill. The DIY-er in you can even use “found” objects as planters, such buckets, bowls and mugs that you no longer use. Flea markets are amazing places to discover inexpensive treasures that you can use to get your plants potted. If you want to add even more creative planters to your apartment decor, using old wine corks (yes, wine corks) as tiny planters are unexpected and, frankly, adorable ways to mix a little green into your apartment life.

If you’re still not sure how you want to liven up your apartment decor, taking a trip to your local craft supply store and walking the aisles can provide you with endless sources of inspiration. You can also head over to the Rentseeker Pinterest boards to see some of the DIY projects that have us swinging into spring in style.
Feeling particularly crafty? We found these instructions on how to make your own braided rug from the blog A Beautiful Mess:

Supplies Needed:

- A piece of sturdy canvas. This will be the base of your rug. Ours was approximately 2ft x 2.5ft. You can choose any size you like.

– Plenty of scrap fabric to rip and braid. Choose colors that coordinate and fit your space.

- Black yarn

- Tapestry needle

- Scissors

- Fabric glue

- Tape

- Aerosal Polycrylic Protective Finish (choose the water based option).

Instructions:

1. Choose your rug size and cut the canvas base piece to size. Set aside.

2. Rip long strips of fabric. Each braid needs to be about 2.5 feet longer than the length of your base piece. I know that seems like a lot, but they will get shorter as you braid and you need extra for fringe.

3. Braid enough ropes to completely cover the mat. This is the most time consuming part. It’s a perfect job to multitask during evening TV shows for a few nights.

4. Tape the ends of each rope for easy access later.

5. When you are done braiding (whew!) glue your braids to the mat. Leave an even amount of braid hanging over the edge of each side. Use as much glue as you need to get a very study rug.

6. Use the black yard and a tapestry needle to stitch along the edges of the rug base, tacking down each braid.

7. Remove the ends of each braid after the yarn line. Trim the edges so that your fringe is even.

8. Go outdoors and use Polycrylic Finish to seal the rug. This will make your rug waterproof and much more durable for your next rainy day.

Follow this and more great ideas on our blog at: RentSeeker.ca/Blog

Share



We Love Our Canadian Hockey Teams!

May 5th, 2014

Here @ RentSeeker our love for Canada & Hockey made us want to share just why we love our Canadian Hockey Teams…in an INFOGRAPHIC :-)

Canadian Hockey Team Stats INFOGRAPHIC by RentSeeker.ca

Share



The Benefits of Renting A Two Bedroom Apartment

April 20th, 2014

2 Bedroom Apartment for rent in Toronto on RentSeeker.ca
On the hunt for a new place to call home? With so many layouts and apartment styles to choose from, it can be a challenge to determine which one would be right for you. While a two bedroom apartment might seem excessive, particularly if you will be living on your own, the extra space can be just what the doctor ordered to truly make your apartment feel like a home. Don’t limit yourself to a studio or a one bedroom suite – two bedroom apartments offer increased flexibility and, yes, even money saving opportunities.

Mi Casa, Su Casa

It might seem counterintuitive to rent a two bedroom apartment if you are living on your own, but trust us – the options that will open up to you with that extra room will be worth it. Have family coming in to visit? Unexpected guests that need somewhere to stay? Come to the rescue with your second bedroom as their home away from home. Don’t worry about going overboard with furnishing the room – a simple bed or even a convertible couch will suffice. Having the option of giving friends and family members a comfortable place to stay is perfect for those who have had to move away from home for school or work.

The Roommate Factor

You don’t want to have a roommate right now, but maybe you will in the future. By renting a two bedroom apartment you will always have the opportunity to rent out your extra bedroom to a friend or a student (particularly if you live close to a university or college campus). By doing so, you will save money on your own rent and have someone to split the utility costs with. If you travel a lot for work, you may even wish to consider subletting your apartment for a few months. With the extra bedroom in your back pocket, your two bedroom apartment will be even more appealing to potential subletters.

The Office of Your Dreams

If you have a home-based business or simply do a lot of work on your computer at home, converting your second bedroom into a stunning home office will encourage you to get more work done (OK, that might be wishful thinking – but it will definitely be a great addition to your home). Having a quiet, tranquil place where you can get down to the nitty-gritty of running your business is a great option that should not be overlooked. When you work from home, it’s important to have a space that is designated for “work” so the rest of your two bedroom apartment can be home.

Hobby Home

Another advantage of renting a two bedroom apartment? You have adequate space to pursue your hobbies, like painting or practising a musical instrument. If you are a collector, your second bedroom can double as a “showroom” for your pieces. Imagine your own personal library that you can retreat to at any time – now that is a dream that can be easily realized with a two bedroom apartment.

Family Ties

Newlyweds or those planning to start a family will relish the idea of renting a two bedroom apartment, because it means that they will not have to move when baby is on the way. Instead of stressing about finding a new home, packing, moving, unpacking and everything else that comes along with the new apartment search, you and your partner can relax and prepare your second bedroom for the arrival of your little bundle of joy.

If you’ve decided to convert the extra room in your two bedroom apartment to a home office, you’ll want to know how to furnish and decorate it. Apartment Therapy has you covered in their piece “5 Mistakes Everybody Makes Decorating Their Home Office”:

1. Ignoring the walls… and the floor.

The difference between a cubicle and a warm, inviting home office is all about what’s on the walls. A fresh coat of bright paint and a few inspiring prints hung in frames on the walls can make all the difference. And don’t skimp on the floors; consider bringing in a coordinating rug to warm things up.

2. Leaving cables undressed.

We’ll defer to the simple words of the fourth rule of Tech Club: Do not show your wires and cables. Keep cords hidden as much as possible, at all times. If you don’t tackle the cable spaghetti behind the desk when you first set up your home office, be honest…you’ll never get around to it.

3. Buying a good-looking but uncomfortable office chair.

Life’s too short to sit in an uncomfortable chair. If you’re going to be spending significant time in your home office, choose function over form every time. There’s 6 things you should look for in a perfect office chair: Adjustable height, a reclining seat back, armrests, a deep seat depth, proper wheels and adjustable lumbar support.

4. Not really thinking about lighting.

Overhead fluorescents? Good enough, right? Wrong. Spend some time thinking about the light in your office. Complement overhead lighting with a bright task lamp on the desk. And think twice about your lighting and window placement in relation to your monitor to avoid annoying glare. Giving your office lighting plan a second thought will save you from (sometimes literal) headaches down the road.

5. Choosing furniture and features without storage.

Sure, that Parsons-desk-and-floating-shelves combo from the showroom looks great, but without cabinet doors and drawers to hide away your paperwork and gear, you’ll be left with a mess on your hands. Plan on having at least one or two pieces with lots of hidden storage space.

There are also good reasons for renting a 1 bedroom apartment or 3 bedroom apartment which we will elaborate on in future apartment living blog posts.

The RentSeeker.ca Team

Share



The Top 5 Things to Look Out For with Home Rentals

April 14th, 2014

House for Rent - RentSeeker.ca
Whether you’re a student that wants to share a space with multiple roommates to save money or you’re a family with small children who simply want more room, finding a great home rental that will last is easy if you know what to look for. As with an apartment, a home rental can make your life less stressful – you won’t have to worry about things that homeowners do, such as shoveling the walk, mowing the lawn or staying on top of routine repairs and maintenance. But a home rental does come with a few things that you need to be cognizant of to ensure a happy and comfortable place to call your own.

Potential Leaks

If your home rental is older, you need to be aware of the potential for leaks to develop in the roof. Before deciding on renting the house, discuss the state of the roofing with the landlord or property manager. If it is clear that a problem may develop of the course of your tenancy, you may wish to ask that preventative measures are taken before you move in. Further, and this is true with any home or apartment you rent, you will want to strongly consider purchasing tenant’s insurance to cover your belongings in the event of a leak.

Electrical Overload

Ah, the dreaded electrical overload. If you have multiple people living in an older home rental, particularly a group of students who are all using computers, televisions and other electronics, overloading the (possibly) outdated electrical system is a real issue. One person might be running the microwave while another is using their computer and suddenly – poof! – a fuse is blown and both machines shut off. When you decide to rent a home, ask for an overview of the electrical system and where the fuse box is located. If it’s a simple matter of throwing the switch back, you can remedy the problem yourself without having to involve the landlord. However, if a blown fuse is a frequent issue you may want to discuss an upgrade of the entire electrical system with your landlord.

Sufficient Smoke Detectors

While having up-to-date batteries in your smoke detectors is technically the responsibility of your landlord, having extra batteries on hand is always a good idea. Periodically test the detectors to ensure they are in good working order (most fire departments suggest checking them when you move your clocks forward and backwards twice a year). If you have a fireplace in your home rental, you’ll also need your landlord to provide you with a carbon monoxide detector. Finally, see how many smoke detectors are located throughout the home. If it’s just one, ask for more to be installed.

Breakaway Windows

For your safety, breakaway windows are a necessity in a home rental. In the event of an emergency, a breakaway window will ensure that anyone that is not on the main floor of the home can get out quickly. While you’re inspecting the state of the windows in your home rental, you should also look for potential leak areas where mold can grow to prevent problems down the road. If you spot any issues, don’t be afraid to bring them up with your landlord – remember, it’s your health and safety that is on the line. The majority of landlords will be more than happy to take care of these issues for you immediately.

Doors and Windows that Lock

This may sound like a no-brainer, but you might be surprised at the inefficiency of some locks, particularly in an older home rental. Is the front door as old as the home itself? Ask for it to be replaced or, at the very least, for the doorknob and lock to be re-installed. Your windows may be truly “old school” in nature and not have any locking mechanisms at all. While they may look pretty, function is also an important feature when you’re looking at a home rental. Make sure your belongings will be secured and safe when you’re not at home.

By creating a checklist of issues to watch out for, you will find the perfect home rental for you in no time. Now you can sit back and enjoy that yard that you don’t have to mow.

The RentSeeker.ca Team

Share




 
RentSeeker.ca offers valuable renter / tenant tools to be able to view apartments, condos, homes, and more properties for rent - including photos, floorplans and videos. RentSeeker.ca also allows users to bookmark, share and compare listings of apartments for rent, and, with our social media integration using facebook & twitter, you can post and tweet listings to discuss with family & friends.

Already found an apartment? Have tenancy related questions, make sure to check out our own Tenant Forums!

By listing your rental property with RentSeeker.ca, you gain exposure on a premier online Canadian apartment rental website where, on a daily basis, thousands of renters search for apartments for rent in Toronto and other cities throughout Canada!

RentSeeker.ca allows prospective tenants to view exterior and interior photos, videos, floorplans, and much more!

RentSeeker.ca is a proud member of:

Ontario
Landlord
Association
Member of the Greater Toronto Apartment Association Federation of Rental-housing Providers of Ontario London Property Management Association Hamilton and District Apartment Association Calgary Residential Rental Association Eastern Ontario Landlord Organization Edmonton Apartment Association
We are a PayPal Verified Merchant
We Accept Visa/Mastercard/PayPal