7 Things to Consider before signing a rental lease

Nigerians in Canada

After making the big move to Canada and staying in a temporary accommodation in your city of choice, the next big step is finding permanent accommodation. While some choose to buy properties right away, others may decide to wait for a while and rent until they are sure about their city of choice. In order to rent an apartment or house in Canada, you are required to sign a rental lease/agreement. This is a contract between a landlord and a tenant outlining the terms and conditions agreed to by both parties. Although duration for most rental agreement is a year, you might sometimes be able find one for 6 months. With the exception of Ontario and Quebec, your landlord is permitted to request that you provide a security deposit ranging from half a month’s rent to a full month’s rent.

Moving in date for most rental properties is usually scheduled on the first day of the month, so plan accordingly when booking your temporary accommodation. It is also important to take your time to look around and be sure of the variety of rental properties available before making your choice. Although the decision to choose a particular rental property will vary based personal circumstances or status (single or married, interests etc), these are things you should consider before signing a lease.

1. Maintenance

Nigerians in Canada

Landlords are required to make general repairs within your rental property, the maintenance of common areas within and surrounding rental apartments is also taken care of by your landlord. When renting a house, it is unclear who is required by law for maintenance such as mowing the lawn and clearing snow off the drive and walkway. Always double check with your landlord before signing a rental lease.

2. Public Transportation

Nigerians in Canada

This is something to consider if you or other members of your family will be relying on public transportation to move around. Your rental property should be within walking distance to the nearest bus stop or train station. Walking for a long while to the bus stop might sound fun during the summer season but not so much during the winter season.

3. bills

Nigerians in Canada

Be sure about which bills you will be responsible for. while it may not required by law, rent is inclusive of utilities (such as heating, hot water and electricity bills) in some province while it isn’t in others.

4. Location

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Consider what is important to you before signing a rental lease. For some it might be the proximity to work or school while others might put a higher importance on it being close to the Nigerian community or place of worship.

5. Parking spots

Nigerians in Canada

Be sure of how many parking spots will be allocated to you if there is more than one car in your household. Some car parks are also located indoors or underground which is a plus during the winter season as it eliminates the morning routine and scraping snow off your car.

6. Elevator vs Stairs

Nigerians in Canada

Making your way up and down the stairs with shopping or travel bags and a baby stroller on a daily basis might make some cringe while it is a way to burn some calories for others. With this in mind, consider whether having a rental property with elevator is of high importance to you.

7. Laundry

Nigerians in Canada

While majority of rental apartments in Canada have a shared common laundry which is operated with a prepaid card or dollar coins, rental houses and some apartments have in-suite laundry located within your home. This is something to consider depending on the size of your household.

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