Talking to Landlords

If you have legal questions, click here for information on legal supports.

Contacting a landlord

You may talk to a landlord for the first time either over the phone, through an email or text, or in person when viewing a unit. These are good starting points to tell the landlord a little bit about yourself and ask some questions about the unit. It never hurts to be polite, respectful, and honest during this process - first impressions can go a long way.The way we communicate, ask questions, and talk about ourselves are all important parts of finding a place to live. These tips and links can help guide you as you talk to new landlords, what questions to ask, and how to maintain a positive relationship even when conflict might arise.

Feel free to drop-into our Housing and Money Matters Hub to talk to a Support Worker that can help guide you through any questions you may have. The Hub is open Monday-Friday from 9am-4pm.

Questions you might ask a landlord:

  • What is the address of the property?
  • How much is the rent? Does the rent include any utilities?
  • Is the heat electric or gas?
  • What date would the unit be available?
  • What kind of appliances are in the unit? How old are the appliances?
  • What kind of building is this unit in? Who else is living in the building?
  • What is the neighbourhood like here?  
  • Are there smokers in the building? Is smoking allowed?
  • Is there parking available? Is that an extra cost?
  • Are there laundry facilities available?
  • How do you feel about pets in the building?
  • What schools are around here and how close are they?
  • What is the bus system like around the area?
  • What kind of tenants lived in the unit before? Do you know why they decided to move out?
  • What kind of tenant are you looking for this unit?

Viewing a Unit for Rent

Viewing a rental unit allows you to see and ask questions about the place you might live. It is important to take a look at the inside space as well as check out the neighbourhood and what amenities are close by. Going to see a unit is a good time for you to see if this place feels right for you - take a look inside closets, ask questions about the neghbours, and ask any questions you might need to clarify.

The Landlord - Tenant Relationship

After a lease agreement is signed your landlord will be the one you talk to about any housing related issues over the length of your agreement. It can be helpful to maintain a positive relationship as previous landlords can be a reference for any future places you might rent. If conflict does arise between you and your landlord it is important to know what your rights and responsibilities are as a tenant. It is helpful when dealing with conflicts and issues to be clear and respectful in your communication, keep notes and records of the issues taking place, document and have both landlord and tenant sign on what is agreed upon. Feel free to check out the resources on our website for more information on how to deal with such conflicts or feel free to drop-into our Housing Drop-In Desk to explore possible solutions. 

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