Author Topic: Moving out, first time renting, Please give me some tips, looking for feedback  (Read 2163 times)

Healthie

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Hi everyone,

I'm moving to Prince George in BC for school and looking for a place to rent. I found an ideal situation: $330 all in/month, shared with 2 other male students, 23 and 21 (I think) I'm 26, a 4 minute commute from the university. I contacted him maybe 2 weeks ago with a couple questions and we exchanged messages and then I asked about putting a deposit down for September and he did not respond. Today he asked if I would like to move in  for September and said he could hold the place for me through August if I paid some money (unspecified).

I'm getting some warning bells by him not answering some questions (if he's the landlord, if I could put a september deposit down) when I asked, and then asking me to put money down to hold the room for me through September. Thoughts? I haven't done a super thorough look at rooms, but glancing I found apartments for $700/mo.

What are your thoughts on the situation? What precautions should I take, how can I protect myself when looking to rent? Thanks!

soccerluvof4

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Have him write something up with his name and signature. Before you sign it look him up and check him out.

memorytoast

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I think seeing the place where you're going to be living and being sure of who your landlord is are both really important.

We asked a ton of questions (has there been any water damage to the residence? what are we allowed to change about the apartment? how long is the lease? what's the laundry situation? and bunch of tothers, but most importantly:why did the last resident(s) leave? do you have any previous tenants that we can contact?) before deciding where to rent and these saved us from nasty surprises. I know it's hard to move somewhere without an address to go to on day one, but don't rush into something that you're then going to regret! 

apricity22

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I would advise meeting your roommates in person and seeing the place in person before committing to anything. Can you afford a place finding trip before you move out there?

Trifele

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I'll just add -- if you meet your roommates, check out the LL, like the apartment, and decide to move forward, make sure all roommates are listed on the lease.   You don't want to be left holding the bag if one or more of the roommates fail to pay their share.

joonifloofeefloo

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Be aware that in BC, you may not be a tenant in this situation, meaning you may not be protected under tenancy laws. Function accordingly.

A great resource is TRAC. Their phone helpline has gone down the tubes in terms of accuracy, but their factsheets are excellent. Those can help you determine whether or not you are a tenant, what rights and responsibilities you have in a tenant situation or a nontenant situation, etc.

Healthie

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Thanks for the advice guys, super helpful. I'm spending today doing some research and looking at apartments.

Lady SA

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You need to figure out if you are subletting the space (ie you are dealing with roommates, not the landlord; one of the roommates is gone for a year/semester and the renters are looking for a replacement and you would be a sub-leasee, not a leasee on the actual rental contract) or would be dealing directly with the landlord.

From your description it kinda sounds like a subletting situation? Which is either good nor bad; I've had good experiences subletting in the past, but I did vastly prefer being a full fledged renter dealing directly with our landlord.

Healthie

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I decided against renting with him - his lack of communication with me and some of the vibes I was getting put me off. He's also in a vegan group on facebook and I eat meat - I imagine it would be problematic for him.

galliver

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My sister is going through the same thing (looking for first off-campus apartment, for grad school). I told her, message anyone that looks likely (more messages out there = more chances of finding a successful match!), but don't pursue anything that feels shady and you have to justify to yourself. Not worth it. There are plenty of legit, eager, cooperative people looking for tenants/roommates. They'll be forthcoming with information, want to know about you as much as you want to know about them (no one wants to live with an axe-murderer), want to get something signed/on paper as a defense if not guarantee against either of you getting burned, and understand your reticence to send significant money into a black hole (until you've built trust by doing the above things, at least).