19 October 2011 ~ 0 Comments

As rents rise, what can renters do in Ottawa?

With its robust economy, low crime rate, accessible medical care and wide range of amenities, Ottawa remains an attractive destination for renters in Ontario.

As you might have noticed, though, the rental market has once again shifted in favour of landlords, and it’s not likely to change any time soon.  However, don’t despair – there are some ideas for renters to avoid being hit hard by spiralling rent hikes. Keep in mind that your best bet is to always be a model tenant when looking at apartments or houses for rent in Ottawa.

Some helpful hints are:

1. Know your landlord’s competition: Become very, very familiar with the market — network through friends, drive through neighbourhoods, ask about a sale property that’s languishing on the market.

2. Don’t be a difficult tenant: Think like a landlord. Yes, they maximise their income by raising the rent.  But they also need to minimise expenses, too, which means keeping a unit from sitting empty, even if it’s only for a month. It also means finding renters who pay their bills and don’t pester maintenance every other week with a problem or complaint. Even in large Ottawa apartment complexes for rent, management may recognise good behaviour.

3. Negotiate like a pro: Don’t automatically accept a price increase when you’re notified of one. Instead, make an appointment to meet with management in person. Do your homework to see what other apartments for rent in Ottawa are charging. See if your landlord will lower the rate with an extended lease.  If you’ve been a loyal tenant, and one who has paid on time, you might be able to negotiate a lower rent increase. And this will benefit the landlord because your renewed lease represents less trouble and expenditure for him.

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Image By: CarbonNYC

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