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Starling Community Services.

Apartment Searching on a Budget

Apartment searching

Renting for the first time can be difficult and competitive especially when you have budget constraints. Before you begin your apartment search, take these 4 tips into consideration:

Start looking at the right time: Start your search early and avoid moving during popular season times. You are more likely to get a better deal during “off season” because landlords may be more willing to negotiate to keep their units full. Between March and September, rental rates tend to increase. Time it correctly and you will find yourself in a better position to negotiate rent with your landlord. Lastly, consider where you are going to live, are there Colleges or Universities around? They tend to have high turnover rates, especially in between semesters.

Rent with a roommate: Renting with a roommate can cut your costs drastically. You can split the rent and utilities down the middle which could allow you to rent a larger apartment. You can also split other shared household items like cleaning products and groceries, make sure you work this out with your roommate before you sign the lease.

Ask your landlord the right questions: Read the listing fully to make sure you have all your bases covered. Prepare the right questions, does the apartment have parking fees? How much is the security deposit? What utilities are included? Do you need renter’s insurance? Prepare ahead of time, write your questions down so you are not scrambling during the tour.

What amenities are important to you: Some amenities come at an extra cost, which ones are important to you? In-unit laundry VS onsite laundry, renovated vs non-renovated. Apartments with built in laundry and air conditioning have a higher demand and therefor cost significantly more. Make a list of the amenities that must be included, look at the costs associated and make sure it fits within your budget.

If you have any questions or would like more tips, please call our Resource Centre at 519-749-2450 or visit our website at

"Since being housed, I have been able to work towards many of my goals, I have addressed my health concerns, and I have been able to strengthen many of my relationships. I am very grateful for Lutherwood's help."