Stay competitive in the rental market

  2 minutes

With vacancy rates in the Vancouver rental market still hovering around a dismal 1%, finding an apartment or condo to rent can be extremely competitive. Even if you are a model tenant, how do you stand out from the crowd lined up around the block to land that perfect pad near that famous coffee shop? You will more than likely have to go through some form of screening process from a landlord but how do you get past the door and into that coveted ‘potentials’ list. Here are a few easy things you can have prepped that will help you skip to the front of the line.

Show up & show off

You know the old adage, “You only get one chance to make a first impression”? It’s truer in this case than most. When going to view the home, treat that first meeting like a job interview, and in a lot of ways it’s just as important. Show up on time, (a little early even, then wait patiently), dress up and be prepared. Although a landlord should never refuse you tenancy based solely on the way you look, it certainly wouldn’t hurt to show them that you’ve made an effort. This could be as easy as throwing on a fresh shirt before heading out and popping a mint right before going in. These little touches could mean all the difference.


Speaking of showing off, one of the best ways to impress a landlord is to be prepared. Chances are you will know ahead of time that you’re going to move so get all your ducks in a row and have your documents ready. For example, have a reference from your previous landlord? Print it out and have it with you on the viewing day. If you’re comfortable sharing your credit score, including it on your application is a definite plus. There are a few companies that will provide these to you for free, such as Mogo or Borrowell. This will save landlords the cost and effort of having to run these for you if it becomes necessary.

Pets or bust!

Let’s face it, it doesn’t matter how perfect the place is, you’re not moving in if you can’t take your best pal(s) with you. Whether you’re a dog, cat or bird person, “no pets allowed” is most likely a deal breaker for you. But some landlords prefer tenants that don’t have pets because they are scared of excessive noise and possible property damage. You know that your goodest boy/girl would never do anything like that, but how do you convince landlords of that? Consider doing a meet-and-greet. Bring your pet with you and leave them in your (properly ventilated) car when you first meet with the landlord. Ask them if they are willing to say hi and show off how well behaved your buddy is.

At the end of the day, there are many factors that go into the decision making process of a landlord, but hopefully with the simple tips above you can land that perfect home.

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