WRN help links

Finding and applying for housing

The following are common suggestions for finding housing and applying for housing.

Other listing services
Pet Friendly rentals

When phoning landlords about an ad
Viewing a new property
If you plan on applying for a unit
Filling out an application
Signing a lease
If denied housing
Scams

Download forms:

Apartment Hunting check list (multiple units)
Apartment Hunting check list (single - detailed)

 

Other listing services

There are dozens of rental listing websites but only a few are popular in Winnipeg.  The free listing services are the most popular.  Kijiji Winnipeg and Winnipeg Craigslist have many listings, including posts for Shared Accommodations.  You can also post a "want ad", which WinnipegRentNet does not accommodate.  A precaution about these sites however, if a listing sounds too good to be true then it is probably a scam (see below).  For a site that represents many of the property management firms in the city, go to Rent Canada.

 

Pet Friendly rentals

The Winnipeg Human Society has a page on it's website dedicated to Pet Friendly rentals.

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When phoning landlords about an ad
  • Plan what you are going to say and what questions you want to ask before you call
  • Remember to always be polite
  • When phoning, make sure background noise is limited (loud talking, kids playing, etc.).  Landlords and property managers often evict based on noise, and so a noisy phone call will be a red flag.
  • Try to avoid getting into a lot of personal information on the phone
  • Do not call after 9 at night or before 9 in the morning
  • If a landlord says that the unit is rented you might ask if he has any others coming up soon
  • Remember to thank them for their time even if they were not able to offer you any help this time

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Viewing a new property
  • If you have an appointment, show up on time
  • Try not to bring children along. Have a babysitter, friend or relative watch the children
  • Dress nice, perhaps like you would for a job interview
  • Be clear and honest about rental, credit, and criminal history problems

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If you plan on applying for a unit
  • Bring documentation of your rental history with the names of properties, the address of the property where you lived, and when you lived there.  Many property managers will have application forms for you to fill out.  Some landlords will not, however. Be prepared for such occasions by preparing your own information. A generic application form can be found here.  It details information that landlords typically look for.
  • Have your landlord references (usually at least two) at hand complete with name, address and telephone numbers
  • If you do not have landlord references be sure that you have a good explanation but it is best not to go into detail about previous bad landlord/Tenant relations even if you have had an experience with a bad landlord. Offer personal references as an alternative if you have no landlord references
  • Bring along a resume or documentation of your employment history
  • Bring along a pay stub and other salary information
  • Bring identification information, including a driver's license or Manitoba Health card

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Filling out an application
  • Fill out the application neatly, clearly, and completely. Do not put information on an application that is not true. If the landlord decides to check it will just look worse
  • Get a receipt for any money you give to a property manager. Some properties may require cash or a money order for an application fee
  • Ask how many people are being considered for the unit. If several people have applied and you are being asked to pay an application fee, you may want to consider other places
  • If you are asked to pay a pre-lease deposit, get an agreement in writing that explains under what conditions the deposit will be returned

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Signing a lease
  • Before you sign the lease, look at the actual unit you will be renting, not a model
  • Talk to future neighbors about the property manager
  • Read the entire lease. Make sure you understand what it says
  • Find out your responsibilities and the property owner's responsibilities, such as who pays for each utility and how to get your security deposit back at the end of the lease. Make sure that all the responsibilities are listed in the lease
  • If there are repairs that need to be completed prior to move in it is advisable to have a written agreement that describes what repairs will be completed prior to move in. If that is not possible be sure that you have a clear agreement with the landlord. You may consider making an arrangement with the landlord that you will do some of these things if he supplies the materials
  • Get everything in writing
  • Get a copy of the signed lease

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If denied housing
  • Ask if anything in the rental or credit history can be clarified and may allow you to be reconsidered
  • If you suspect discrimination, check with Winnipeg Rental Network for agencies that can help

 

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Scams

There can be numerous scams on internet listing services.  A typical example is an ideal property that is listed at an affordable price.  The "owner" (or "tenant" offering a sublet) claims to be out of the country due to contract work or "missionary" work, and are looking to rent their property while they are "away".   They often give you an address that you can go and look at -- but only from the outside.  Typically there are no personal meetings here.  They seek to exchange info via e-mail, and will offer to mail you the keys in exchange for an "application", the deposit and the first month's rent.

Please report rental scams to the websites where they are found to prevent any further victimization (Kijiji's report link is at the bottom of the listings page; Craigslist's link is located at the top of the listing page).

Tips for avoiding online rental scams when subletting a unit:

  • Whenever possible, ask to see the unit before you agree to rent it.
  • Contact the actual landlord or property manager directly, to make arrangements to sign a lease and give a deposit.
  • Pay the security deposit and rent only to the landlord or property manager, not the individual tenant.

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