WRN help links

Things to consider before searching

 

Getting ready to leave your current residence
Residential Tenancies Orders System
Leaving shared accommodation
Keeping a pet
Damage deposit calculation

 

Getting ready to leave your current residence

  • If possible, have a place to move into before you give notice at your current place.
  • Make sure you give notice in the time and manner explained in your lease.
  • If possible, get a copy of your credit history and correct any mistakes.  If you had a conflict with a previous landlord then you may be on the Residential Tenancies Orders System (see below). The Orders System is a primary tool for Landlords to screen applicants.  Explain how any of these problems were or are being resolved.
  • Pay or make payment plans for any unpaid rent or charges
  • If you are living in shared accommodation, make sure all of your obligations are resolved or paid up.
  • Resolve any issue you may have with your current property manager
  • Get a good reference from your current property manager.
  • Determine what you can afford to pay for housing.
  • Determine whether you are eligible for housing subsidies or social housing.  These programs offer more affordable rents or may make rent payments more affordable.
  • Identify resources to assist you in looking for housing.  Look in the Help Links for agencies that provide this support, or Winnipeg Rental Network may be able to link you with a resource.

 

Residential Tenancies Orders System

The Residential Tenancies Orders System is a registry or list of final Orders, issued to both tenants and landlords, by the Residential Tenancies Branch and Commission. It lists Orders, of various types, issued from 1999 onward. These Orders relate to rental housing within the province.

The Residential Tenancies system is available for limited use by individuals and organizations. Clients conducting individual searches at the Winnipeg Branch's public access workstation will be charged $5.00 for 30 minutes of search time plus 15 cents per page will be charged for printed pages.  Requests for Orders System searches conducted by staff of the Residential Tenancies Branch offices will cost $5.00 per request plus 15 cents per printed page.  With the Residential Tenancies Orders System you can:

  • Locate a specific Order if you know the Order Number.
  • Search for an Order based on Order Type.  For example, Possession, Repair, Security, Claim, Redirect, Uninhabitable, Utility, Other or All Orders.
  • Search for an Order based on the Landlord Name, Tenant Name, Order Number, or Textual Information like "carpets".

 

Leaving shared accommodation

If you are leaving a shared situation, make sure all of your obligations are resolved or paid up.  The more common agreements for shared accommodation are either a Co-tenancy Lease or occupancy without a signed agreement.

 

Co-tenancy
  • All of the tenants living in the rental unit signed one tenancy agreement with the landlord when they moved in. All co-tenants are bound by the terms of the lease and the terms of the Residential Tenancy Act.
  • If one joint tenant ends the tenancy, everyone will have to leave unless those that want to stay can negotiate a new agreement with the landlord.
  • When one roommate moves out, they are still bound by the rules set out in the agreement, for example, the obligation to pay rent. To deal with this issue the tenant who is leaving can ask to be taken off the tenancy agreement by his or her roommates and the landlord. This new agreement should be in writing and signed by everyone to avoid later difficulties.
  • If one tenant moves out without making a new agreement, the landlord will ask the other tenants to pay the rent, including the share of the person who has left. The landlord is able to do this because each tenant is liable for all the rent. It would be up to the remaining tenants to recover the rent from the tenant who has left.

 

Occupancy without signed agreement
  • The occupant's rights and obligations are very limited.
  • If the landlord decides to evict the person you're living with, you will almost always have to leave too.
  • The tenant who let you stay can ask you to leave whenever he/she wishes.

 

Keeping a Pet:  Tips to help you find Pet-Friendly housing

(see: www.petfriendlyrentals.ca)

 

When searching for a new place, look for those with pet friendly policies in place -- as well as those that don't mention pets at all.  If your landlord allows you to have a pet, they can ask you to pay a pet damage deposit. The deposit can be up to half of your monthly rent. This is in addition to your security deposit.

Give yourself lots of time to search for an appropriate rental unit.  Many rentals will not allow pets. By starting early you'll be able to ensure both you and your pet a home.

Communicate openly and honestly with a potential landlord.  State your case. Be friendly, not defensive! Landlords don't necessarily "hate" pets or have anything against them... but they may have had bad experiences with them in the past, or may simply be inexperienced with allowing pets.

Offer a meeting.  Not every landlord will want to meet a pet, but give him the option of doing so. Seeing a well-behaved pet for himself may help to put the landlord's mind at ease.

Get letters of reference - that include your pet.  Letters from previous landlords are great... ask them to state what good tenants both you and your pet were, and how or why a new landlord should rent to you.

    • Veterinarians can write reference letters stating what a responsible pet owner you are and how you ensure your pet always receives regular and appropriate medical care.
    • You can also include letters from pet-sitters, neighbours, dog trainers, etc.
    • Don't be shy in telling potential landlords if your pet has had obedience training, or is a therapy dog, or has some other special type of training. It will help to put the landlord's mind at ease.

Get it in writing.  Once a landlord has accepted your pet, make sure it's written into your lease or contract and signed by both you and your landlord. As a minimum, your lease should state how many pets you can have and of what type. If there are extra fees, make sure that's written down too. Ask for a copy of the "pet rules".

    • If the lease states that no pets are allowed, but your new landlord says it's okay, get it in writing anyways. Cross out the "no pets" clause, and write in your own. You and your landlord should both sign it. Make sure you make the same changes on both your copy of the lease and on your landlord's copy of the lease.

Also see the Residential Tenancies Branch's guide to finding pet friendly rentals.

 

Damage deposit calculation

The Residential Tenancies Branch has a calculator (here) that will determine the amount of interest that has accumulated on your damage deposit.