Category: Renter Tips
Published: 12 February 2013
It doesn’t matter if your landlord lives upstairs, five blocks away or on the other side of the city.
She can’t just pop over for a “visit.”
Sometimes, a landlord likes to drop by to check on her Calgary homes for rent, making sure everything is OK.
But you need to know she can’t just do that.
Under the Residential Tenancy Act, you have a right to privacy and “peaceful enjoyment of the premises.”
What does that mean? Basically, that surprise knock on the door shouldn’t be your landlord, poking her head in to check that leak.
Your landlord has to provide 24 hours written notice before entering the premises. She has to let you know why and give a reasonable time to come on over.
(There are a couple of conditions to that. If there’s an emergency or she believes you’ve abandoned the premises, she can enter her Calgary condos for rent without your permission.)
Section 23.3 of the RTA states your landlord can give you notice to enter to:
Inspect the premises
Make repairs to the premises
Take necessary steps to control pests
Show the premises to prospective purchasers or mortgagees
Show the premises to prospective tenants after notice of termination has been served by either the landlord or the tenant
And don’t worry if you don’t want your de-stressing time disturbed. She can’t ask to come over on a Sunday (or your day of religious worship if it isn’t a Sunday) and she can’t request permission to enter your apartment on a holiday. She also has to confine her visit to between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m.
All that being said, it’s entirely up to you.
If you have a great relationship with your landlord and you don’t mind letting her in, you don’t have to say no.
LET’S CHAT ON FACEBOOK: Have you ever had problems with a nosy landlord?
Tags: Calgary condos
, Calgary homes
, Residential Tenancy Act
Category: Landlord Tips
Published: 24 January 2013
We know how easy it is to put your trust in a tenant and expect she’ll take care of your property, just as if she owned it.
But before you forego a move-in condition report, you should know that it’s required in Alberta.
And that’s funny because I think I’ve only had to do one as a tenant twice — and that’s after living in six different Calgary homes for rent.
A condition report records each blemish, break and missing drawer handle.
If that scratch on the hardwood is there when I move in, a landlord can’t hold me responsible for its repair when I move out.
Likewise, a condition report lets a landlord know when that hole in the wall appeared and who’s responsible for it.
It’s also a good idea to take pictures or record video of the walk-through for your Calgary rentals.
Here are some important things to remember:
Inspection walk-throughs must be conducted within one week before or after the tenant moves in and out.
An inspection report must be signed by the tenant and the landlord with copies provided to the tenant as soon as they are completed.
The rental premises should be vacant when the inspections take place unless the landlord and tenant agree otherwise.
A landlord can conduct the inspection without the tenant being present if the landlord has offered the tenant two inspection times on two different days and the tenant has refused or did not attend.
If you do not carry out an inspection before or after the tenancy, you cannot deduct anything from a security deposit for damages beyond normal wear and tear.
If you make a deduction from the security deposit without conducting inspections, the tenant can take legal action against you to recover the money.
The landlord must keep copies of the inspection reports for three years after the tenancy ends.
The Calgary Residential Rental Association has inspection reports available for download if you need one for your Calgary apartments.
LET’S CHAT ON FACEBOOK: Have you found yourself in a bit of trouble because you didn’t bother with an inspection report? What happened?
Tags: Inspection checklist
Published: 23 January 2013
Deep in the southeast corner of Calgary, the community of Copperfield offers a tranquil spot to call home.
It’s one of the younger areas of the city, founded only in 2002 by Hopewell Residential Communities, and in 10 years, it has grown rather quickly. There are more than 4,000 homes, including 2,800 single-family homes. Several multi-family buildings have been constructed as well.
Thus, it’s a great spot to find Calgary homes for rent and Calgary condos for rent. Right now, RentClick.ca has two listings in Copperfield. Both are gorgeous family homes that will help you settle into Copperfield … and Calgary, if you’re new to the city!
Copperfield is perfectly located for easy access to the downtown core, although the morning and evening commutes can be busy. The community sits on Marquis of Lorne Trail, which connects directly to Deerfoot Trail and, a little further west, McLeod Trail.
It neighbours New Brighton and MacKenzie Towne, and Auburn Bay is just on the other side of Marquis of Lorne.
Copperfield was built with family and activity in mind. It has a community skating rink and toboggan hill for the winter season and a great set of tennis courts for the summer months. You can also stroll around three scenic ponds — Wildflower, Stillwater and Copper — and playgrounds or tot lots within walking distance.
Copperfield has an active community association and the volunteers host events and programs, including yoga, Zumba and fitness bootcamp.
Looking for more information on Copperfield? Check out Hopewell’s website that’s dedicated to the community.
LET’S CHAT ON FACEBOOK: Have you tried finding a place to live in Copperfield? What do you like about the community?
Tags: Calgary houses for rent
, Calgary rentals
Published: 22 January 2013
It’s getting tight out there for tenants.
Calgary is a landlord’s market in 2013 with the vacancy rate sinking to 1.3 per cent in October. Now that’s not bad news for our landlord friends, but it is making it tough for tenants to find Calgary homes for rent.
Yep, the pressure is on university and college students, young adults with their first jobs, new residents of the city and those who can’t afford or don’t want to own a home.
That pressure can be alleviated if city council moves forward with its plan to legalize secondary suites.
Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi appeared on CTV recently in a year-end interview, saying he keeps a ‘tenable resolution’ to the secondary suites issue as an important goal.
“It’s a moral and ethical issue. We are allowing some 30,000 to 50,000 to 60,000 — no one knows the real number — of our neighbours to live outside the protection of the law,” Nenshi said. “So if your landlord is abusing you, if there’s no heat, if there’s mould, if the smoke detectors don’t work, if there are mice, you have nothing and no one can help you. And to me that’s untenable.
“We need to be able to move to a world where these suites are safe and regulated and an important part of the housing solution.”
RentClick.ca is on board.
But Calgary needs council to move swiftly, not just smartly.
Calgary is an attractive place to live. It has a better-than-average job market and, hey, let’s face it, it’s an awesome city.
Plus, the federal government is clamping down on the rules for getting a mortgage. It just ain’t as easy to buy your first home as it used to be.
A recent Calgary Real Estate Board blog post revealed that a Calgary Housing Company poll found 84 per cent of Calgarians support the development of new secondary suites, a push that allows home owners to rent out suites within their own homes.
In Calgary, secondary suites are only permitted in RC2 zones and mostly prohibited in RC1 zones. Last March, a council vote for relaxation on the rules governing secondary suites was defeated by council.
We’ve seen other major cities, including Edmonton and Vancouver, adjust their bylaws to allow secondary suites and they’re getting along just fine.
Secondary suites will help provide Calgary homes for rent for students, young professionals, new residents and people who don’t want to be tied to a mortgage, or who don’t qualify for one.
We’d like to see the city hold consultation rounds with landlords before moving to any proposal stage. The landlords’ feedback is vital before any big changes are made, especially since they’re the ones who will incur the costs and follow the bylaws.
LET’S CHAT ON FACEBOOK: Are you a landlord? What are your thoughts on the secondary suite issue in Calgary?
Tags: Calgary houses for rent
, Calgary rentals
, Secondary suites
Category: Renter Tips
Published: 19 January 2013
I’m a dog person.
And I’m a tenant.
My dog and I have been together for nine years. He’s getting on in age and I love him more and more with every passing day. I couldn’t imagine ever giving him up.
There are others like me out there. We see each other and chat at the dog parks all the time.
But many of us are stuck between a rock and a hard place.
The RentClick.ca listings show three Calgary rentals that allow pets; 11 more Calgary homes for rent are negotiable.
With a vacancy rate of 1.3 per cent in October, landlords can be choosy about whom they let rent their properties. Many of them are opting to let their Calgary apartments for rent be pet-free.
A recent Metro Calgary story reported on the difficulty renters are having finding a home for themselves and their family friends.
Accommodation issues are the No. 1 reason animals are being surrendered to the Calgary Humane Society, said the society’s spokesman Mark Takhar.
And Evelyn Hawken wants to move herself, her family and their German shepherd, Shadow, to Calgary from Edmonton but they can’t find a place to live.
Leaving Shadow behind is a last resort.
“She’s a big part of our family now,” Hawken told Metro.
So what’s a dog person to do?
I’ve been fortunate in Calgary. Vacancy rates have always been higher when I was looking for an apartment and my most recent Calgary landlord is a dog person. And a friend. She loves my dog as if he was her own.
Here’s some advice:
Steel yourself against the urge to get a dog until you’re a home owner yourself. Right now, beggars can’t be choosers and the best option, if you’re a tenant, is to be pet-free.
If you’re a dog owner and you’re looking to upgrade your place or move to a different location in the city, you should just suck it up and stay put.
You got an appointment to see a landlord who takes dogs? Lucky! Offer to bring woofer along for a meet and greet. Let your potential landlord see how awesome your little buddy is (oh please make sure he’s trained and well behaved) and win as many points as you can.
You got an appointment to see a landlord who lists his property as negotiable? Do the same as above and prepare to do a good deal of sucking up and making promises of good behaviour, quiet and poop pickup.
And here’s the clincher: everybody have good references. Be ready to give your potential landlord a list of former landlords and current friends who know you and your dog.
Above all else, good luck. It’s tough out there.
Tags: Apartments for rent in Calgary
, Calgary apartments
, Calgary apartments for rent
, Calgary rentals