Looking to rent a place in Vancouver? We’ve got all the tips and tricks you need to know to find an amazing rental home.

What types of properties can you rent?

  1. Apartments – Different from condos which have individual owners, apartment buildings are dedicated rental buildings owned by one person. You would never “lease to own” or buy an apartment.
  2. Houses – Many home-owners have converted part of their home into suites. While many of these are basement suites, some houses have been converted into several apartments. The biggest advantage of renting a house is the opportunity to live in a residential neighbourhood, often with private outdoor space and sometimes even parking!
  3. Condos – Vancouver has an incredibly high density of investment condos with owners looking to rent out their space. Renting a condo allows you to take advantage of some of the city’s best locations, along with other benefits like gyms, pools, concierge services and party rooms, plus they’re often close to Translink services. You would rent a condo from the owner directly.

How to find your Vancouver rental

While there is no shortage of online methods (Craigslist and Kijiji) to search for a rental home, you do need to be careful about scams. Ensure that you never transfer a deposit before physically seeing the place and verifying that the person you’re communicating with owns it. To avoid scams, try sites where Landlords have to pay to list their rental and ones with plenty of photos. You can also work with us to help you find a Vancouver rental. We can help you to identify great properties and areas, as well as help you negotiate the price and terms of your lease. And good news is the landlord pays commission – so you can have a professional represent your interests for free!

The Lease

The lease is the physical document that outlines your ongoing agreement with the landlord – how much rent you’ll pay month to month, any increases, rules and conditions (no smoking/pets, etc.), the dates of your lease, and anything else to clarify the relationship. Leases typically last for 12 months. After this tenants will automatically be transferred to ‘month-to-month’ unless a new term lease contract is agreed on and signed. Once a lease has concluded, you aren’t obligated to stay in your current rental home anymore, though you will need to provide at least 60 days notice to the landlord before moving out.

Your Rights and Obligations as a Tenant

As a tenant in British Columbia, you have rights to the following:
  • Right to Access Property –  Landlords have the right to enter your unit to maintain it as long as they provide 24 hours notice or in the event of an emergency. Your Landlord also has the right to show the unit to prospective tenants and/or buyers with appropriate notice if they are selling or if you are moving out.
  • Rent Increases – Vancouver landlords typically are eligible to increase rent once every 12 months in relation to the Vancouver Housing price index.
  • Pets – While landlords cannot evict you for owning a pet, they can deny you the rental of their property based on you having one. During the rental term, any violations of strata pet rules (if applicable) will override this right and would make you.
  • What happens if your Landlord Sells – Technically, if you are within a lease contract, your landlord cannot evict you if they want to sell their place. They will be responsible for finding a buyer who is willing to uphold your ongoing rental agreement. Month to month rental agreements would only require 60 days notice from the landlord.

How to get a rental you love

Knowing that the Vancouver rental market is in high demand, the best thing you can do is to be prepared with all the necessary paperwork and personal materials that landlords will be looking for. If you stand out as a candidate that is both interested and “put together” there is a higher chance you will be selected against the several others that will also want to rent a particular property.  These items include:
  • Deposit Cheque To rent an apartment in Vancouver, you’ll need to provide a cheque for the amount of the first and last month’s rent. This will be held in case of damages to the unit cause by your occupation there. Most landlords will require it to be a certified cheque or bank draft.
  • References  Any good landlord will check character and/or financial references before agreeing to rent their unit to you. Make sure you provide easy contact info and notify your references that the landlord will be reaching out.
  • Get a Confirmation of Employment letter.  You’ll need to prove that you’re employed so get a letter from your manager and have a few copies on hand.
  • Credit checks Sometimes landlords will require this extra documentation on top of your employment letter. You can get these done via online services for a nominal fee.

Some other tips to keep in mind:

  • Be fast and flexible – It’s not easy or cheap to rent in downtown Vancouver. Always keep an open mind and be prepared to make compromises if needed. You won’t likely get all three of the key variables at once: location, size, and cheap rent. The Vancouver rental market is competitive. If you find a place you like, act quickly, it will likely be snapped up in days. Landlords will not wait around for you to make a decision.
  • Don’t lie on your application –  While it might be tempting to make yourself “look” like a better tenant, having a friendly relationship with your landlord will pay off in the long run.

Ready to Rent a Place in Vancouver? If you’re looking to rent in Vancouver and want to partner with a professional, contact us to represent you (and don’t forget, the landlord pays our fees).