Identify Your Needs
How flexible are you about where you will live? Ottawa as
many areas with great rental properties, from Alta Vista area
to Kanata in the suburbs. Generally, your rental choices are
limited to whatever is available and affordable, but there
may be trade-offs you will have to consider. Do you need to
have public transit within a short walk of your new home?
Like most renters, you'll probably have to make a few compromises
between what you want or need and what you can afford. Before
you start a search, drafting a list of your rental requirements
What Is Included in the Rent?
When looking for a rental home in Ottawa, cost is often a
key consideration. What you can afford on rent depends on
a number of factors: household income, outstanding debt, utilities
and other living expenses. Consider how much debt you are
comfortable with, how important your lifestyle is to you and
how much you want to put aside for the future.
The basic monthly rent is an obvious cost, but many less-visible
costs add up as well. Don't forget to consider the following:
Affordable Or Not?
- Are utilities, such as heat, electricity, water, cable
television and Internet connection included? If not, these
costs may come as an unwelcome surprise. Find out which
utility companies provide services to that building and
contact each company to see if it can provide an average
monthly cost for the rental location. The exact usage will
vary from tenant to tenant and costs fluctuate, but these
estimates will give you a good idea of what to expect as
- Don't forget to estimate the cost of extras such as laundry
and parking, where these have not been included.
- What about transportation costs? Will your monthly travel
costs increase, decrease or remain about the same at this
- You may need to provide your own appliances. If you have
to purchase or rent these, include them into the total cost
- Is any form of provincial/territorial rent control in
place? If not, what are the landlord's plans for future
- Are there enough bedrooms?
As a general rule your monthly shelter - including rent,
electricity, heat, water, and municipal services - should
be less than 30% of before-tax household income. However,
there will be circumstance and/or markets where it is difficult
to find rental accommodations that accommodate this. The cost
of property insurance, parking, cable, telephone service,
and Internet connection are not included in this calculation.
Location will often drive a rental search, Ottawa is a city
of a variety of neighborhoods, each one with it's own unique
flavor and benefits. Prime locations cost more, but they often
offer advantages, including reduced commuting time and expense.
Proximity to work, school, public transit or other amenities
helps pinpoint ideal locations. Other important considerations
are safety and proximity to family and friends. Prepare a
list of locations that best match your personal needs and
then, add secondary locations that you would also consider.
When you begin to look at possible rentals, it's important
to evaluate the location as well as the building and living
space. Remember to consider the following:
- Crime level in the area.
- Distance to work and/or school, friends and family.
- Access to public transit and major roads.
- If you have children, are parks and play areas nearby?
What about schools?
- Local amenities: entertainment, recreation facilities,
shopping, library, restaurants.
- Traffic: are the roads busy? What about heavy traffic
at rush hour or seasonal times?
- What is your impression of the general air quality?
- How are the noise levels in the area at different times
Ottawa Apartment Rental Guide
Ottawa Living is Ottawa's premier online
resource for everything about your home. We provide comprehensive
Ottawa real estate and rental listings, for home buyers, home
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