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Adulting 101 – Renting For The First Time In Vancouver

Renting For The First Time

Renting your first place, especially in Vancouver, can be a daunting task. Here are our top first time renting tips to make the rental process for your next house or apartment a little less intimidating and more successful.

Downtown Vancouver Neighbourhood Map
Downtown Vancouver, where to live?


Before You Search


You will need to secure 3 references who might be willing to receive calls from prospective landlords. Given that you won’t have a previous landlord reference, reach out to employers, bank managers, teachers, and family friends – anyone who can vouch for your character and reliability.


Identify your preferred neighbourhood and open your mind to second and third choice ‘hoods. Whether you are renting in Yaletown, West End, Chinatown, Coal Harbour or Kits, each neighbourhood will have its unique vibe and characteristics. Check out our series of Neighbourhood Guides to see which neighbourhood is best for you.


Create a list of needs vs. wants to help keep your priorities straight.

Financial Readiness.

It will always cost more than you expect. Know the costs of utilities, internet, cable, etc. and be prepared to provide up to a half month’s rent as a security deposit. Ideally, 30% of your income should be put towards rent. Curious about what your maximum monthly rent should be? Take a look at our summarized table below:

Combined Annual Income Maximum Monthly Rent















For more information about Rent Calculation, see this LendKey article here.

Searching For A Unit

Use every resource at your disposal.

Start by downloading the Liv App for all things rental – from searching rental properties to viewing apartments and signing a lease. The simplicity and richness of this app will impress. You can even sit back and relax and let landlords look for you after you’ve uploaded your application and told LIV what you are looking for! For reals, it is like Airnbnb x Tinder.

Other rental listing sites like Craigslist, Kijiji, student accommodation sites are good as well. Use realtors or simple word of mouth when available and try to schedule viewings with the landlord as soon as possible.

Manage your expectations.

Your first place will not be perfect nor is it your forever home so don’t sweat the small stuff. You can always move after your lease expires.


Closing The Deal

Read The Lease Agreement Carefully

Once you’ve been selected as the preferred tenant, the landlord will issue a lease agreement. This is a binding legal document that should be read carefully.

In addition to the standard information included in the lease like the property address, lease term, payment dates, etc., pay attention to potential penalties for late payments, pets, breaking the lease, subletting, etc. Also, ask if the elevator needs to be reserved for your move and what the associated costs are for doing so.

Confirm with landlord what utilities are included and which are not. You do not want to be left in the dark because you assumed electricity was covered!



Kristina Ikavalko

Kristina Ikavalko

Creative Content Creator at

Creative Content Creator for, based in Vancouver. [Read Full Bio]

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