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1.2 What is Rent?

That is a great question.  Renting is a legal contract between a landlord and a tenant for the use of property, such as an apartment unit or basement suite.  The landlord is usually the person who owns the property, and the tenant is the person who rents it.  In this course, you will often hear this situation referred to as a tenancy.

Rent is the money a tenant pays to their landlord on a regular basis – usually once per month.

Sometimes rent covers only the use of the property.  On top of that basic rent amount, there could be additional expenses like electricity, heating, cable, internet and parking.  One of your first questions about a place should be: what does the rent cover? 

It’s important to recognize that rent is only part of the total cost of renting. There are a number of additional monthly costs that you need to consider. Before committing to a place, be sure that you can afford to pay your basic rent AND the extra expenses that go along with renting a place. 

Let’s review some of the additional costs on top of the basic rent – starting with utilities.   In order to live comfortably you will definitely need electricity, heating and hot water.  Some people may also want to have TV, internet and home phone services set up once they have moved in. 

Hopefully the place you rent will have in-suite laundry.  But if not, you may need to factor in the cost of using coin operated machines. 

You also need to consider transportation costs for your new place.  Will you have to buy a more expensive transit pass?  If you have a car, will you have to pay a parking fee to your landlord, or get a city permit to park on the street?

Another important expense to think about is tenant insurance.  You will have to decide if you are going to get coverage for all of your belongings in case of theft, flood, fire or other accidents.