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2.5 Requesting a Viewing

When you have found a place that you would like to know more about, you should contact the landlord – usually by phone or email – and ask some basic questions to learn more about the place.

The internet can also be helpful when it comes to evaluating rental properties. Google property addresses before viewings in order to uncover any positive or negative information associated with the building.  You can also use Google Maps “Street View” to get a sense of the neighbourhood.

You can also search the Landlord Registry, developed by LandlordBC, to find landlords who have completed the I Rent It Right™ program. The landlords who successfully completed this online course and passed the comprehensive knowledge quiz are then added to the Landlord Registry™ database. This online database is designed to help renters screen their current or potential landlords to confirm they are familiar with the basics of the Residential Tenancy Act.

When you contact the landlord, you need to be prepared to ask questions that will help you decide whether or not you should spend time visiting the unit. You can use the “Rental Needs and Preferences” worksheet to help you ask questions about the issues that are important to you.

Here are some sample questions to ask the landlord:

  • What type of tenancy would I be signing (month-to-month or fixed-term)?
  • What’s included in the rent (utilities, heat, parking, etc.)?
  • What type of property is it (secondary suite, apartment, condo, etc.)?
  • What is the size of the unit?
  • How many bedrooms are there?
  • How many bathrooms are there?
  • When was the building built?

Make notes while you are talking to the landlord. You are probably going to be calling a few places and it can be hard to remember who said what about each place.  To help with this, use our Rental Property Search Form, found in the Resources section. For places that interest you, be sure to get the address and to ask about setting up a viewing.

It’s a good idea to be practical about the places that you will visit. For example, for viewings in the same area, try and schedule appointments around the same time. And when possible, try to view places during the day.