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2.6 Viewing a Rental Unit

Asking the Right Questions

You may only get one chance to view a rental unit, so try to make the most of it. The goal is to absorb enough information to help you decide whether or not to submit a rental application. Here are some questions you may want to consider asking during your viewing: 

  • Is the rental unit considered an illegal suite?
  • Is the building decently soundproofed, or is it common to hear noise from other units?
  • What types of appliances are included, and has any of the unit been “staged” for the viewing?
  • Has there been a history of bed bugs, other infestations, or illegal activity?
  • What are the rules about smoking, pets, roommates, and accessibility?
  • Is there laundry available in-suite, or at least somewhere on the property?
  • Are there designated parking spots for tenants, or only street parking?
  • Is there storage space available on the property?
  • Are there any fees for parking, storage, or laundry?
  • Is the thermostat located within the unit or controlled from within a different unit?


Making a Good First Impression

When attending a viewing, do your best to stand out from the crowd – in a positive way. Here are a few tips to help you make a good impression with a potential landlord or their agent:

  • arrive on time;
  • dress business-casual and avoid clothing with controversial slogans or logos;
  • minimize strong smells of perfume or cologne;
  • do not smoke or drink alcohol before the viewing;
  • consider bringing a responsible friend or family member for support;
  • bring copies of your cover letter, references, and credit report;
  • introduce yourself and, if it feels appropriate, shake the landlord’s hand;
  • offer to take your shoes off when touring the property (and remember to wear socks);
  • strike up a friendly conversation and try to find some common interests; and
  • thank the landlord for showing you their rental property and answering your questions.