Tips and Suggestions on Renting Your First Home

How to Approach a Prospective landlord

The way we communicate, ask questions, and talk about ourselves are all important parts of finding a place to live. First impressions can go a long way.

You may talk to a landlord for the first time either over the phone, through an email or text, or in person when viewing a unit. Approaching a landlord requires a respectful and professional approach to maximize your chances of success. Here's a step-by-step guide on how to do it:

  1. Research: Before reaching out to a landlord, research the property listing thoroughly. Understand the details about the property, its location, amenities, rental price, and any specific requirements the landlord might have mentioned. This information will help you craft a personalized and informed message.

  2. Create a Polite Introduction: Start your message with a polite and friendly greeting. Introduce yourself briefly and explain your interest in the property. Avoid using negative language about your housing search, such as being rejected, having difficulty finding an apartment, words like desperate, emergency, etc. For example: "Hello [Landlord's Name], I hope you're doing well. My name is [Your Name], and I came across your property listing on [Facebook Marketplace]. I'm interested in learning more about it."

  3. Express Genuine Interest: Show your enthusiasm for the property. Mention specific features or aspects of the property that caught your attention. This demonstrates that you've taken the time to review the listing thoroughly. "I was particularly drawn to the spacious living area and the convenient location of the property. It seems like an ideal place for [mention your purpose, such as living or working]."

  4. Provide Information About Yourself: Briefly explain your background and situation, which helps the landlord get to know you better. Mention your occupation, reason for moving, and any relevant information that might make you an attractive tenant. "I work as a [your occupation], and I'm relocating to [city] for [reason, such as work or studies]. “My schedule will primarily revolve around my X number of courses, so I'll be spending most of my time on campus attending classes and studying at the library. I don't drink or smoke”. “Regarding my finances, I am self-funded, and my family is supporting my studies. To immigrate to Canada, I provided proof of sufficient funds to cover my living expenses for the duration of my program. I'm more than happy to provide this document upon request. Thank you for considering me as a potential tenant.” But be sure before sending confidential information that you are speaking to a real landlord and not a scammer. See this link on avoiding housing scams.

  5. Respectful Tone and Language: Maintain a professional and respectful tone throughout your message. Avoid using slang, emojis, or overly casual language. It's essential to make a positive impression from the start. "I want to assure you that I'm a responsible tenant who values maintaining a clean and peaceful living environment."

  6. Inquire About Next Steps: Politely ask about the next steps in the process, whether it's scheduling a viewing, providing additional documentation, or discussing the application process. "If the property is still available, I would love to know more about the viewing process and the application requirements." “I have experience living in a dormitory for several years and have also been a tenant for two years prior to coming to Canada. Sharing a house with others is familiar to me, and I consider myself to be clean and quiet.” “I've actively participated in various information sessions about tenant responsibilities in Canada. I've taken steps to educate myself on my obligations as a tenant.”

  7. Contact Information: Provide your contact information, such as your phone number or email address, so the landlord can easily reach you. "You can reach me at [phone number] or [email address]. I look forward to hearing from you and hopefully arranging a viewing."

  8. Express Gratitude: Thank the landlord for their time and consideration at the end of your message. "Thank you for considering my inquiry. I appreciate your time, and I'm excited about the possibility of becoming a tenant at your property."

  9. Proofread and Send: Before sending the message, proofread it for any errors or typos. A well-written and error-free message reflects positively on you.

Remember, landlords often receive multiple inquiries, so making your message stand out with a professional and respectful approach can greatly increase your chances of getting a response.