Finding a needle in a haystack: navigating Alberta's competitive rental apartment market to land your dream rental.
If you have any experience in the current Alberta rental market, you know how challenging it’s become. Yes, finding a quality rental apartment in Alberta can be a daunting task, especially in a new city or province. But, over the past few years, an ever-limited and more costly and competitive rental market has made it just that much more difficult.
Let’s take a quick look at the challenges renters face when trying to find a quality apartment rental in Alberta:
Limited availability: According to recent statistics, the vacancy rate for rental apartments in Alberta decreased for the second year in a row. Currently, in 2023, the vacancy rate is 3.8 per cent, down from 6.8 per cent just last year. Despite the decrease, Alberta’s vacancy rate is higher than neighbouring BC. Regardless, with fewer available rental units on the market, it can be difficult for renters to find a home that meets their needs.
Rental prices: A higher demand for rental apartments in Alberta has driven up rental prices somewhat. The average rent for a two-bedroom apartment in Alberta is approximately $1613, which, while lower than in BC, is still high for many renters.
Increased competition: With limited availability and high rental prices, there is also increased competition for available rental units. This means that renters may need to act quickly and be prepared to make an offer above the asking price in order to secure a rental apartment.
Stricter rental application processes: Landlords in Alberta may have stricter rental application processes, including requiring detailed financial information and conducting background and credit checks on potential tenants. This can make it harder for renters with lower incomes or poorer credit histories to secure a rental apartment.
Strata restrictions: In some cases, renters may encounter restrictions imposed by strata corporations, which govern certain types of buildings, such as condominiums. These restrictions may limit the number of rental units allowed in a building or impose rules around renting out units that can make it harder for renters to find a suitable apartment.
Challenging, yes. But let us assure you – you CAN find a quality apartment rental in Alberta! There are strategies that can increase your chances of finding a place. And one that offers the quality and comfort you need from your living space. Here’s what you can do:
Start your search early
In a competitive rental market, it's important to start your search early to give yourself ample time to find the right place. If possible, begin your search at least 2-3 months in advance of when you need to move and start browsing rental listings regularly to stay on top of new opportunities.
Hire a professional
Don’t have months to look for your next place? Not to worry. If you hire an experienced and qualified property management company specializing in rentals, they can help you find a quality apartment quickly. A good agent will have access to rental listings that aren't publicly advertised and can help you navigate the rental application process to increase your chances of securing the apartment you want.
It helps to be flexible when it comes to your search criteria. If you have a strict budget or specific location in mind, you may need to compromise on certain amenities or features to secure a rental apartment in a competitive market. Consider looking at apartments in up-and-coming neighbourhoods or outside of the city centre, which may offer more affordable rental rates.
Another strategy is to be proactive in your search. Check rental listings regularly, set up alerts for new listings, and be prepared to schedule viewings as soon as possible. If you find a place that you like, be prepared to make an offer quickly to avoid losing out to another applicant.
In an increasingly competitive rental market, the key to securing a rental apartment is to be prepared and act quickly. This means doing your research ahead of time, having all necessary documents ready, and being ready to make an offer as soon as you find a place that meets your needs.
One important step is to have all of your financial documents and references ready to go. This includes your credit report, proof of employment and income, and references from previous landlords. Having these documents readily available can help speed up the rental application process and show the landlord that you're a responsible tenant.
Network and use social media
Reach out to friends, family, and colleagues to see if they know of any available rentals, and consider using social media to spread the word that you're looking for a rental apartment. There may be someone in your network who knows of a great rental opportunity that hasn't been listed publicly.
Looking for a rental apartment in Alberta? Make it as easy and stress-free as possible in this competitive rental market. FirstService Residential pulls out all the stops to deliver exceptional service, helping you find the home that you want and need.