How to Talk To Your Landlord About Problems

At one point or another, there’s bound to be trouble in one of the apartments you live in. An appliance is going to break down, or hot water won’t run properly; maybe you’ll have an exceptionally noisy neighbor, or experience a power outage, or even see mice or other vermin scampering about. All of these problems need to be addressed in order for you to live comfortably, even safely; it’s important that you know how to contact your landlord and discuss these problems.

The most important thing to keep in mind when getting in touch with your landlord is that they likely have procedures as to who to call, and when. It can be a good idea to get to know your landlord on a somewhat personal level, in order to gauge how quickly they want to be called when issues arise. Some landlords would rather not know about problems, but most want to be contacted promptly should any problems crop up. During discussions with them, in your lease or on an apartment-wide message board, you’ll be bound to find contact information. It might be a direct line to the landlord, it might be to a superintendent, or it could be to a property management company. There may also be hours of operation that dictate when you should call and whether or not you can leave a message. Follow the procedures that have been put into place in order to get the best possible response.

You’ll want to be attentive to municipal and apartment-wide notices that can indicate when power, water or other utilities are going to be offline. The central message board found in many apartments is, again, a great place to look for these notices; you might also find them online, as many property management services are going paperless. Your landlord doesn’t want to get a call about a planned power outage, so stay in the know in order to avoid unnecessary annoyances.

Sometimes, even when you’re following all of the procedures, you might not get an answer as quickly as you’d like; it may be because they’re busy, it may be something more sinister, but no matter the motive, it’s in your interest to have the problem taken care of. Keep a log of all your attempts to contact your landlord, send letters that you make copies of, date stamp all of the correspondence and follow through. Being polite, but firm and insistent will often make your landlord take action. Unfortunately, there are times where this won’t be enough; you hope not to have to pursue legal options, but sometimes that’s the only way of getting things done. Obviously, this is a worst-case scenario, and if you have to go to court to get your dishwasher fixed, you’re probably not living in the best place you could. When your landlord refuses to respond to real problems that fall within their purview, it might be time to look at new apartments for rent.

The Importance of Infill

Two opposing forces are pulling at real estate developers in Winnipeg; the beautiful, uninhabited spaces on the periphery around the Perimeter Highway, and the close-to-business-and-the-Jets Downtown. The first development opportunity would occur in what we call greenfield land, that is, land that is untainted by contaminants or near any other buildings; it’s a green field, untouched by human hands (or sometimes used for agriculture). The other type of development, using land within Downtown or another established neighborhood’s radius, is known as infill.

Infill development is important for a wide variety of reasons. First, infill allows us to leverage existing infrastructure. When a greenfield development is created, new roads, water pipes, hydro lines and more can all be needed in order to build a viable neighborhood. Infill developments are already near established infrastructure, so a lot of dollars are saved by the city.

Infill is also a smart long-term strategy for a city’s development. When greenfield development is allowed in excess, it creates large neighborhoods that are far away from each other; each of these neighbourhoods will have commuters who have to travel a great distance in order to reach downtown, increasing pollution. The large influx of commuters each morning can also fill up the roads and highways, causing traffic congestion and jams. Greenfield development also causes problems for Winnipeg Transit; it becomes difficult to provide adequate service to all of these neighborhoods which are bound to be far from most major bus lines. I can tell you from experience that getting from Island Lakes to anywhere by bus takes some doing, let alone Sage Creek or Waverly West.

Urban sprawl, as excess greenfield development is sometimes called, also poses problems for city services. It’s much more difficult to dispatch police, fire and ambulatory services to far-flung suburbs than it is to downtown or other established areas; additionally, government services are generally focused in the core area of any given city. As sprawl continues, it becomes more difficult to access these services, which means the city and province must dedicate funds to expanding service and creating new infrastructure like police stations, or that services won’t be adequate to those areas. Either of these possibilities is regrettable, and infill is an excellent solution.

All in all, when infill is possible over greenfield development, it can be quite a good idea. The best forms of infill usually involve high-density housing; that is to say, apartment buildings! One marvelous thing about apartments in the downtown is that they usually use buildings that are already there; old warehouses in the Exchange District, for example, can and have been converted into apartment buildings. This allows us to keep the architectural history of our city intact while creating livable spaces for downtown residents. Downtown is absolutely booming right now; it’s at it’s best, with new restaurants, bars, and shops opening constantly. You can work or play in the downtown, and it’s great for urban development; there are downtown Winnipeg apartments for rent that will blow your mind. Infill development; good for you, good for the city, good for the environment.


Luxury Apartment or Condo?

The real estate world is exciting in much the same way a roller coaster is; it’s full of ups and downs, twists and turns. At the end of the day, it can leave you feeling breathless and excited, ready to ride again, or it can leave you sick, wondering why you ever hopped on. Renting an apartment or buying a condo has become a preferred option for many folks who are looking for a place to live; these spaces tend to be in urban areas, and proximity to hip neighborhoods and the urban core is always appealing to young professionals. Additionally, the upkeep of common areas and the outdoors is handled by staff, so there’s no worrying about shovelling the walkway when the cold white stuff hits. The question then, is this; should you get a luxury apartment, or should you get a condo?

First, the similarities. Both luxury apartments for rent and condos for purchase provide some incredible amenities that are appealing for anyone who likes an upscale experience. You can find places with attached restaurants and grocery stores, places with gorgeous marble countertops, high ceilings and incredible light fixtures. You can find a spot that’s in an excellent neighborhood, close to work, great shopping and the nightlife. Luxury spots will also often feature gorgeous shared facilities like gyms, clubhouses, pools, lounges and even study areas. Your suite itself will often have insuite laundry, state-of-the-art appliances and a balcony. Whether you choose an upscale apartment or condo, the living will be excellent. Again, in both cases, facilities will be professionally managed, so you’ll be less likely to have to lift a finger when something goes wrong.

When comparing fees, luxury apartments win out. Your monthly mortgage payments with a condo are likely to be quite a bit higher, and you’re more likely to have to pay utilities. Additionally, when appliances go awry in a condo, you’ll have to pay the fees to get new ones; in an apartment, that’s on the landlord. Insurance on condos is also more expensive; you’ll have to get condominium owners insurance instead of renter’s insurance, because you own the suite, which means there’s more money on the line. Additionally, you might have to buy insurance in order to cover for what the building owner’s insurance doesn’t cover; excessive fire damage can often go over what the building owner opts to cover, and without unit insurance you might find yourself losing tens of thousands of dollars.

In terms of investment, it’s hard to say which one comes out on top. The Globe and Mail ran a fascinating article on whether or not it makes more financial sense to rent an apartment or own a condo. The long and short of it is this; in good times, owning a condo is much better; you can easily tens of thousands of dollars in return on your investment if times are good, all costs included. When times are bad, however, you’ll lose money on your condo investment; if that happens, a person who rented an apartment and invested in bonds or another surety instead will come out on top.

A Cozy Home, The Danish Way

You’re wrapped in a blanket, looking at the soft snowfall outside your window. A roaring fire blazes in the fireplace, and your favorite mug rests in your hands, filled with hot cocoa. Your partner rests beside you on the couch, reading a book, and you wonder how life could get any better. What you’re experiencing, these feelings of contentment, of ease and peace with the world; these are the feelings that will get you through the coldest winter months. They are the feelings that embody the Danish concept of hygge (pronounced HOO-Gah); there’s no one direct translation of the word, but it derives from a word meaning well-being.

Comfort is the key here, in it’s most unpretentious form. Having your best friend over to watch Netflix in pyjamas is hygge, and so is a quiet afternoon spent reading with loved ones. This means every person’s exact “version” of hygge will differ, depending on what gives you the most comfort. Togetherness is of particular importance, as feelings of familiarity definitely create comfort. Given that hygge was developed in a frosty clime (the Danes have cold weather to match our own, no doubt), it’s not really about going out; you’ve got to stay in and stay cozy in the winter months, after all.

Food is another important part of the whole feel; cooking something warm, filling and nap-inducing is right where you want to be. Food Network Canada created a list of 20 hygge recipes for you to try out, many of them with their roots in Danish culture. Have people over to enjoy the meal, but don’t fret too terribly much over little mistakes; a stressed-out host is definitely not hygge.  Comfort foods like mac ‘n’ cheese, chicken soup and stew are excellent choices to create the vibe; the smell alone will bring people to a state of bliss. Aroma is actually of particular importance to the concept; even writing about aromatic candles and fireplaces has my memory firing up, flooding me with feelings of comfortable bliss.

While feelings of comfort are often found inside, getting out in the wintertime can be hygge too. Remember all the times you’ve spent building snowmen with your family, the crunch of the freshly fallen snow beneath your boots, the gentle rocking of a horse-drawn cart and the heat from your rosy cheeks after a long, slow walk through the woods with your friends. These things are all hygge, because they make you feel in love with the world.

Hygge is all about vibe, not material things, so you don’t have to splurge to make your home comfy. Handmade pillows and blankets are particularly hygge, because they carry with them the memories of those who made them. You may be living in a place that’s not so hygge right now; for whatever reason, you might not feel the space is suited to bringing you comfort. If that’s the case, and you’re looking for new apartments, you should find a spot that you can really make your own; one where you can have friends over and enjoy each other’s company over a hot pot of coffee. Friends and family spending time together; that’s hygge.

The Spot at Tuxedo Point

Luxury. It’s hard to define, ineffable; you know it when you feel it. You luxuriate in it, a circular statement; it is something to be experienced, not described. There are signposts on the way to luxury, though; when your every need is accommodated, when the space you occupy is beautiful, when you are met with style and comfort, you know you’re on the way to luxury. There’s luxury apartment living right here in the city, and you can find it at The Spot at Tuxedo Point.


You want to enjoy your space, and The Spot aims to please. In a climate like ours, it’s important to find ways to work out indoors; you can’t rely on the weather being warm enough to get your cardio in, and sometimes the cold, slow slog to the gym can feel a bit overwhelming. That’s why The Spot has a state-of-the-art fitness facility, suited for all fitness levels.


You might want to host a party; have a lot of guests over, and show them the incredible place where you stay. The Spot has a party room, fully furnished and beautifully lit, so you can have your friends and family over for an unforgettable evening. There’s even a rooftop patio, so during the summer months, you can take advantage of the incredible view of Shindleman Park.


You want your apartment to have all of the creature comforts of a brand new house, and The Spot doesn’t disappoint. In-suite laundry, gorgeous stone countertops, balconies with a view, incredible fixtures and a walk-in closet will make you feel pampered even when you’re staying in on a Saturday. You’ll even be able to hang out with your furry friends; you can have up to two pets in your home, so your fur family is more than welcome to stay with you. Gym access and free Wi-Fi are included in the rent, so you won’t even have to pay extra to access all of the perks that come with The Spot.


When it’s time to get out of the house, there’s plenty to do nearby. Winnipeg’s incredible new outlet mall is walking distance away, so you can find amazing deals on incredible fashion. IKEA is nearby, so it’ll be easy to find new furniture for the new place! The Golf Dome is close, so you can practice your swing, and Winnipeg’s VIP Movie Theatre is a short drive away, so you can enjoy the latest Oscar nominees in style!


The Spot even has 3 bedroom apartments for rent; that means luxury living for the whole family, or the opportunity for an office for your home business and a guest suite. Such an incredible place won’t have vacancies for long; over 90% of the spots in The Spot have already been scooped up, and it’s easy to see why. As fun as it is to write about luxury, it’s an entirely different experience to really feel it. Experience luxury. Live at The Spot.





East Kildonan May Be the Right Place for You – 163 Rowandale

There’s a particular joy that comes with moving into a newly renovated place; the vibe feels exciting and welcoming, the appliances are top-of-the-line, and the fresh paint and floors make the space inviting. Tired of washing dishes by hand? A brand new dishwasher will change your life (seriously, if you haven’t switched from no dishwasher to dishwasher, you haven’t known true bliss). A spacious spot with a courtyard so you can enjoy the outdoors; 163 Rowandale is the place to be.


Location, location is the mantra of real estate, and you can’t find a place much better than this. Right by the Red River, there’s plenty of amazing parks and walking to do; if you love the outdoors as much as I do, you’ll be in heaven with the through-city trails that pass by this place. There’s a couple of beautiful golf courses nearby as well, so if you like to get your exercise while trying to hole-in-one-up your friends, this is a great area to be in.


A great neighborhood needs great food, and the area around Rowandale doesn’t disappoint. All of the quick fix staples are here; grab a coffee at Tim’s or Starbucks to start your day, head down to the Bake Oven for some pastries and enjoy your morning. You can get sushi or Chinese food down the street for lunch, or stop by Winnipeg’s own Sal’s for a Nip when it’s nippy outside. For supper, head to Jeffrey’s Restaurant or grab a slice at Santa Lucia; grab some ice cream from Dairy Queen for dessert, and you’re all set for your daily nutritional needs (though you might want to stop by Family Foods or Sobey’s an apple after all that deliciousness).


When you have kids, you need an apartment that’s close to some great schools; this area is well-serviced for education, with primary to high schools so near your kids will be able to walk home; as we all know, in -40 weather that builds character, though there are buses as well. If you’re a student yourself, you’ll find the area well serviced by buses; an 11 stops right by your apartment and brings you all the way downtown to the U of W, or to your Rapid Transit transfer.


There’s plenty to do in the area, too; Kildonan Park is right across the river, so catch a play at Rainbow Stage! You can go bowling at Rossmere, just a few short blocks away; there’s a comic book and collectible store for the geeks, and just down the way Sam’s Place is always putting on free shows from local artists.


When you’re looking for 2 bedroom apartments for rent, 163 Rowandale is the spot to check. Great for students, great for families, great for retirees, great if you just want an awesome, newly renovated spot to call your home. Looking out the window, you’ll be able to appreciate the stunning view; look back into the apartment, a different but still amazing sight will greet you: the sight of home.