Dealing with a Nosy Landlord

According to Porch, the most annoying neighbours are nosy neighbours. These folks are particularly frustrating because they refuse to let others live their lives in peace; they’ll butt in where they don’t belong, give unsolicited advice, and nag about problems that aren’t theirs to nag about. Seriously, wouldn’t we all love to live lives so drama-free we had to go bother our neighbours to find some? Sadly, these folks still exist, and it’s only worse if the “neighbour” in question is your landlord. With a neighbour, worst comes to worst you can tell them to shove off, but with a landlord more diplomacy seems to be in order; we want to maintain the best relationships we can while they still own the property we’re living on.

The first thing to know is your rights. Review your lease as well as documents like The Residential Tenancies Act. In Manitoba, a landlord must give a tenant at least 24 hours notice before entering their premises, so if your landlord is barging in at random times without notice, you can politely inform them that next time, you’ll need at least 24 hours notice. Should your landlord give you 24 hours notice, but it’s impractical for you to accommodate the visit, you can give an alternative time frame, so long as it’s within reason.

You must communicate with your landlord; it’s possible they don’t realize they’re being nosy and inconsiderate. Honest, open communication is key to all of our relationships, including financial ones; if your landlord doesn’t know they’re being a nuisance, how will they stop? Tell your landlord that you’re always willing to work with them when they need access to the unit, but without notice you feel that you’re being treated unfairly.

You might find that despite your good intentions, your landlord continues to butt in where and when they aren’t supposed to. When this happens, it’s time to start logging everything. Send a written complaint to the landlord advising of the issue, and start writing down every intrusion or bad interaction: every phone call, every meeting, everytime they barge in has got to be logged.

Hopefully, the logs and written notice are enough evidence that you mean business; most of the time, cool heads will prevail here and your landlord will cease to bother at all hours of the day. Should this fail, you can begin to consider professional mediation or legal action in order to restore some peace and sanity to your life.

One always hopes it doesn’t come to moving, but some landlords will sadly succeed at driving you away. Should you and your family need a new place to stay, there are always 2 bedroom apartments for rent in Winnipeg that you can find with good property management companies or reputable landlords who will stay out of your hair.

How To Warm Up Your Apartment in the Winter

As almost anyone reading this blog knows, Winnipeg gets cold in the wintertime. Apartments can be tough to live in during the frosty months, especially if you don’t have any control over the temperature in your unit. You might ask your landlord to turn up the thermostat, but there’s certainly no guarantee you’ll get your wish; because the temperature can differ wildly between units, it’s not certain that the person above you isn’t boiling while you’re freezing. To this end, here are a few ways you can make your apartment a little warmer, so you can get cozy during the holidays.

Hardwood floors are prone to getting cold, and they’re a fairly common feature in some apartments. When your feet get cold, the rest of your body can soon follow; wearing slippers is a great way to keep the chill off, but not everyone is into keeping floppy pink bunnies on their feet all day long. For the slipper averse, area rugs are an excellent way of keeping the floors nice and warm; they can also add an amazing bohemian flair to the place. Area rugs come in all shapes, sizes, colours and patterns, so you can even create a cohesive look for the room around the rug that you get.

Have a window that’s less-than-airtight? While you’re waiting for a fix, throw some shade on that thing; more specifically, some curtains! There are curtains made of highly insulating materials, like wool, that can keep the draft out and the warmth in.

To make the house nice and cozy, try warming up the whole space by decorating with plenty of blankets and pillows all around! Cover your couch, chairs, even your bed with a variety of blankets so you and your guests will be able to bundle up without having to pull out mittens and a parka.

Invest in a good space heater if you’ve got a small place. This isn’t necessarily optimal, because it can add to your overall energy costs, but it’s especially viable if all utilities are paid.

Make sure all of your windows are closed! There’s not a lot you can do to fix insulation in your apartment, though you might opt to put up tapestries on your walls to add some heat and colour to the room, so you’d better make sure there’s no cold air coming in from a window you never shut.

Enjoy the cool weather with lots of hot liquids! Warm up with a cup of coffee or hot chocolate, and keep the kettle boiling. Cook a lot of hot meals for yourself as well; the heat from the oven and stove can warm up the house a bit, and a piping hot dish will warm your body, heart and soul.

If you’ve tried all of the above and still find yourself chilly, it might be time to find a new place. The best Winnipeg apartments are well insulated from the cold, and well-heated; good landlords know the value of warmth on a chilly day.

What to look for when renting an apartment

Maybe you’ve decided you need a change of scenery, or it’s your first time moving out of your parent’s house, but you need an apartment. There are a bunch of things you need to keep in mind when you’re hunting, but it doesn’t need to be scary as long as you have a plan going in.

The most immediate question is what kind of apartment you’re looking for. This usually comes down to budget. If you can, aim for the cost of rent being about 30%-50% of your monthly income. This gives you some room to live, without needing to worry about making rent all month. You’re going to want to find a 2 bedroom apartment for rent if you can. It’s usually a much better price, only a couple hundred dollars more at most in the same area, with way more space. You may not think you’ll use it, but you’ll be happy to have it later. You might also need to consider having a roommate, in which case you’ll need as much room as you can get.

Once you’ve decided on the roommate situation comes the time to find potential apartments. Decide what kind of area you want, if you need it to be close to work/school, near a mall or grocery store, what kind of public transit access you need, if you need a park or elementary school nearby for kids, or on the flipside if you don’t want a park or school nearby because of the potential noise. While you’re doing this, think about parking, utilities, and pets; those will usually be additional costs on top of rent.

We live in the information age – take advantage of it! Google any potential places you find, see if anything pops up right away. Usually, if there have been repeated pest infestations this will show up near the top of the list. Every apartment building is susceptible to bed bugs, but if they happen over and over again, that is something you’re going to want to avoid.

Now it’s time to actually see apartments. There are a few tools you should bring: tape measure, flashlight, paper and a pen, your cell, and if your phone doesn’t have one, a camera. Measure your large furniture, so you can check to see if you can actually move it into the apartment. Check the corners of shelves and cupboards for dead insects, take notes on anything you liked or didn’t, check your cell reception everywhere in the apartment, and take pictures of any damage, in case you have a dispute later on about your security deposit. Check the water pressure, the seals around the windows, and all the knobs and lock. Lastly, ask about which internet providers work in the building and speak with the landlord for a while just to see if you get on well enough. Speak with neighbours if you can, they’ll tell you if there have been any problems, or if worst-case they’ve had to contact the MB Tenancy Board.

Hopefully, this will help ease the stress, good luck out there!

How to Know You Need a New Apartment

The place you call home impacts your life in a dramatic way; it’s important to have a place where you feel you belong, surrounded by good memories and even better people. Home isn’t just a space; it’s a state of mind, a sanctuary of rest. All of us find, at one time or another, that the place our home is found no longer suits our needs and we need to move on. It can be hard to know if it’s time to find a new apartment, but there are a few telltale signs that can guide you in making the right decision.

The biggest factor that might make you move is when the space your apartment provides is no longer sufficient. This can often happen in the happiest of scenarios; when you have a new addition to your family! Having a child is life-altering, to put it mildly, but it might mean the old two-bedroom apartment you lived in isn’t enough anymore! When you’ve run out of space, it may be time to look for a new 3 bedroom apartments for rent. You might instead find you want a home office, or some other, larger accommodations; if you feel a space is too small, it might be time to move!

You might want to find a new place because you want to live in a different neighborhood; closer to the place you work or near the cultural hub of your city. If you find you’re spending more time on your commute than you’d like, such a move can be a money-saver; every moment not spent in transit is a moment you can spend productively, either on self-care or on projects you want to get done. Living in a great neighborhood can also help light that creative spark that’s needed to succeed in so many industries today.

In the best of circumstances, you might find yourself with some cash flow you didn’t have before! That’s always exciting, and you can put it to good use by finding a luxury apartment. Luxury spots will often offer incredible accommodations like onsite fitness facilities, in-suite laundry, even attached restaurants and stores. All of this convenience can save you a lot of time, and as we’ve all had drilled in our heads since time immemorial, time is money. That means a move to a luxury suite can actually help you save in the long-term; combine that with the gorgeous architecture and living spaces of most luxury suites, and you’ll be living the good life.

In the end, sometimes it’s just a feeling; something’s off about the place you’re living, it feels stagnant, and it’s time for a change. Feelings like this shouldn’t just be drowned out; it’s important to listen to your emotions and try to pinpoint what feels wrong. Practice mindfulness in your own home, and if you can’t ascribe a word to the feeling but you know it would be solved by moving, it might be time; sometimes, we only understand what was bothering us when it’s far behind us.

 

 

 

 

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.