Young renters should not be taken advantage of

Header image for the article Young renters should not be taken advantage of Credit: SAMIT KHALSA (GAZETTE)
Knowing your rights as a young renter is the best way to make sure you’re not being taken advantage of.

Moving out on your own can be stressful and sometimes young renters’ landlords and apartment management will not take their voices seriously. But what you should know is that you do have rights as a tenant and there are some things that you as a renter should be aware of.

First things first is that you should know your rights and understand your rights as a tenant. You can search up Ontario’s Landlord Tenant Board and can check out the full list of laws and rules as a tenant. But if you ever feel like your voice as a tenant is being ignored, the Landlord Tenant Board has everything listed that could help you.

As someone who has gone through my fair share of moves in the past four years, I have had moments where we had to contact the tenant board. Before moving in, it is important to do a sweep through of the place you are moving into to make sure that everything is up to standard and how you and the landlord agreed it would be.

When it comes to move-in day, if things in your apartment are not 100 per cent ready for you, I suggest taking pictures and dating them as proof of what the place looked like when you moved in. Another thing I think that young renters should know is that you should not be afraid to speak to management and that if they ignore you, you can call the head office and address your concerns and your voice will be heard.

When my roommate and I moved into our current place three years ago, none of our outlets worked in the living room or in the kitchen. We instantly went in and explained the situation, but nothing was done until my dad called the office for us. Sometimes it felt as if our voices were not being heard.

Renters’ insurance isn’t necessary, but it is recommended. There are no laws that require renters to have renter’s insurance, but it doesn’t hurt to look into. Renters’ insurance protects your home in an emergency like a flood or a fire. Renter’s insurance will cover the cost of your belongings. Although it is not required, it can be worth it as most only cost about $15 a month. Having a little protection, just in case something happens, could make the situation less stressful if it were to happen. 

Another thing I think is important for young renters to know is to read over the lease thoroughly before moving in, and do not be afraid to ask questions. Usually you are asked for a deposit that will work as either your first or last month’s rent, but besides that, look at the smaller details in your lease and learn more about them.

Do not be afraid to ask questions. Chances are that someone has also asked the same thing before and it just wasn’t made clear in the lease agreement. Also, know that legally no one can enter your apartment unless they have given you at least 24-hour’s notice.

Once, my landlord decided he was having a viewing of our place at 10 p.m. at night, and neither I nor my roommates at the time were aware. So we simply told him we did not receive notice and were not allowing anyone to enter, especially that late on a school night.

As young renters, we have rights and we should be taken as seriously as any other renter. Just because we are young, does not mean that we should have to put up with disrespect or be ignored. When it comes to renting as a student, look into your rights and get to know your resources.

Editorial opinions or comments expressed in this online edition of Interrobang newspaper reflect the views of the writer and are not those of the Interrobang or the Fanshawe Student Union. The Interrobang is published weekly by the Fanshawe Student Union at 1001 Fanshawe College Blvd., P.O. Box 7005, London, Ontario, N5Y 5R6 and distributed through the Fanshawe College community. Letters to the editor are welcome. All letters are subject to editing and should be emailed. All letters must be accompanied by contact information. Letters can also be submitted online by clicking here.