1. First things first…Inspect!
Once you’ve signed a lease and have moved in to your new dwelling, be sure to inspect it before unpacking all your boxes. Take pictures of the place to illustrate the condition in which you got it. This will come in handy if your landlord later thinks you may have caused some damage that was evident when you moved in. Although signing a lease is pretty final there exists a 10-day grace period set forth by the Régie du logement in which you can report major problems that you were unaware of before that time.
2. Tenant insurance?
As a tenant, you may also want to consider tenant insurance for protection against damages that could occur and for which you might be held responsible. Although the landlord is responsible for repairing damages relating to wear and tear they are not necessarily responsible for damages occurring out of a tenant’s negligence. The difference is sometimes hard to prove leaving tenants vulnerable to high costs of repairs. Tenant’s insurance works much like other kinds of insurance where you pay a monthly insurance fee and in return are reimbursed a certain amount for the damages for which you are being charged. Tenant insurance is different from homeowner insurance as the previous one provides coverage for house attachments such as a shed or a garage. Both types of insurance include coverage for additional living expenses, liability and personal belongings. This means that if you have tenant insurance and something happens in your dwelling where you would have to leave for a period of time, you could be covered for those living expenses.
If you decide to take insurance make sure to photograph all of your belongings, because this is the only proof you will have to get those replace in case of fire, water damage, or other unexpected issues.
The cost of tenant insurance will depend on several factors such as where you live, how and when your dwelling was constructed and the insurance company you choose. Furthermore, the more things of value you own, the more expensive your insurance will be as the coverage you will need will increase. There exists different levels of insurance so you can choose one that you feel most comfortable with. Furthermore you can get home insurance from a variety of institutions: private insurance companies, banks or credit unions.
For more information on Tenant’s insurance: Insurance Bureau of Canada