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Everything You Need to Know about Property Rentals in Ottawa

A house is a valuable asset because it provides a stable and secure place to live and can be used to build equity and wealth over time. For this reason, all prospective homeowners go the extra mile to find the perfect home, even if it takes time. However, not everyone has the luxury of being a homeowner, or want the responsibility of homeownership so they opt for renting instead.

Rental properties are an excellent option for people who want to live in a specific area without committing to becoming a homeowner. Countries have different policies and laws regarding renting, and Canada is no exception. More specifically, Ottawa is a city that has a robust rental market because of its unique mix of urban, suburban, and rural areas. However, the rental market goes deeper than one might realize, so you must be careful before signing a rental agreement. Few people know how this works, so we'll discuss the details in this article.

A Brief Background on Canada’s Housing Market

Canada is known for having one of the most stable housing markets in the world. In the past, it was easy for Canadians to purchase a home with a mortgage and low-interest rates. However, this has changed recently due to increasing housing prices, stricter lending requirements, and a lack of supply in specific markets.

The rental market in Ottawa is highly competitive, with a limited supply of rental units and a high demand for these units. As such, landlords can be picky when selecting tenants and charge higher rent rates than in other cities. The average rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Ottawa is $1700, while the national average is $2024. Because of this, you must ensure that you're well-prepared when searching for a rental property in the city.

How Is Ottawa’s Housing Market Different from Other Cities?

As the capital city of Canada, Ottawa has some unique characteristics that make it different from other cities. For starters, the population of Ottawa is relatively low compared to other cities in Canada, meaning that there is a smaller pool of potential buyers and renters. Additionally, the city is relatively small compared to other cities, meaning there is limited land available for new housing projects.

Due to the limited housing supply, prices are higher in Ottawa than in other cities. Additionally, the rental market is highly competitive, with a limited supply of rental units and a high demand for these units. As such, landlords can be picky when selecting tenants and charge higher rent rates than in other cities.

Ottawa is also known for its strong economy and stable job market, which has led to a substantial investment in the housing market. Many people buy homes in Ottawa due to the city's strong economy and job prospects, which have helped increase housing demand and keep prices relatively high.

Rental Options in Ottawa

When looking for rental properties in Ottawa, one has several options. These include:

Apartment Buildings

Renting an apartment in a building with multiple units is a popular option for many people in Ottawa. Many apartment buildings and complexes in the city range from budget-friendly options to luxury high-rises. These apartment buildings are often near shops, restaurants, and other amenities, making them an ideal choice for prospective tenants in the city.

Townhouses and Condominiums

While there are few large townhouse complexes in Ottawa, many independent townhouses and condominiums are available for rent. These homes offer more space and privacy than apartments, and many are in desirable neighbourhoods.


Houses in Ottawa vary in size and style, ranging from simple single-family homes to luxurious mansions. Many of these houses are located in established neighbourhoods, providing tenants access to nearby amenities and public transportation. Houses are often more expensive than apartments but offer more privacy and space.

How to Look for Rental Properties

Ottawa offers various avenues for you to choose a rental property, such as:

Rental Websites

There are many websites dedicated to helping you find rental properties in Ottawa. These websites list available properties and provide detailed information, such as amenities and neighbourhood information.

Social Media

Of course, social media platforms are great for finding rental properties in Ottawa. You can search for rental postings, join local groups and ask for recommendations, or even post a personal rental request.

Licensed Realtors

You can always contact a licensed realtor if you want to see real estate listings in Ottawa. They will have access to the MLS, a database of all the properties for sale and rent in Ottawa. Realtors can also provide valuable advice on the area and help you find the best rental deal.

Considerations When Looking for a Rental Property

A rental property is essential, so you must know all your options and potential pitfalls. Before you start looking for a rental property, you must consider a few things, such as:


First and foremost, location is vital when looking for a rental property. You should consider the neighbourhood, crime rate, schools, access to public transportation, and nearby amenities. You should also consider the distance to places of employment or recreational activities. You should also consider the distance to places of employment or recreational activities. Consider exploring bedroom communities, like Orleans,  which offers great public transportation options to the city, but still offers all the amenities you need providing great value for your rental needs. You should also consider the distance to places of employment or recreational activities. Consider exploring bedroom communities, like Orleans,  which offers great public transportation options to the city, but still offers all the amenities you need providing great value for your rental needs.


Before signing a lease, you should ensure the rental property includes the necessary amenities. If you're looking for a furnished unit, look for one with furniture. If you need a parking space, ensure the rental property has a parking lot or garage. You should also check for amenities like laundry facilities, common areas, and other features.


The property's condition must be checked before signing a lease. Look for any damages, such as water damage, mould, pest infestations, and structural issues. Ensure the property has been properly maintained and all appliances, fixtures, and furniture are in good working order. It's also essential to check for any safety hazards, such as exposed wiring or flammable materials.

Property Management

Property management is a critical aspect to consider when signing a lease. Ask the landlord or property manager about their experience managing the property and their policies for handling tenant complaints and maintenance requests. Find out how they handle tenant screening, rent collection, and evictions. You should also ask for previous tenants' references and their experiences.


Naturally, the lease cost should be a crucial factor in your decision. You should ask the landlord about the associated costs, such as any deposits or additional fees. Also, find out if the rent will increase throughout the lease and if any special discounts or promotions are available.

Property Charges

Rent cost is one thing, but you should also consider any additional costs associated with the property. This includes utility bills, maintenance fees, taxes, insurance, and any other charges that may be required. Ask the landlord for an itemized list of charges to ensure you understand what you will pay.

Tenancy Agreement

Above all else, ensure you read and understand the tenancy agreement before signing it. This document will outline the terms of the contract, including the length of the tenancy, the rent amount and payment schedule, and other essential details. Ask questions if there is anything you need clarification on, and make sure everything is clear before signing.

Is There a Right Time to Look for a Rental Property?

There is a right time to look for a rental property in Ottawa. Generally, the best time to start looking for a rental is between May and August. This is because there is usually a higher demand for rental properties during the summer when students are looking for housing and people are looking to move. However, rental properties are available year-round, so if you need to find a property during the winter, you should still be able to find something.

The best time to negotiate a rental rate is when there is less competition for the property. This could be during the winter or when there is an oversupply of rental properties in the area. Alternatively, start looking for a rental property early to get the best deal if you need the property during the summer.

Tips When Renting a Property in Ottawa

Renting an apartment in Ottawa is challenging, but you can make it easier with several tips. These include:

Research the Area You’re Interested In

Before you search for a rental property in Ottawa, you should research the area you’re interested in. You should look into the area's amenities and attractions, crime rate, cost of living, and public transportation options. This will help you determine if the neighbourhood is right for you and your family.

Research the Local Rental Market

Knowledge of the local rental market is vital because it helps you understand the rental prices in the area and what to expect when searching for a rental property. This includes looking at rental rates for similar units in the area or if it suits your needs. You should also research the vacancy rate and average rental terms in the area, as this will help you decide if it’s a good time to rent.

Organize Everything for the Application Process

Applying for a rental property takes time, so you must have all your documents to make it as smooth as possible. This includes having a valid ID, proof of income, references, and other documents required by the landlord. It’s also important to be prepared to answer any questions the landlord might have about your rental history.

Prepare for the Interview

When applying for a rental, you should be prepared for a potential interview with the landlord. During the interview, you must be honest and provide accurate information about your rental history and financial background. You should also be prepared to answer any questions the landlord might have about your lifestyle.

Most landlords will require references from previous landlords, employers, and personal references. Providing accurate and up-to-date contact information for each reference is vital to ensure a smooth rental process. You should also be prepared to explain any negative references you may have, such as a past landlord who gave you a bad review or an employer who had to let you go.

Look for Incentives and Discounts

Many landlords offer incentives to attract tenants, such as discounts or bonus months. If you’re looking to save money, it’s worth asking the landlord if such incentives are available. You may also want to inquire about any special offers or deals for long-term leases.

On a related note, you shouldn't be afraid to negotiate. The rental market can be competitive, and landlords may be willing to negotiate on rent, pet fees, and other fees. In short, don’t be afraid to ask for a better deal because it could make the difference between signing a lease and not.

Read the Rental Agreement Thoroughly

Before signing a lease, read it thoroughly and ask questions if you don’t understand anything. A lease is legally binding, so it’s essential to understand the terms and conditions before signing. For example, if there is a pet deposit, you should know how much it is and whether it is refundable.

Additionally, you should ask for a copy of the signed lease. Having a copy of the lease will help you remember the terms of the agreement and provide proof of the agreement should any disputes arise later.

Inspect the Property Carefully

Before signing a lease, scrutinize the property and take notes of any damages. If you find any damages, ensure that the landlord is aware of them and that they are noted in the lease agreement.

Additionally, inspect the property for any safety hazards such as mould, exposed wires, or broken windows. Ensure that the landlord knows of any safety hazards and that they are addressed before signing the lease.

Do Not Be Afraid to Ask Questions

Above all else, do not hesitate to ask questions before signing a lease. Ask about any essential details, such as the lease length, rental amount, and any rules or regulations regarding the property. You should also ask about additional costs, such as utilities, maintenance, or pet fees. Asking questions will help ensure that you are fully aware of all the details before signing the lease.

Should You Rent in Ottawa?

Yes, Ottawa is a great place to rent. The city offers many rental options, from high-end apartments to low-cost condos. Additionally, Ottawa is a vibrant city with plenty of amenities, such as restaurants, shopping, and entertainment. The city is also known for its safe and friendly neighbourhoods, making it an ideal place to rent.

However, you must know that Ottawa is one of the most expensive cities to rent in Canada. Prices can be high, so you must research and compare different rental options before deciding. Plenty of choices are available, so you must understand your lease's terms and conditions before signing.


Renting a property in Ottawa is an excellent way to enjoy the city and all it offers. However, one must be aware of their rights as a tenant, especially since Ottawa has specific tenant laws in place. With proper research, preparation, and communication, renting and living in Ottawa can be an enjoyable and rewarding experience.

If you’re looking for Ottawa rentals, Phoenix Properties can help you! We offer various options depending on your needs and budget for fair prices. Contact us today at to submit an inquiry!


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