Home ownership has become very costly. A lot of people can’t afford to buy a house. Apartment rental can be expensive as well, but it is usually more cost efficient. Also consider renting a small house, condo, townhouse, or duplex. When looking for an apartment to rent, there are several things you should keep in mind:
Budget: Determine how much you can afford to spend on rent, including any additional fees such as utilities, parking, pet fees, and damage or security deposit. FYI – In Winnipeg (in 2023), a nicer newer modern two-bedroom apartment may range from $1400-$1700/month CAD. Smaller, older apartments may start at half that cost. Manitoba Housing also has subsidized apartments.
Sunlight: How much sunlight do you want? Are there lots of windows? Do you want morning sun (east-facing) or late-day sun and sunsets (west-facing)? A south-facing apartment will get more sun in general than one that faces to the north.
Accessibility: Consider if the entrance to your building accessible by wheelchair or walker. Are there ramps or an elevator?
Location: Consider the location of the apartment in relation to your work, school, bus routes, and other amenities such as grocery stores, restaurants, and entertainment.
Walkability: This is important for some people. Everything you need should be about 10-15 minute walk. From Reddit user YYZtoYWG: “If you want to be walking distance to grocery stores and amenities: St Boniface, The Exchange, Broadway/Assiniboine, Osborne Village, Corydon, South Osborne, Wolseley, West End (west of Arlington).” I would add the strip on Grant across from the Grant Park Shopping Centre is a great location, too.
Size and layout: Determine the size and layout of the apartment that would work best for you, taking into account the number of bedrooms, bathrooms, and overall living space.
Amenities: Consider what amenities the apartment complex offers, such as an air conditioner or central air, a patio or balcony, dishwasher, shower or tub, in-suite laundry or on-site laundry facilities, on-site storage, indoor parking, gym access, and security features.
Lease agreement: Read and understand the lease agreement, including the terms of the lease, the duration of the lease, and any fees or penalties that may be incurred.
Safety and security: Consider the safety and security of the apartment complex, including the availability of security cameras, on-site security personnel, and the overall safety of the neighborhood. Walk around the neighborhood. See it both in the daytime and nighttime.
Maintenance and repairs: Inquire about the process for reporting maintenance and repairs, as well as the average response time for addressing these issues.
Rental history and credit score: Landlords often conduct background checks on prospective tenants, so be prepared to provide your rental history and credit score. You may need to provide a reference or two as well.
How do you find an apartment to rent in Winnipeg?
I have seen people putting out a message on Facebook if anyone knows of an apartment for rent. This is always a good way to start.
Visit neighbourhoods: If you’re already in Winnipeg, you can visit neighborhoods that you are interested in living in and look for “For Rent” signs on apartment buildings. This is a good way to find apartments that may not be listed online. You can then go to the front door and see who manages the property. Take down the name and number and call for more information.
Google search: Next, you can Google “Winnipeg apartment rentals.” You will get a list of sponsored ads, but this would give you an idea of what property companies are seeking tenants. If you know the area you want to look in, add the area to the end of the search term. Example: Google “Winnipeg apartment rentals Osborne Village.” I will provide an example of some of property management companies below.
Rental websites: There are some websites that keep lists of apartment rentals. Many of them have filters and maps so you can explore the options and areas. Some of the websites I came across follow (in no particular order):
Rentals – https://rentals.ca/winnipeg
Rent Board – https://www.rentboard.ca/winnipeg-mb
Pad Mapper – https://www.padmapper.com/apartments/winnipeg-mb?box=-97.39311218261719,49.707164332873155,-96.90696716308594,50.025828752356176
Rent Cafe – https://www.rentcafe.com/apartments-for-rent/ca/mb/winnipeg/
RentFaster – https://www.rentfaster.ca/mb/winnipeg/
Kijiji and Facebook Marketplace are good to find options for rentals:
Kijiji – Apartments and condos for rent: https://www.kijiji.ca/b-apartments-condos/winnipeg/apartment__condo/c37l1700192a29276001
FB Marketplace – Property Rental: https://www.facebook.com/marketplace/category/propertyrentals
For older adults, there is a listing called the Winnipeg Housing Directory for Older Adults (mainly independent living): https://www.aosupportservices.ca/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/Housing-Directory-2020-for-website.pdf
There is also an online Winnipeg Renters Guide (this is an example of an issue from April 7, 2023) – https://issuu.com/wall2wall/docs/renters-guide-april-7-2023
Contact property management companies: You can contact property management companies in Winnipeg that manage multiple apartment buildings. These companies often have vacancies in their buildings and can help you find an apartment that suits your needs. The Top 3 Best Property Management Companies may also be a place to start. Property management companies to consider (there are more, just do a Google search, here are some in no particular order):
Sunrex property offers some pet-friendly suites – https://www.sunrex.ca/home
Urban Square with Centurion Property Associates Inc. (pet-friendly) – https://www.cpliving.com/apartments/urban-square
Broadstreet Properties – https://www.broadstreet.ca/residential/cities/winnipeg
Forthright Properties – https://www.forthrightproperties.ca/residential/cities/winnipeg
Know your rights! Make sure that you read through the Tenancies Act for Manitoba. https://www.gov.mb.ca/cca/rtb/
Take your time when searching for an apartment to ensure that you find a space that meets your needs and fits within your budget. Keep notes on each place you are considering as you may not remember all the details! Let me know if there are any other things people should know when looking for an apartment to rent in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
Angela G. Gentile, MSW, RSW
Written with the help of ChatGPT