Renter’s Insurance 101

If you're a renter, you may be at risk for loss or liability issues. The easiest preventative measure for these risks is to get renter's insurance. Keep reading to ensure that you're prepared to provide your Ottawa Apartment a strong defense for any potential hazards.

Coverage Inclusions

One of the main questions that you may have when considering getting renter’s insurance is, what does it cover? Every renter should have some type of insurance. Learn what the average plan covers to help you determine if you need any additional coverage. One of the main points of renter’s insurance is to protect your belongings. Basic insurance covers the theft of your belongings and events such as hail, fire, rain, or wind storm - flood and earthquakes can require extra coverage. Additionally, opt for a coverage plan that will pay for lodgings in the event that you are required to leave your apartment. These basic plans also provide coverage for injuries that another person might sustain in your apartment.

Pet Coverage

Renter’s insurance can be very important, particularly if you have a pet. If you’re insured, you’re likely covered for medical payments, legal fees, and any settlement, up to coverage limits. When you search for the best renters insurance, be open about your needs and don’t expect any animal will be covered, as there are some that are generally uninsurable. Some of the blacklisted breeds include Pitbulls, Staffordshire Terriers, Rottweilers, German Shepherds, Presa Canarios, Chows chows, Doberman Pinschers, etc.

Cost of Renter’s Insurance

Renter's insurance is generally relatively affordable. The average renter can expect to pay between $100 and $250 per year ($15 to $30 per month), depending on where you live and the coverage amount of your selected insurance policy. You can choose different levels of insurance coverage. If you want insurance for all risks versus specific incidents, your insurance could cost more. Cost depends on many things including how much insurance you need, the location of your apartment, how your unit or apartment was constructed, your insurance company, your claims history, etc. Before settling on an insurance provider, shop around or talk to a professional who can compare prices for you.

How Much Your Stuff is Worth

When registering for renter’s insurance, you’ll need to determine how much the possessions in your apartment are worth. To make it easier, there are inventory apps and sites that will help you log, price and track all of your items. You can also create a spreadsheet with this information. Not having a proper inventory report can hurt you in the long run. This is an important step to do early on as it will dictate how much insurance you need to buy. Having this data on hand is also helpful if you need to file a claim. Don’t forget to keep receipts for big-ticket items, and take photos of all of the possessions you may need to claim.

Ottawa Apartment has connections with over 7,000 apartment locations across the city. With our search tool, all you’ve got to do is tell us what you’re looking for—we’ll take care of the rest. And, it’s 100% free! Click here to find your dream apartment today.


Tips for Owning Plants in Your Ottawa Apartment

The last few months of winter can cast a dreary shadow and damp chill over an average day. Brighten up your life from the inside out by filling your Ottawa Apartment with a little bit of life. If you’ve had trouble keeping plants alive in the past, don’t be discouraged! Follow these tips to keep plants growing big and strong:

Time is of the Essence

The most important thing to consider when considering purchasing plants for your apartment is the time that you are willing and able to invest in caring for them. A plant is not a piece of furniture but rather a living, growing organism that needs adequate and consistent attention. In order to attend to their basic needs, you will need to set aside time regularly. Certain plants require more care than others and based off of how much time you have, it may be necessary to select one that requires minimal care. In order to boost your confidence as a new plant owner, choose plants such as Cacti and Succulents that are less demanding.

Choose Wisely

In places where natural light and space is limited, it is important to select a plant that is well equipped to handle these conditions. Sturdy plants are easier to come by then you might think, but it's important to do adequate research to ensure that you select the best one you’re your apartment. Depending on the amount of space that you are working with and access to sunlight, it may also be important to select plants that take up minimal floor space and thrive off of limited sun exposure. Some examples of plants that fit these characteristics and may be ideal for your Ottawa Apartment include Snake Plants, Succulents, Aloe Vera, Air Plants, Cacti, Spider Plants, and Ficus Trees.

Location, Location, Location

As much as we want a plant to look great in our space, if we want them to thrive in an indoor environment, prioritizing their needs is necessary. It is important to look at your space as a whole, considering how the temperature, light, and humidity within the space changes throughout the day (and from season to season). Different plants prefer different environments, so place them strategically throughout your apartment – according to what suits them best. Many houseplants such as Air Plants and Ferns respond well to humidity. As such, a surprisingly ideal location for them and various others in the bathroom. Consider investing in a humidifier for rooms that you intend to fill with plants. Alternatively, keep plants away from A/C and heating units. Don’t forget to do ample research regarding the sunlight required by each plant – some may thrive in a window sill or near direct sunlight, while others prefer to be kept primarily in the shade.

Ottawa Apartment has connections with over 7,000 apartment locations across the city. With our search tool, all you’ve got to do is tell us what you’re looking for—we’ll take care of the rest. And, it’s 100% free! Click here to find your dream apartment today.


Maximize Space in the Bathroom of Your Ottawa Apartment

Renting an apartment doesn't being you can't have the bathroom of your dreams! Keep reading for the top tips to making the most of the bathroom space in your Ottawa Apartment:

Open Up Floor Space

With limited space to move around inside your apartment’s bathroom, the last thing you want is additional clutter occupying your floor. When organizing and furnishing your bathroom, think vertical. Install shelves and hooks to open wall space to keep necessary items within reach and out of the way. Be careful, as some landlords have restrictions concerning holes in the walls. In order to avoid making unwanted damage, opt for floating shelves or command hooks.

Move Towel Racks to an Unused Area

Towel racks are an important part of any bathroom, used to hang hand towels and bulky bath towels. Hanging these in a central area of the bathroom can occupy a large amount of space and make the room look smaller than it actually is. Hang towel racks on the back of the bathroom door, or on the wall to the side of the sink. It may also be wise to hang larger towels in a separate area, such as in your bedroom or closet.

Take Advantage of Shower Space

In order to eliminate clutter in drawers and on shelves throughout the bathroom, try installing hooks and shelves on the walls in your shower to hang items such as loofas and washcloths. This will not only save space on other surfaces but will keep items accessible during your showers. Additionally, in order to store more items, try installing suction cup shelves or a decorative shower caddy.

Bonus Tip: One of the quickest ways to spruce up a rental bathroom is to change out the old shower head for a new one.

Brighten-Up Space

Swapping out incandescent light bulbs for LED lights will not only brighten up your space but will save you money on your monthly energy bill. You can also brighten up space by choosing neutral décor. Choosing light-colored shower curtains, bath mats, and hand towels, in good quality materials (to ensure that they stay looking fresh and well-maintained) will help your bathroom look renewed and refurbished.

What Else Can You Do?

The Ottawa Apartments team has compiled a list of additional steps that you can take to make any apartment bathroom look brand new:

  • Deep clean areas that are normally lacking in attention such as the space behind the toilet, cupboard doors, grout, etc.
  • Swap out the toilet seat.
  • Paint the walls (if your rental agreement allows it).
  • Replace the hardware (if you are planning on staying long term).

Ottawa Apartment has connections with over 7,000 apartment locations across the city. With our search tool, all you’ve got to do is tell us what you’re looking for—we’ll take care of the rest. And, it’s 100% free! Click here to find your dream apartment today.


Tips for a Cozy Winter Apartment

Winter can really be the most wonderful time of the year when spent cozied up in your Ottawa Apartment! Keep reading for the quickest and easiest tips on the best ways to deck the halls this season:

Colours

Transitioning your apartment from an autumnal arcadia into a winter wonderland isn’t a difficult feat. One of the quickest ways to make the change is to further deepen the colour scheme of your apartments décor. Adding colours like indigo, plum, and forest green into your rotation will keep the warmth of fall while incorporating the freshness of the winter season. This can be done by simply introducing a series of throw blankets, decorative pillows, and ornaments.

Baking

Baking can be the perfect way to warm up your apartment and fill it with deliciously sweet scents. Search the web for creative recipes that let you take advantage of your kitchen space to treat yourself and prepare affordable and meaningful gifts. Baking for the holidays doesn’t have to wait until the week before. Many festive recipes are perfect for preparing and freezing to have on hand when the time comes!

Lighting

Alter the ambiance of any room by incorporating a variety of light sources strategically throughout the space. Try hanging fairy lights around the ceiling, scattering candles and tea lights across various surfaces, and lighting your fireplace to cast a warm glow and toasty heat around any room. There is nothing better, after all than enjoying a cup of hot chocolate and a good book by the light of a fire.

Temperature

Often times, apartments can be difficult to keep warm, as the temperature is often regulated by the landlords or superintendents. In order to keep your unit as comfortable as possible, combine these hack to decrease drafts and increase insulation. Place draft stoppers at the base of door frames and windows to stop any unwanted air from entering your apartment. You can also try reversing your ceiling fan to force any warm air near the ceiling into the lower portion of your rooms. Finally, be sure to stock your house full of throw blankets and spare slippers for you and your guests.

Activities

Once the décor, lighting, and atmosphere of your apartment are fulfilling your desire for coziness and comfort, take advantage of your space! Be prepared for any situation with games, movies, crafts, and books to entertain yourself and any company that you may have on the snowiest of days.

Ottawa Apartment has connections with over 7,000 apartment locations across the city. With our search tool, all you’ve got to do is tell us what you’re looking for—we’ll take care of the rest. And, it’s 100% free! Click here to find your dream apartment today.


Winter Moving 101

Its safe to say that moving is usually a hassle! With winter comes an additional set of obstacles that you may have to face when settling into your new Ottawa Apartment. Don't let the threat of snow, ice and cold weather put a damper on this exciting transition by implementing these precautionary measures:

Be Prepared

Preparation is key when moving at any time, especially winter. Firstly, be sure that you have the appropriate clothing and gear to keep yourself warm and dry during the long day. Dress in layers and wear the proper footwear in order to beat the cold and snow. Next, be sure that you have the necessary tools to ensure the safety and accessibility of relevant outdoor areas. These tools include a shovel to clear the walkway, ice-salt to fix slippery patches, and cardboard or tarps to protect the inside of your new apartment from stains, scratches, and water damage– no one wants to have to clean the floors after a long day of moving.

If you are planning on using your car to help quicken the moving process, ensure that it has been effectively serviced and winterized. This will remove a level of stress from your moving day. Finally, don’t forget to stock up on goodies to take care of your movers. This is always good practice to build a good relationship and have a positive moving experience. Ideal winter goodies include hot chocolate or coffee, simple snacks, and extra gloves.

Pack Smart

Another important part of moving is the time and effort that you put into packing. The key for a winter move is to remember the effects that cold weather can have on your items. For example, be sure to handle electronics with extra care - these items are at risk for element related damages. Opt for double packing/insulation as well as packing them last and retrieving them first to keep them away from the cold. Additionally, avoid packing away winter clothing. Keep these items accessible (either in your trunk or the front of the moving truck) in case you find yourself needing extra layers to keep comfortable during your move.

Finally, pay close attention to the placement of cardboard boxes as they can be compromised by the wet ground or falling snow. You can do so by moving boxes directly into the moving truck, laying out tarps for cardboard boxes to be placed on outdoors, and opting for plastic moving bins.

Be Flexible

Flexibility is somewhat necessary for everyday life throughout the winter. Be proactive when planning a winter move by monitoring weather reports. In the event that the forecast looks unsuitable for moving, try contacting your movers and rental truck company to reschedule for a better day. Next, be sure to account for possible delays, resultant from inclement weather. These could include traffic delays, frostbite warnings (requiring you and your movers stay inside), and technical issues with vehicles. Lastly, don’t forget to take breaks! Both you’re your movers will be working hard to get all of your items moved in a timely matter. Don’t let your motivation cloud your need for body breaks. Rest, recharge, and stay hydrated throughout the entire moving process!

Ottawa Apartment has connections with over 7,000 apartment locations across the city. With our search tool, all you’ve got to do is tell us what you’re looking for—we’ll take care of the rest. And, it’s 100% free! Click here to find your dream apartment today.


How to Host the Perfect Halloween Party in Your Apartment

Do you want to plan the perfect Halloween party in your Ottawa Apartment this year? Don’t let your costume go to waste at another boring bash, be the host of the party of the year with the spookiest setting, ominous entertainment, and tantalizing treats:

Set the Mood

When hosting any party, it important that you set the mood accordingly. For Halloween parties, you’re in luck! With all of the classic decorations and design ideas, it won’t be difficult to turn your apartment into the spookiest place in town. Narrow down your décor ideas and start by choosing a theme for your party. Monster Mash, Autumn Harvest, Haunted House and, Murder Mystery are all interesting and unique examples of themes. Once you’ve picked a theme, its time to make your apartment look the part. Try replacing your normal light bulbs for glowing red bulbs, installing fake cobwebs and tombstones throughout your hone, and scattering plastics bugs and rodents across various surfaces. For more autumnal parties, don’t forget to load up on pumpkins and fake fall foliage!

Ominous Entertainment

In order to keep your guests engaged, ensure that you plan proper entertainment for your party. Keep a spooky setlist playing in the background. Choose songs like Thriller, Monster Mash, Creep, and Ghostbusters to keep your guests dancing all night! For a more low-key evening, install a white sheet as a screen and set up a projector to play your favorite spooky movies. If you do this in a separate room or in the backyard, for instance,  guests can choose to mingle and party or take it easy and enjoy a Halloween flick.

For the more active individuals, offer the option of Halloween games for all. Some crowd favorites include: Don’t Say Halloween, Horror Movie Trivia, Halloween Treasure Hunt, and Spooky Photo Booth. Wrap up your night with a costume contest for all to enter! Choose judges ahead of time who will vote for categories such as Scariest Costume, Best Couple Costume, and Most Thematically Accurate. Prepare fun, themed prizes to be handed out like Treat Bags, Fall Flavored Beverages, Skeleton Trophies, etc.

Tantalizing Treats

Keep your part guests thoroughly satisfied throughout your entire party by offering a selection of Halloween themed bits and bites. For the savory snackers, prepare options like Mummy Dogs (mummy styled pigs in a blanket), Pumpkin Cheese Ball and Crackers, and Spaghetti and Eyeballs.  For your guests with a sweet tooth, set out items including Worms in Dirt, Pumpkin Pie, and Halloween Trail Mix.

Make this year's Halloween one for the books by embracing all of the fun and excitement that this time of year has to offer!

Ottawa Apartment has connections with over 7,000 apartment locations across the city. With our search tool, all you’ve got to do is tell us what you’re looking for—we’ll take care of the rest. And, it’s 100% free! Click here to find your dream apartment today.


Apartment Walkthrough Checklist

When checking out a new Ottawa Apartment, it is important to do your due diligence in making sure that every aspect is ready for you. The best way to prepare for a walkthrough is to create a checklist track notable features and requirements. You’re in luck! You don’t need to spend your valuable time making a checklist, we made one for you:

The Electrical

One of the most important things to check before settling on an apartment is the functionality of the electricity and the inclusion of appliances and fixtures. Test the apartment’s outlets and switches for functionality as well as ensuring that there are enough. Often times, older apartments may be lacking in outlets or may offer them in inconvenient locations. Although it is unlikely that your landlord will run new electrical and install more outlets, figuring out the situation prior to moving in will give you an opportunity to plan ahead. Additionally, ensure that necessary appliances (including fridge, stove, etc.) are included in the apartment and are in good working order.

The Water

No one wants to live in an apartment with low water pressure or a leaky faucet. During your walkthrough, make sure to always check the water pressure from multiple sources in the apartment. This includes verifying that the toilets flush as they’re supposed to. Drains should also be clear of any clogs. Additionally, look around all water sources to ensure that nothing shows evidence of drips or leaks. This includes checking the tub and sinks for missing grout or tiles. If you identify issues early, contact the building management company or landlord to have them rectified.

The Temperature

Depending on the time of year that you are doing your apartment walkthrough, it may not seem necessary to check the heating and cooling systems. That said, a change in season and in temperature will make you wish that you had taken the necessary precautions when initially visiting the apartment. During your visit, double check that it goes on and off without a hitch. If a cooling system is not already in place, check and see if there is a suitable area to install a window air conditioner. Save yourself from surprise heating costs and clarify what is included in the rent and what will require additional budgeting.

The Details

When visiting a new apartment, you’ll want to take note if anything is broken or damaged. Record a note and photographs documenting any damage such as cracked mirrors, wall holes, and stains or scratches on the floors. In doing so, you will be protected if questions arise regarding the state of the apartment. This tedious process will be well worth it when you can prove that you are not liable for existing damages and can have your deposit returned in full. Once you’ve surveyed the area for damages, make sure to consider the small details. For example, make sure that all knobs and handles are accounted for, all closets have rods, and there is no sign of insect or rodent life.

The Safety

When choosing a new apartment, always consider the safety and security features present within. Make sure that working smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors, and fire extinguishers are all in place. Check with the landlord to determine the location of fire escapes throughout the apartment. You can also discuss the reputation of the neighborhood concerning safety, and any other precautionary features throughout the building.

Ottawa Apartment has connections with over 7,000 apartment locations across the city. With our search tool, all you’ve got to do is tell us what you’re looking for—we’ll take care of the rest. And, it’s 100% free! Click here to find your dream apartment today.


Festive Fall Foyer Tips

Fall is coming and with it comes new friends, new guests, and new first impressions. Ensure that your Ottawa Apartment is prepped and ready to make the best one possible by following these foyer design tips:

Welcoming Doormats

You can welcome guests into your home with an individualized doormat that can serve both as protection from the elements and additional décor.  Choose from a variety of materials such as wood, woven rope or upcycled household items (like plastic bags or garden hoses) to complement your taste. Rotating your doormat seasonally can be beneficial as some season require stronger floor protection than others – fall in particular can prove damaging to your floors as we often wind up trekking in water and dirt. For an extra touch of festiveness choose a coir doormat embossed with a friendly saying or appropriate image.

Seasonal Wall Décor

Make the most of a small foyer space by taking full advantage of available wall surfaces. This is an effective way to bring fall coziness into your foyer and to invite the new season inside without taking up any open floor space. Hang photos or paintings to add a touch of artistry to this often undervalued area of your home. If you hope to make the space appear larger, opt for a mirror. Never lose your keys again by choosing a set of wall-mounted key hooks. This can also be used for sunglasses, hats or other small items.

Colorful Wreaths

Wreaths aren’t just for Christmas anymore! Give your front door the attention that it deserves by hanging a decorative wreath for all passers-by to see. This is a simple yet versatile way to enhance the appearance of your entryway. The possibilities are endless when selecting the perfect wreath for your home. Bring autumn into your foyer with an all-natural wreath made of leaves, twigs, ribbon, and other fall-related items.

Space Saving Benches

With the end of summer quickly approaching, it will soon be time to take out rain boots, backpacks, coats and other outdoor accessories. Just because these items are coming out of storage, doesn’t mean that they have to be left lying around in your entryway. Why not deploy a secret weapon against clutter – a storage bench. The perfect storage solutions, a storage bench will keep your foyer organized and tidy while serving as additional seating for yourself and your children as you get ready to head out for the day. TO give your storage bench a seasonally appropriate makeover, adorn it with fall colored throw pillows – this will not only add to the spaces aesthetic but also to the comfort of the bench.

The key to an enjoyable foyer is functionality and simplicity. Renew your homes vitality by focusing on keeping your entryway up to date in the upcoming months.

Ottawa Apartment has connections with over 7,000 apartment locations across the city. With our search tool, all you’ve got to do is tell us what you’re looking for—we’ll take care of the rest. And, it’s 100% free! Click here to find your dream apartment today.


How to Decorate Your Apartment's Balcony

Make the most of every square foot of your Ottawa Apartment – even the outdoor space! Use these tips to transform your balcony today into your friends’ new favourite hangout:

Find the Right Furniture

The main feature of any well-designed space is the furniture that occupies it. When furnishing your patio, keep in mind that any items that you choose may be exposed to harmful elements. To prevent damage and necessary replacement, opt for furniture made of weather friendly materials like lightweight metal, wicker or plastic. This will save you money and time that it would require to replace damaged pieces.

In order to maximize your budget, shop for your patio furniture at the end of July and August, as fall approaches. During these later months, stores tend to offer reduced prices on the previous season’s styles. Yard sales and thrift stores can also offer unique, vintage pieces that could be affordable statement pieces on your patio.

Get the Perfect Hangout

Patios can make the perfect place to hang out with friends, spend time with family or relax on your own. Get privacy and shade to your balcony with the help of patio umbrellas or outdoor curtains. This can allow you to host people at your apartment without having to worry about nosy neighbours or other people watching you go about your business.

Another great option for privacy, that also serves as a space saver on your balcony is implementing a vertical garden or shrub fence. This will allow you to test out your green thumb while also keeping your apartment concealed from the public.

Choose the Best Lighting

When setting up your balcony to be the perfect relaxation area, you want to make sure you choose the most outdoor appropriate, ambient and energy efficient lighting possible. Real candlelight is classic, but the convenience and safety of programmable battery-operated LED candles are hard to resist – they offer a similar yet more reliable experience.

Solar powered lights are another excellent option for lighting your balcony. These are an excellent option to save electricity while still being able to choose from a wide variety of styles. Be sure that you’re balcony faces enough sunlight to power your fixtures. A final, trendy option is fastening string lights around your balcony. These will give soft lighting and add to the aesthetic of your balcony.

Don’t let limited space or intrusive neighbours take away from your enjoyment of your apartment’s balcony. Let the right furniture, proper privacy, and perfect lighting revamp your space this summer!

Ottawa Apartment has connections with over 7,000 apartment locations across the city. With our search tool, all you’ve got to do is tell us what you’re looking for—we’ll take care of the rest. And, it’s 100% free! Click here to find your dream apartment today.


Quick and Easy Money-Making Tips

Post-secondary students – we know the struggle to secure a steady cash flow can be difficult, especially when you’re adjusting to budgeting for rent. To help you out, we’ve compiled a list of 4 super side hustles that can help amp up your cash flow from inside your Ottawa Apartment:

Resell or Trade Old Clothes (Through the Internet)

Step One: Take inventory of your closet, round up the items you haven’t worn in a long time, or even some of those pieces that still have the tags on (oops).

Step Two: Download an app like Carousal and sell your old clothes online! Sign-up, create a free account and start selling your clothes while sitting on your living room couch.

Step Three: If you’re thinking of spending the extra cash on new clothes anyways, try hosting a clothing swap with your friends! Get them to bring their old clothes over to your apartment and auction your items off to each other. Freshen up your wardrobe without cracking open your wallet.

Pet Sit (Through an App)

Have a love for furry friends but don’t have one of your own? This is a great way to make a little extra money and get to spend time with cuddly pets.

There are a few different apps out there that set you up as a pet sitter, a dog walker, or simply someone who drops in and gives canine companions their dinner. You set your rates, the area you work in, and decide which jobs to take to work around your schedule. Some sites like DogVacay claim they can help you make up to $1,200 a month!

Participate in Paid Online Surveys (and Focus Groups)

This option is especially appealing for students. There are thousands of survey websites out there specifically geared towards students that reward your survey-taking-time with small amounts of money or gift cards.

Bonus: This is a perfect way to make a little extra money from the comfort of your apartment!

Sell Used Textbooks

Share the wealth of knowledge! Lots of universities have social media pages solely dedicated to selling used textbooks to each other – try searching up a few for your school!

Another option is to check your school bookstore to see if they buy back used books, or if you’re a little more tech-savvy, set yourself up on an online buy and sell websites like Amazon or Craigslist. Just be sure to research those options and how to go about selling your books safely.

Trying one – or all – of these side jobs could help boost up your income if you’re feeling low on dough, without even leaving your apartment.

Ottawa Apartment has connections with over 7,000 apartment locations across the city. With our search tool, all you’ve got to do is tell us what you’re looking for—we’ll take care of the rest. And, it’s 100% free! Click here to find your dream apartment today.