Advice on apartment hunting in Halifax, Nova Scotia
June 19, 2015 7:33 AM   Subscribe

How should I search for an apartment in Halifax, Nova Scotia? What are some good resources to help would-be renters learn about the rental market in Halifax? What are some apartment rental agencies that have a good reputation? What are the ones to avoid? Are there any areas of the city to avoid? I’ve never been to Halifax and know nothing about living there.

I’m looking to rent a 1 bedroom or bachelor apartment to begin September 1. I’m in my 30s and am not a university or college student. The most important things to me are the safety and cleanliness of the apartment and the quality of the landlord. I’m willing to be far outside of the downtown if needed. I’d like to pay around $800-$900 per month.

My plan is to go to Halifax in about two weeks with some scheduled appointments to look at various units. I would especially welcome advice about which agencies/buildings are worth looking into. Google searches have turned up various agencies (Killam Properties, Templeton Properties, Northpoint Properties, Paramount Management, Timbercreek Communities, etc), but it’s all too easy to find a few extremely negative reviews of each. Any help about which company to rent from would be greatly appreciated! Thanks.
posted by obscure simpsons reference to Travel & Transportation around Halifax, NS (7 answers total)
Kijiji is how most people apartment hunt around here. Personally I would aim to be within walking distance of Quinpool, but that's just me.
posted by PuppetMcSockerson at 8:38 AM on June 19, 2015 [1 favorite]

Will you have a car? Do you know what general area you'll be working in?

There are some good deals to be had in Dartmouth, which can be an easy commute to down town by ferry or car. I don't know much about rental companies, unfortunately.
posted by beau jackson at 9:14 AM on June 19, 2015 [1 favorite]

444 Rent covers the big companies units, and they are all fine to rent from.

Padmapper covers more units to rent.
posted by exois at 9:22 AM on June 19, 2015 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Yes, I will have a car. I certainly will consider Dartmouth and any other areas that are a reasonable car commute to the downtown, where I will be working.
posted by obscure simpsons reference at 9:23 AM on June 19, 2015

I just moved from Halifax after having lived there about 5 years. Kijiji is definitely the thing to use for apartment hunting. I lived in the North End (20-30 mins to downtown), paying $850 which was then raised to $900 for my first place, a small two bedroom - the ground floor of a typical NE house - on Agricola, plus electric heat which was very expensive; averaged over a year though probably $1000 rent plus electricity. My next place was a larger ground floor of a house on Fuller Terrace for $775, with oil heat which was cheaper, far quicker to heat up and cosier than electric.
If you're looking at old houses, be wary of damp and mould - mouldiness was the reason I moved out of the first place, and lucked into the second.
Off street parking is a huge bonus if you can get it. Halifax has this stupid winter parking ban, which used to be every night from mid-December to mid-March, then it was relaxed to only during 'snow events' but still used way too zealously, and means that you have to find somewhere, for me usually of dubious or outright legality like a business parking lot, a school or a vacant lot to stash your car overnight.
Anyway, I would concentrate on looking on the Peninsula; there's enough choice there (a glut in fact) and QOL will be better. Rush hour is brief but it's a real headache, and they're doing major work on the MacDonald bridge which is only going to make it worse (e.g., not being able to walk or cycle across; instead there's some kind of shuttle bus)
posted by Flashman at 10:34 AM on June 19, 2015 [1 favorite]

Nthing Kijiji; is also helpful, as it brings together ads from different places (including Kijiji). Seconding Dartmouth as much cheaper than Halifax, but as I live and work on the peninsula, I don't know that area at all.

Very important: make sure that heat is included in your rent! It can get super expensive during the winter otherwise.

Do check any prospective place up on BegBug Registry! Ocean Towers (now Harbor View Apartments, I think?) has always had a terrible rep for bedbugs, and there are a few other similar places dotted around town. And if you're looking at older places, they tend to have mice as well as mold.

In your shoes, I wouldn't go with the South End or downtown (Spring Garden, Barrington, Hollis) if you don't need to be there - it's pricey, parking's dicey, it's hit and miss in terms of quality, and most of it is full of noisy students (like meeeeeee). You'd be looking at $950-1200 for a decent 1BR here. I have a little student bachelor not far from Point Pleasant, and it's $750 (but, heat's included).

North end - this is the 'up-and-coming' artsy neighbourhood in the city (Agricola, Gottigen, North, Windsor street and even further north). Apartments CAN be really nice, and are also a lot bigger and cheaper than the south end ($500-1000). There are some parts of it that are still developing. The neighbourhood has a bad history, but it's slowly becoming THE hipster/gentrified place to live.

West end - Mostly family homes here, very safe, but most expensive than the N. end or Dartmouth.

Clayton Park - this is kind of the suburbs of Halifax. Very safe (excluding fairview), nice, but a 20 or so minute drive from town.

Spryfield - don't. just don't. Every so often, there will be a news item about someone getting stabbed, and that will generally have been in Spryfield.

Welcome to the 'fax, I hope you like it here!
posted by jlibera at 7:36 PM on June 19, 2015 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Thanks everyone for the suggestions. I found a nice place.
posted by obscure simpsons reference at 3:40 PM on July 10, 2015

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