Apartment hunting is even worse from a distance
March 25, 2008 12:02 PM   Subscribe

How to simplify relocation - renting an apartment in another city

Situation: I'm selling my house and moving back to Vancouver. I need to rent a place for about 6-12 months. I was down there last week and looked at a bunch and applied and got approved for one. Now they want me back down there to sign and pay the deposit. Nonsense! There must be a better way. Looked into notarizing my signature, and there are some hitches in that, but it might work. I'm not rich, so I don't think a relocation agency is the way to go. I looked at some tips from past askmefi questions - I agree month to month would be nice, but that doesn't seem to exist in Van, especially not in towers. Work scheduling is not a factor, as I work from home on my own time.

Objective: I'm looking for a south-facing one-bedroom in a concrete tower, 6th floor or better. I need parking. Budget under $950 total. The one I found is quite a bit less, in New West. Not sure I'll take it due to the signature hassle, though.

Question: I need some tips to manage this situation and I hope to avoid making another expensive trip, staying in a hotel.
posted by Listener to Travel & Transportation (8 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Is there a reason they won't allow you to fax the documents and then sign them in person once you move ... as well as pay the deposit by debit/credit card?
When I moved from Boston to Miami, this is how I handled it. Is this an individual owner or a management company? If it's the latter, I can't imagine that you'd be the first person to suggest taking care of things from out of state.
posted by notjustfoxybrown at 12:47 PM on March 25, 2008

I rented an apartment in Vancouver while i was in Australia. Just faxed all the necessary info over. Ask the agent if they can do this for you...
posted by chromatist at 12:50 PM on March 25, 2008

I second the "why don't they accept faxed documents ?" question. I recently moved to Montreal (from New Jersey) and everything was done through a few phone calls and faxing the forms and a copy of a recent bank statement. I signed the lease and pay for the first 2 months of rent after I arrived. It was the same type of deal you are looking for, one bedroom, 8 month lease.
posted by McSly at 1:10 PM on March 25, 2008

It could be you've just happened to stumble upon one of Metro Vancouver's nutty landlords, as well. (I personally know of at least one building in New West, according to my good friend's first hand accounts, whose landlady is "batshit crazy". Mefi mail if you're curious.)

The whole housing market is so ridiculous in Vancouver, with housing prices being so out of control and the rental vacancy rate so low, landlords here can (and do) get away with a lot. You're lucky you don't have a pet...
posted by cgg at 1:23 PM on March 25, 2008

Response by poster: I had already asked them about faxing. They said they need to see me sign. Crazy, I agree. They've already called my employment reference and have photocopies of our ID from when we were there. Sheesh.
posted by Listener at 2:58 PM on March 25, 2008

Response by poster: The manager is not the owner, just a resident manager hired to take care of these things.
posted by Listener at 3:22 PM on March 25, 2008

I just moved interstate. They posted me the paperwork, I signed it and posted it back. Paid the bond by EFT.
posted by robcorr at 8:04 PM on March 28, 2008

Response by poster: Update: Amazingly, they would not budge and expected me to come down from the Okanagan, with my husband, to sign even though we had been there in person to apply! Amazingly, we would have been better off paying for the flights to do so than the misery and expense of living in a crap apartment we talk our way into after that. We were desperate and took what we could get. And the manager was *psycho* and also pushed us out of there after a month, and I found a place similar to the first one in a worse location for a lot more money. All we could get. Costing way more than a few hundred in flights to appease a crazy policy. Sheesh - Vancouver landlords and housing market.
posted by Listener at 4:35 PM on July 3, 2008

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