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Renting a condo in Ottawa has become an increasingly popular lifestyle choice, particularly among young professionals who desire high-quality building services and proximity to the downtown core.

However, despite the popularity of condo rentals, is it really a better or more convenient choice than renting from a purpose-built apartment building that is managed by a best-in-class property management company?

Ottawa Condos - Hard to Afford, Even Harder to Find

Renting a condo might seem like an attractive option, but the first thing potential renters should be aware of is that condo rentals are more expensive than regular apartment buildings. According to a Fall 2008 study conducted by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), the average rental rate for a two-bedroom purpose-built apartment building in Downtown Ottawa is $1,195. In comparison, the rent for a two-bedroom condo in the same location is $1,428 - a 20% premium over standard rental units!

Of course, even if you can afford the premium that comes with an Ottawa condo rental, you'll have to be able to find one first. The CMHC report states that while apartment building vacancy rates throughout Ottawa are the lowest they've been in years (a 1.3 percent vacancy rate in 2008), the vacancy rates are even lower for condos - a mere 0.5 percent.

For condos with more than 150 units (such as the more popular Downtown Ottawa condos), the vacancy rate is even lower at 0.2 percent. Think that you can find a condo outside of the downtown core instead? Think again. The vacancy rate for condos in the outer suburbs (Alta Vista, Hunt Club, Carlington, Gloucester, Cumberland, Nepean, Kanata, etc.) is an astonishingly low 0.1 percent.

More Rules and Regulations than Apartment Living

Renting a condominium is not as simple or easy as renting an apartment. Condo owners have many other obligations and fees - and when these units are rented out to a third party tenant, many of these additional obligations are passed on to the renter. Tenants who rent a unit in a condominium complex, but are used to the standard leases of traditional apartment buildings, are often in for a few surprises about condo life.

In particular, condo rental tenants are most often in the dark about what to do if their condo needs repairs - is the individual unit owner, the Homeowner Association (HOA), or the condominium corporation responsible for the repairs? Unlike renting an apartment, condo management companies rarely handles repairs within individual units. As well, while routine maintenance and repair costs are usually done at no extra cost to the apartment tenant, people who rent a condo may have to pay additional repair and maintenance fees on top of their monthly rent, as the extent to which maintenance services are provided can vary between different HOAs and condominium corporations.

Other areas of misunderstanding include the condominium's rules and regulations, the consequences of the unit owner's nonpayment of HOA dues, the management style and role of the condominium corporation, insurance obligations, the ability and/or procedure required to change the unit's appearance, etc.

Ottawa Apartment Rentals - Exceptionally Convenience

When you rent an apartment in Ottawa from Paramount Properties, you get the peace of mind that comes from knowing that our buildings feature a variety of convenient services, such as onsite management staff and superintendents, 24-hour emergency service in case something goes wrong, and much more. In comparison, condo management can rarely ever offer the same kind of in-person, hands-on, reliable service that dedicated property management companies are known for.

Yes, condos can be a very attractive rental option, and are a good fit for many types of people. However, if you're looking for a more easily available, more affordable, more convenient, and simpler way of living, you can't go wrong with renting an apartment in Ottawa.

Looking for an apartment for rent in Ottawa? Paramount Properties is Ottawa’s second largest residential property management company. With more than 6,500 Ottawa apartment rentals available in some of the city’s finest locations, we’re your #1 choice for an Ottawa apartment.

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