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Frequently Asked Questions About Renting In Vancouver

Owner FAQ

What is the process of listing our property with Unique Accommodations?

ANSWER:  At Unique Accommodations we apply our Four Key Service System to ensure your complete satisfaction. Upon first contact, we LISTEN to your requirements and goals and gather as much information about your property as possible. The information you provide combines with our industry expertise so that we can ADVISE you on your options based on certain criteria including property location, maintenance needs, and furnishings. We also need to make sure your property meets our Unique Accommodations high standards - for example by ensuring your rental property has in-suite laundry, parking, and is non-smoking. Once we collect this information we can work on finding the perfect MATCH for your home within your given criteria. Ultimately, we will want to meet with you in person to view your property and determine the optimal rental rate and level of service that we will DELIVER.

Should I rent my property furnished or unfurnished?

ANSWER:  This is one of the most commonly asked questions from our potential owners. We find if owners plan to rent their property for 8 months or more every year, then unfurnished will provide them a higher rate of return. There is a misconception that furnished rentals (with higher rental rates) will naturally provide greater profit. However, depending on tenant requirements, furnished units can also sit vacant for up to 4 months out of every year. In addition, there are the carrying costs of keeping the unit fully serviced with high speed internet, local phone, cable, cleaning every 2 weeks and utilities. These costs must be maintained regardless of vacancy. Alternatively, unfurnished rentals provide consistency and continuity of rental income because there are no carrying costs and we typically see a 100% occupancy rate on all of our unfurnished rentals.

Do you require exclusivity on my property or can I list it with other agents?

ANSWER:  We only insist on exclusivity if you are having us manage your property as there is a liability associated with property managing because we are overseeing and protecting your property on a daily basis. If we are only providing tenant placement services only then we believe exclusivity is an earned privilege that we will achieve with our long-term owner/clients. If you do list with another agency or choose to market on your own alongside Unique then we do insist that the price be consistent in all marketing areas that the rental is listed.

What makes Unique different than the other property management companies?

ANSWER:  Our focus as a company is entirely on residential rentals and property management. We deliberately avoid the management of stratas, commercial properties and real estate sales, so that our daily priority is to seek out the very best tenants for our owners. Our highly skilled team uses our proven Four Key Service System which has driven outstanding results for over ten years. At Unique, each team member is an expert in their specific job role and can therefore take the extra time with our clients, at every step, to ensure each inquiry is handled in the most time sensitive manner and with the highest level of experience.

Why does it matter if you are licensed or not?

ANSWER:  Working with a company that is NOT a licensed brokerage under the Real Estate Council means that if ANYTHING goes wrong, you have no recourse. There are companies who try to list and rent properties but are unlicensed and not insured. Should monies go missing, damages occur, or people get injured on the property - you as the owner will be liable. Showing properties, negotiating, drafting contracts and collecting rents are all licensed activities and owners should ensure that only a licensed professional is managing their greatest assets.

I am very happy with the presentation of my property, the communication updates, professional conduct of staff and final execution of documents. Unique Accommodations is a shining example of how this industry should operate.

~J. Schmalzl, Calgary AB, Owner

Do you only do showings on my property during business hours?

ANSWER:  No, our rental team is available to show properties evenings and weekends as we are committed to making sure we find you the best possible tenant. We find that it is essential for clients to be able to view properties when their schedule permits so we make sure we are available within a generous window of time after hours and on weekends.

Do I need to carry different insurance?

ANSWER:  Yes. As an owner you need to insure your property for tenants. This means you now require insurance for being a landlord. You will need to make sure you are covered for third party liability and contents (if furnished). We are happy to recommend an insurance provider that can explain some of the details on this to get you headed in the right direction.

Can I sublet my property through Unique?

ANSWER:  No. We only work with the registered owners of the properties that we represent.

Do I have to permit pets or smoking?

ANSWER:  No, all of our properties are non-smoking. Pet decisions are based on individual owner preferences.

Will you just find a tenant for me or do I have to have my property managed?

ANSWER:  At Unique we offer two levels of service: full property management or tenant placement services only.

What happens if my tenant breaks the rental agreement and stops paying rent?

ANSWER:  Under our fixed-term tenancy agreements, the tenant is required to continue to pay rent until such time as the unit has been re-rented. However, if the tenant simply vacates and stops paying rent, there is very little recourse to take beyond filing for a Dispute Resolution under the Residential Tenancy Act for Non-Payment of Rent. This can be a lengthy and time consuming process so we always recommend mitigating losses immediately by getting the unit re-rented as quickly as possible.

Do I get to decide who rents my property?

ANSWER:  Absolutely! At Unique we have a very thorough application process and once we have qualified a tenant, we inform you of all the particulars so that you can decide if it?s a good fit for you. If we are managing the property, and you are comfortable with our tenant selection track record, then we can find and place tenants while providing detailed updates to you, the owner.

We are non-resident owners who very much enjoy using our downtown Vancouver condo for a few months each summer. After researching and interviewing property management firms who would manage and rent our condo when not being utilized for the majority of the year - we were fortunate to find Unique. Our condo has successfully rented almost all of the time it is available and our dealings with Unique staff have always been attentive, professional, and results oriented. Thus far over the past couple of years we could not ask for better results.

~R. Diamond and S. Reynolds, Owners, Asheville, North Carolina

Tenant FAQ

What is your minimum rental period?

Answer: Our furnished rentals are based on a minimum one month rental period unless otherwise stipulated on the website. Certain buildings have minimum rental periods according to the strata rules, regulations and bylaws which must be followed. All of our unfurnished rentals are based on a minimum one year fixed-term tenancy agreement.

What is the process of renting through Unique Accommodations?

Answer: Get started by looking through our website to "pick your favorites" and find properties you'd like to see in person. One of our licensed rental consultants will then schedule an appointment with you to view the properties you have selected. Once you choose a property and wish to proceed, we have you complete and submit a rental application for processing. Upon approval, we confirm the rental terms and conditions with the owner and draft up a residential tenancy agreement. Upon completion of the agreement, we collect the security and (where applicable) pet deposit, along with the first months' rent.

Do I need to have tenant's insurance?

Answer: Yes. Our owners carry insurance to cover their property. A tenant must have their own insurance to cover third party liability and their own contents.

We had a great experience working with the professional and friendly team at Unique Accommodations and would highly recommend this company to anyone looking for a place to rent!

The rental process with Unique is excellent! They are organized, quick and very efficient. Moving can be a stressful time but when you're dealing with the team at Unique, many of the stresses are removed and you are left knowing that you are in good hands and have 'peace of mind'.

~Unique Accommodations Tenant, North Vancouver BC

When do I get access?

Answer: Tenants are given access on the day the residential tenancy agreement starts. Either one of our property managers or the owner, depending on whether we are managing the unit, will meet the tenant and give them a full orientation. At this orientation, a move-in condition inspection report gets completed and signed off noting the condition of the unit by all parties. The tenant is then given 2 sets of the keys and can move into their new home!

Are pets allowed in any of your properties?

Answer: Yes, depending on the rental property, every rental is different. Please let your rental consultant know if you have any pets and they will work with you to find an appropriate accommodation.

Besides my monthly rent, are there any other fees with my rental?

Answer: The majority of our furnished rentals are inclusive of all services such as local phone, cable, internet, utilities and bi-monthly cleaning. Most apartments also have 1 parking space included and in-suite laundry. For unfurnished rentals, all services are the responsibility of the tenant. Most buildings charge a move-in/move-out fee, which is also the responsibility of the tenant. All of our properties are professionally cleaned along with steam cleaning of the carpets before you take possession. At the end of the tenancy, the tenant is responsible to pay for the property to be professionally cleaned - and the carpets steam cleaned.

Do I pay tax on rent?

Answer: No. There is no tax on residential rent.

How much is the security deposit?

Answer: As per the Residential Tenancy Act, the security deposit is one half of the first months' rent and if you have a pet, an additional half month's rent. In other words, if you are renting and you have a pet, the total deposit collected is a full month's rent.

When do I get my deposit back?

Answer: At the end of your tenancy, a move out appointment will be arranged. Once the move-out inspection report has been completed with you, your deposit will be returned to you within 15 days from the date you provide a forwarding address in writing, less the cost of the final clean, carpet clean and any damages that may have occurred.

What types of payment does Unique Accommodations accept?

Answer: We have many different payment methods so you get to choose what's most convenient for you! We accept bank drafts, wire transfers, certified cheques, money orders and electronic transfers. We are also a "payee" so you can pay online through several banking institutions. Unique is also proud to partner with RentMoola to offer secure and convenient credit card payments. You can pay rent, deposits and other payments online or on your phone with your current rewards credit card. With a low 2.75% service fee you'll be able to accelerate and elevate your rewards! Pay with Visa, Mastercard, Discover Card or American Express issued in almost any country. All payments are to be made in Canadian funds.

When do I pay rent?

Answer: The deposit and first month's rent must be paid upon signing the tenancy agreement. All further payments must be made on the 1st of every month for unfurnished rentals. Furnished rentals may vary depending on the length and term of your tenancy.

Does Unique charge a fee to tenants for showing them properties?

Answer: No, there is no charge to a tenant to view any of our properties. We are paid through the fees collected from our owners once a property is rented.

If your question is not answered here, please contact one of our New Owners or Rental Team and we will get you the answers you need.

We just wanted to sincerely thank you all for your efforts in assisting us with finding our home. I know it's not an easy task in placing tenants and balancing landlord's needs.

Please feel free to share this note of thanks with your Managers at Unique because we appreciate your professionalism and your assistance which is why we were glad to use your agency again.

~Joanna and Robert Lawrenson, Tenants, West Vancouver BC