First-time renters

What to consider when renting your own place for the first time


There are a lot of things to consider when renting your own place for the first time. You should have an idea of what you’re looking for in a rental unit such as parking, location, services and how much you plan to pay.

It’s important to understand your rights and responsibilities as a tenant so that you have a positive renting experience. We encourage you to use the information provided on this website as a guide, and before entering into a lease agreement, learn more about these topics:


Make sure you understand what’s included in your rent payment. Some lease agreements may include utilities such as heat, lights, water, cable, and internet, while others do not.

Additional services may also be agreed to in your lease agreement such as snow removal, lawn care, garbage collection, laundry, or cleaning services. Having any rent inclusions or furnishings listed within your lease will ensure both you and the landlord agree that they will be included in your rent. Be aware of the cost of any services you will need if they are not included in your rent payment.

You should consider the following expenses when beginning to look for a rental unit:

  • Security deposit and first month’s rent
  • Moving costs
  • Tenant insurance
  • Parking (if not included)
  • Utilities and services (if not included)

You may inquire with local service providers to estimate monthly costs.

Application process

Your potential landlord may ask you to complete an application. They may also ask for standard information such as your name, contact information, employment information and references. Landlords may request a credit check.

Read and understand your lease

Protect yourself by reading and fully understanding your lease agreement before you sign.

For example, some lease agreements may limit the number of parking spaces available to you or not provide parking at all. It’s important to be aware of any limitations before entering into a lease agreement.

If you have questions about the terms and conditions of your lease, we encourage you to contact the Residential Tenancies Tribunal at 1-888-762-8600 or by email at r[email protected] before signing.

To learn more about lease agreements:

Lease information

Roommate agreement

When more than one tenant is named on the lease agreement, they are all equally responsible for the rental unit, any damages, and the full rent amount. We encourage completing a roommate agreement together so there is a clear understanding of household rules and expectations. The Tenant and Landlord Relations Office does not intervene in roommate disagreements.

You can use the following template to create a written agreement between you and your roommates:

Roommate Agreement Form (PDF)

Tenant insurance

A landlord may ask you for proof of insurance as a condition of renting.

We encourage renters to understand the benefits of having insurance. Tenant insurance can help renters cover the cost of replacing or repairing their personal belongings in the event of an incident such as a fire, flood, or break-in. It may also cover the cost of accommodations in the event you must vacate your rental unit.

Tips for first-time renters

  • View the rental. You should always view the rental unit before renting it to ensure it meets your expectations.
  • Ask around. See what others have to say about your potential landlord.
  • Ask questions. Be specific and thorough with any questions or concerns you may have before entering into a lease agreement.
  • Get it in writing. For example, your lease, inspection report, and any issues or requests should be documented in writing.
  • Get permission. You must seek permission when making any changes within your rental unit. For example, painting or hanging pictures on walls using methods other than the ones your landlord described in your lease.
  • Access and accessibility. Will the unit meet your current or future accessibility needs? For example, persons with a disability may request adaptations to their unit to make it safer or more accessible, or request accessibility features in entrance doors, sidewalks, or parking areas.
  • Get receipts. For example, you should request receipts for your security deposit and any rent paid. You should also receive an official receipt (Certificate of Deposit) from Housing NB a few weeks after your landlord submits your security deposit. If not, follow up with your landlord and request that they submit the security deposit as required by law.


Solve a problem

If you have a problem with your rental unit or landlord, there are steps you can follow and services available to help you solve it. To learn more:

Solve a problem