Renters workshop visits Ladysmith Thursday

Social Planning Cowichan will host a how-to course for renters Thursday, April 18, at the Ladysmith Resources Centre.

This week, renters are being offered a helping hand when the Ready to Rent course comes to Ladysmith.

The course offers support for people who have difficulty finding or keeping rental accommodations.

“It is to help them be better renters so they are more aware of their rights and responsibilities,” said Joy Emmanuel, acting executive director and co-ordinator of the Affordable Housing Project with Social Planning Cowichan. “It’s meant to empower people, giving them more skills, more tools and more information to work with.”

The curriculum for the six-week course covers tenant’s rights and responsibilities, how to communicate with the landlord, financial literacy, and much more. The course is two hours per week, and it is free.

The Ready to Rent course starts this Thursday (April 18) and runs every Thursday from 3:30-5:30 p.m. at the Ladysmith Resources Centre at 630 Second Ave. from now until May 23.

Over the six weeks, the course will support potential renters to find and keep better housing and help them identify what landlords look for in choosing a tenant, learn some strategies to find the housing they need, figure out how to improve their rental references, learn their rights as renter and learn how to improve their credit rating.

At the end of the six weeks, graduates receive a Ready to Rent BC certificate, which is recognized by housing providers and is viewed by some landlords as being like a letter of reference.

To register for the course in Ladysmith, contact Cindy at 250-245-3079.

This is the first time the course has been offered in Ladysmith.

“We’ve heard anecdotal information that it’s been beneficial and some of the landlords are recognizing the Ready to Rent certificate,” said Emmanuel. “It’s also been used in at least one case as a reference for a job. We’re finding it’s popular, and it’s been well-received.”

Emmanuel says the program is meant for anyone who is looking for more support or assistance in finding or keeping rental accommodation.

“It’s really quite open to anyone, even young people who haven’t rented before — it could be beneficial in learning what to expect,” she said.