Upcoming Ready to Rent course answers prospective renters’ questions

The Ladysmith Resources Centre hosts a free six-week course for those facing challenges with rental housing, starting Feb. 17.

Having some trouble finding or keeping rental housing?

Starting this month, the free Ready to Rent course can help you overcome many of the problems you are coming up against.

Joy Emmanuel, who works with Affordable Housing with Social Planning Cowichan, which is sponsoring the course, says the six-week Ready to Rent program is all about learning how to be a better tenant.

“It’s a lot of information presented in an interactive way with a number of speakers coming in,” she said. “We are finding people who have taken the course are having some success in finding rentals, and landlords are looking for people who have taken the course.”

Emmanuel says the course, which begins Monday, Feb. 17 in Ladysmith, is meant to help people who are coming across challenges in finding or maintaining good rental situations, such as someone who is renting but not feeling comfortable with their landlord.

“It covers what your rights are as a tenant,” she explained. “It’s learning about what a landlord can ask of you and also what is expected of you. Also, one of the things we find is really helpful is people come out of the course with a personal portfolio. When they go to speak to a landlord, they can come in with a package with their references; it’s a way to present yourself to a landlord as someone they’ll feel comfortable renting to. I have spoken to a landlord who said having someone come in and present a package like this was a breath of fresh air, and she felt totally comfortable with this person renting her unit.”

The course also covers financial management and covers topics such as how to get a credit check done, budgeting and figuring out what your needs are and what you can afford.

Speakers come in to discuss fire and safety as well, and Emmanuel says it’s a good opportunity for people to bring in any rental forms they may have questions about, as someone will be able to help them.

“It’s pretty packed full of information,” said Emmanuel, noting it’s a great course for people who are new to renting, as it helps them learn what to expect. “Overall, the program is for people who are finding challenges in being able to secure rental housing. They also learn about some of the resources within the community that might be useful — that’s another piece.”

Graduates receive a Ready to Rent Certificate, which is recognized by landlords.

The upcoming Ready to Rent course runs Mondays from 2-4 p.m. at the Ladysmith Resources Centre at 630 Second Ave., from Feb. 17 to March 24. Refreshments will be served, and registration is free.

To register for the course, call Cindy at 250-245-3079.

For more information, click here.