September marks new beginnings. For a long time in my life, it usually meant a new school year, and often a new apartment. I wanted to share some tips and stories from my experience over the years moving around in law school, during my articles and my home now, as well as some tips and things to consider for your new apartment.
Disclaimer: This post is in partnership with Duuo, an insurance brand of The Co-operators. Nothing in this post is meant to be construed as legal advice, and no solicitor-client relationship has been formed.
Over the years, I’ve made sure to find accommodations that are comfortable and private, and sometimes that meant sacrificing space or location to stay on budget. In the past 6 years I have lived in 6 apartments. It’s a lot of moving (I’m an expert at loading a van now), but each space represented a different chapter in my life.
In my first year of law school in a new city, my mom and I went apartment hunting. I had my heart set on a vintage house in Sandy Hill (Ottawa U students will know…), but quickly realized that I liked to have a certain standard for my kitchen and bathroom. This meant taking a sight unseen studio in a new complex with a murphy bed. While small, I felt comfortable and secure in a security patrolled building, with a new kitchen and comfortable furnishings. It was located slightly below grade, so light was definitely lacking, especially during polar vortex winters!
In my second and third year of law school, I loved the building so much and its close proximity to school so I could literally roll out of bed before class, that I asked my landlord if they had any larger units on the upper floors of the building. To my surprise, they had a unit double the size for only $150 more a month, which also came complete with 15’ ceilings and more space for a large desk, as well as extra closet space! If you’re renting from a property manager, or even a realtor that represents owners, it helps to always ask and see if they have something available to suit your needs. You’ve already passed the tenant screening test too, so they may be more willing to find you a good spot!
I was so happy in that unit on the 2nd floor, and loved the south-facing large windows. I had great memories studying there with my kitty Mousse.
When I finished law school, I moved into my boyfriend’s apartment in Liberty Village. It was a very typical condo unit, but close to my articling position and all the fun of West Queen West. We had a great time here, even though the unit was small and our time was short lived.
With winter approaching, we wanted a bit more space. With a tight budget again, we settled on a sprawling Quadplex unit in Leaside. We were realistic to our needs and wants, and sometimes that meant compromising to stick to a budget. I think it’s a good idea to be a tad flexible, but keep your upper cap in mind. We lived there for a year and fell in love with the charm of an older building, including real wood floors, a large kitchen, bay windows and a faux fireplace.
For a few months, I lived with my boyfriend in Montreal in a chic loft space above a delicious Italian restaurant and gelateria in Little Italy. Even though I was travelling back and forth to Toronto a lot, it was nice to make it feel like a home. In typical boy fashion, we never ended up hanging any pictures on the wall, but we did install a beautiful brass chandelier. It was a great interim apartment until I started my new job and moved into my current home.
Now, I’ve settled into my latest apartment, a condo I rent from my mom in midtown, Toronto. It’s been an interesting experience living in a modern, massive building at the heart of the City. I’ve had a lot of time to decorate and make it my own, as I’ve profiled my balcony makeover and Christmas decor on my blog.
One of the things I bought before moving in, aside from buying my adorable mint Smeg toaster, was purchase tenant insurance. I’ve highlighted some reasons to consider getting tenant insurance coverage with Duuo below:
Reasons to get Tenant Insurance
So, you’ve found the perfect place, signed your tenancy agreement and are already going through Pinterest to find the perfect Scandi-inspired decor. Before you move in, there’s one thing you should consider to help protect you, your rented unit and your contents, and that’s tenant insurance.
For this post, I’ve partnered with Duuo, a digital insurance brand that creates on-demand solutions to meet the ever-changing needs of Canadians living and working in a highly innovative and fast-paced digital economy.
Tenant Insurance from Duuo costs only $12-20 a month. I like that this product is all online- so there’s no need to talk on the phone with a broker (is it just me, or do all millennials hate making phone calls!) and even in the event you need to make a claim, you can enter details through their online Claims Bot to get started, and a rep will contact you directly. I am a big fan of anything streamlined and online, and love that Duuo makes it easy to sign up and purchase insurance quickly.
Tenant insurance covers three important things: litigation, additional living expenses, and contents.
I know it’s hard to believe but litigation can happen! Duuo helps protect you from personal liability against lawsuits. Condo buildings can be especially complex, with HVAC, plumbing and all sorts of concerns, so it’s nice to have that extra peace of mind that tenant insurance offers!
A big point to consider is that tenant insurance is designed to cover additional living expenses, in case you can’t live in your unit. Think of flood damage, etc. While in law school, one of my friends was renting a unit her parents owned and it had major flood damage. Because she did not have tenant insurance, her parents’ insurer would not cover the cost of a hotel or short-term stay! She luckily was able to commute from her parent’s house in the suburbs, but it was a big hassle and interrupted her school year – now imagine you were away from home and don’t have that option! Tenant insurance is meant to cover any additional living expenses you may incur if you can’t stay in your apartment.
I know many young people think they don’t need coverage for their contents, but it’s important to think about how things add up! From your laptop, cell phone, television, and even all your clothes… For me, I always think of my closet, and even though things have been worn a lot, I need suits and business clothes for work. The cost of replacing even a few suits and work outfits at the bare minimum can be thousands of dollars! Coupled with the stress of dealing with content loss, it can be very difficult. If you have a condo locker, it’s also a good idea to have tenant insurance in case of any loss, as tenant insurance is designed to cover the cost of your missing, stolen, or damaged items.
Even if you’re not moving this fall, it can be fun to transition some decor, adding cozy throws, swapping decorative pillows and adding fall touches. It’s also a great time to get your affairs in order, and make sure your home and contents are protected.
I hope you enjoyed this roundup of all my apartments over the years, and found the overview on tenant insurance helpful! Let me know in the comments below if you have any fond memories of old apartments too.
This post was sponsored by Duuo.