The Saturday Weekly Review

Is Paying To View Apartment Rentals Just Another Money Grab? : The Saturday Weekend Review #96

Share to...

for rent apartment rentalsIS IT GREED OR SIMPLY BUSINESS?


I don’t know about you but I certainly wouldn’t want to pay to view apartment rentals not now or not ever.

For some people they are left with no choice if there on the hunt for a new place to live especially if they live where demand is high but choices are slim pickings.

That’s what I read has happened in Calgary where resident Trish Nicholson who moved from Vancouver is going through. I immediately knew that it was happening, pretty soon everything and I mean everything will have a price tag attached to it.

What I read is that some landlords are charging her a $25 viewing fee to check out these apartment rentals. I know, if you are shaking your head in disbelief, so was I however maybe there is some merit to why landlords should impose this charge.

The last thing you need when you are conducting an apartment search is to find out what the ad says is not what it really is. How many times have you went to view apartment rentals or a rental house only to find out there were all these other fees on top of your rent to pay? Parking is a popular fee that is charged which you would think would be part of your rent but most often it’s not.

I remember reading once about an elaborate mansion that was for sale where the owners were charging a fee to potential buyers just to view the house. In a way I could understand how charging a viewing fee would weed out the people who just want to be nosey neighbours.

I can even understand the charge applied to luxury apartments but I can’t wrap my head around charging to view standard everyday apartment rentals that most people can afford.

I know someone who will schedule viewings on homes for sale as it helps her learn about interior designs in homes and just what is hot on the market. I don’t know if people do that for apartment rentals but charging a viewing fee might be something to consider if people are wasting the landlords time knowing they have no intention to rent.

So is it illegal to charge potential renters a viewing fee to come see your apartment rentals? Nope, apparently not although I’m not sure if that is all over Canada but certainly it’s not in Alberta according to what I read in the article.

A spokesperson for Service Alberta told CBC News there is nothing illegal about charging a viewing fee.


Rentals and Fees


I guess it’s all about supply and demand and when there aren’t many places to rent landlords can come up with demands such as requiring the viewing fee be paid.

Another point to consider is ‘time is money’ and if people are booking appointments to view apartment rentals and not showing up that can get costly.

I don’t think that this should become the money grab that most people see it as. If the landlords refund the rental viewing fee as long as potential tenants show up for the rental viewing appointment it’s a win-win situation. That’s just an idea but it still takes the landlords time into consideration and just how important it is.

The landlord might have to take time off from work or hire someone to show potential renters around and if there is a no-show that’s money out-of-pocket lost. By charging a viewing fee that ensures to a certain degree that the meeting will take place.

I’m not sure how they would get their viewing fee if the person(s) don’t show up but maybe they require the fee ahead of time then book the appointment like a two-step process. Some might say that is the price it costs of owning a business even if it is a rental and others might say a landlord should charge the viewing fees.

What about the renters time is the landlord bails? Life is full of risks we all know that.

Would you pay a $25+ viewing fee if you were looking at apartment rentals?


Canadian Budget Binder News


Life has been busy which seems to be pattern in our household lately. My wife reminded me the other day that gone are the days of 8 or 9 hours sleep. I know what she means and although I’m not getting that much sleep it’s hard to transition over from no kid zone to kid zone life.

We also had a talk about getting stuff done around the house and how I’m going to have to do whatever I can when I can even if that means I can’t spend an entire day on renovations like I could before. I’m working more at my second job and might be getting more hours in the upcoming weeks which will take me away even more from home.

Other than that we’ve got our son’s passport photos ready to go so we can order his Canadian passport. We are planning to go back to the UK in 2015 so we figured we might as well get it out-of-the-way and ordered now while we can.

Life is good, Life is busy, Life is full of LOVE~

Have a great week everyone!


CBB blog posts this week


Just in case you’ve missed any of my blog posts this week I will link to them all below. If you have a question that you would like to ask Mr.CBB fill out the contact Mr.CBB form on the Home Page and send in your questions. Mr.CBB will look in his mailbag weekly and pick a question to answer on the blog.


Fan deals and inspirations


Submit your Brag or Inspiration If you have a brag that you want me to share email me at canadianbudgetbinder (@) [yahoo] [.ca] or fill out my contact form by Friday each week to have your brag considered for the Saturday post.


last garage sale for 2014

This week Jen shares her last garage sale for the season. I’d like to take a moment to thank Jen for taking the time to send in her deals every week. You are a huge inspiration to many fans Jen and certainly an important contributor to Canadian Budget Binder. 🙂

Dear CBB Fans,

Unfortunately this will be my last garage sale post until at least the spring 🙁

3 gal watering can $1.50 (they were asking $2)
Brand new condition boys sandals (from Payless) $1.00 (they were asking $2)

I had fun sharing my deals with you all summer!

Thank you

Jen 🙂


Making A Difference


If you know a personal finance blogger that is making a difference and want to nominate them please send me an email canadianbudgetbinder (@) so I can reach out to them for a feature story.

Life by Emma

I’m Emma and I write about travel, money and motherhood over at

My money woes began one week after my 18th birthday when my bank sent me a pre-approved credit card application for $2500 (at the time nearly ten times my weekly income).

The love affair with consumer debt in the forms of credit cards, car finance and personal loans continued well into my mid-twenties until I discovered a passion for travel.

I needed to save $3000 for a three-month backpacking trip around South East Asia. Despite earning an excellent wage it took nearly 6 months for me to get that money together and only then did I realise how terribly wasteful I had been with my money.

After a long battle paying off consumer debt followed by a tough few years of channelling funds into savings and purchasing investment properties with my husband we are now in the position of being able to travel long-term with our son. Although we could be back home earning money and increasing our net worth, the trade-off for spending these early years exploring the world with our son is worthwhile.

So far we have managed to subdue the drain on our savings by doing remote contract work whilst overseas as well as receiving income from investment properties.

We have found we can live a better life for less as we don’t have to pay for a commute, daily coffee and fancy lunches and we usually stay in budget apartments so we have no utility bills. Instead we enjoy the simple things in life – playing at the park, swimming at the beach and reading.

We are planning an aggressive money strategy for re-entry to the workforce when our son goes to school that should see us with the freedom to choose to retire at around age 45 – quite a leap from the future laden with debt that I was facing less than 20 years earlier.

I want my readers to see there are many ways to live your life, and that having kids doesn’t mean the end of adventure nor does travel mean the end of your journey to wealth.


Top recipe


snow cookies

If you don’t already know I have a second Facebook page called The Free Recipe Depot where I share recipes from other Food Bloggers from around the world.

I found this yummy looking Christmas cookie recipe from Christina at Christina’s Cucina called Snow Cookies. If you are a fan of coconut, raspberry jam and buttery shortbread cookies you will love this recipe! Enjoy.


Editor’s Pick


Every week I will pick a blog post of the week from around the web that I found interesting and want to share with you and an Editor’s top blog post pick.

Editor’s blog post pick of the week

This week Dan at Our Big Fat Wallet talks about a topic that was always in the back of my head and that’s donating while visiting the shops. He specifically talks about why he doesn’t make donations at the stores.There is always someone wanting money from us whether it be someone soliciting outside of stores or it’s the cashier looking for a donation.

This has happened to us on many occasions and most times we decline. We like to choose where our money goes and not feel pressured into donating our money. Some people are too shy or embarrassed to say no but remember if it’s not in the budget or if you already support a cause you can speak up and decline.


Google search terms


Every week I get thousands of people visit Canadian Budget Binder because they did a search online and found my blog. Keep in mind any spelling errors below are because I share with you the exact way they typed their search engine query to land on my blog.

  • What is in no name ketchup?- Well there is tomatoes that’s for certain.
  • I didn’t get a retirement farewell– Join the club most people don’t. Happy Retirement!
  • Letter to spouse who spends too much– That’s a great idea especially if you are married and can’t communicate with your spouse or your spouse could care less about what you say to him/her. If my wife and I ever get to that point we know we have serious issues!
  • Welfare recipes– That’s it, I’m writing a blog on Welfare recipes on Tuesday!!
  • Lays chips expire on November 11, 2014 can I still eat them?– I’m pretty sure you will survive but maybe call the company and get their opinion. Use common sense, if it looks bad, smells bad then it probably is bad.

Thanks for joining me for this edition of The Saturday Weekend Review #96. Join me here again for more crazy stories from around the web and at home.



Money Quote Logo CBB


Are You New To Canadian Budget Binder?

Related articles

Photo credit:

Share to...

Similar Posts


  1. As a landlord, I wish we could get applicants to pay to view. The number of no-shows runs about 50%. Even when the call, and say they are on their way to meet us at the property. It is a waste of our time. Tenants think that all landlords are rich. If they only knew, what we have to go through. To all the tenants that think us landlords are so bad, buy a property, and rent it out. Do the hours and hours of overtime to qualify for another mortgage. The rent had better cover the mortgage, taxes, insurance, vacancies, repairs,cleaning, and utilities (if they are included) because otherwise it will come from your wallet. Collecting money owed from a tenant, good luck…with all the privacy laws. Buy a property, rent it out, come back in a year or two…then tell me how bad we are.
    Just because your parents own properties, doesn’t mean anything, until you are the ones cleaning up the crap…literally.
    In our town, all the landlords are banding together and now the bad tenants are having a difficult time finding someone to rent ti them. I’d rather keep the apt empty, than have it cost me money to rent to them.

  2. Umm, showing the apartment is part of your job if you want to rent it. That just seems wrong to me. I own rental property and it’s a pain to show it sometimes, but I would never charge someone to see it. Are these the same apartments that show amazing pictures on the web that look nothing like the actual apartment?

  3. I don’t know what to think about charging to view an apt…… I realize it does cost to run an apt. for rent in the papers but you would get that money back once the place is rented, it would be considered a cost of doing business. My Dad had rental houses for a number of years and the cost of an ad to rent the places along with any repair work or painting and such was able to be claimed on his income tax against the income generated.
    It sure is a change when you have a baby in the house!!!
    I have enjoyed Jen and her garage sale deals over the good weather!!! She scored some very nice deals!!!
    Have a super weekend and hugs for the little one please!!!!

  4. My initial thought was that it pisses me off that people can charge for that. But I suppose they can get away with it when there is a tight rental market and they have all the power in this situation.
    Next it will be charging people to submit a resume for a job and / or for each interview.

    1. My last fan said they will probably charge us to go grocery shopping and now your thoughts are applying for a job. It’s pretty scary that we can think of so many ways that people can get more money from us don’t you think?

  5. Thanks for the mention, Mr CBB! On the apartment viewing fee – ironic that the fee is in Alberta and specifically Calgary. I know landlords here who get so many replies to their apartment ads when they have a vacancy that they have to take the ad down because they can’t reply to everyone who has responded. On one hand I can see the fee being a deterrent for someone who isn’t truly interested in renting it but on the other hand it is a slippery slope. In a few years will the fee jump to $40, then $50 just to view a place? That could get expensive in a hurry

    1. Just like anything Dan if there is money to be made it will be made. You are correct it might start at $25 but if all landlords follow suit we could see that fee spread and the cost increased.

  6. Interesting! I have never heard of a viewing charge and I live in Alberta! My daughter just finished looking at apartments and wasn’t charged anything for viewing, neither has my son. My son is looking at houses now and there hasn’t been any charges there either. Interesting how people are making money. It is sad that the land owners/lords are cashing in on what is commonly referred to service. That would be like charging a service/entry fee to enter the grocery store just to look around or to hear a sales pitch from a salesman!! Crazy I say!!!

    1. I guess it depends on the landlord as it’s not law to charge people to view. I guess your daughter was lucky. I’d be shocked if they charged to view houses outside of those who have expensive mansions that want to weed out the people who are just being nosey. That’s why I said before we know it we will be charged for everything. Now that you mention it don’t be shocked all it takes is one to start and all to follow suit. ie: the grocery store!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.