Taking a Big Step: Rent with Confidence and Pride

Picking up the fresh set of keys to a new home is a joyous milestone in life, whether you’re renting or buying.  And there are a number of reasons to decide to rent.  Maybe it has to do with your stage of life: Are you on your own for the first time? A downsizing senior? Or moving with your partner into your ‘first place together’? Or, maybe you need the flexibility that a rental apartment provides. And there is always the perk of easy, maintenance-free living!

Rental living affords huge possibilities for residents who aren’t in the market to buy at this time. Whatever your reason for renting, the options at U/D are plentiful. And we have a few suggestions to get you to that point with confidence so you’re moving with your best foot forward!

What’s New? Introducing Aria!

At U/D, we’re excited to welcome our own amenity-rich, purpose-built rental building called Aria by builder partner Gracorp Properties which is now leasing. Aria features 288-units with one, two- and three-bedroom rentals.

Did you know that it’s also pet-friendly with a fenced-in dog run and wash area?

Have a look here at what life could be like at Aria!

As residents begin to move into Aria in Fall 2020, we know there’s a process and commitment that comes with deciding on the right rental apartment for you at just the right time.

It can be overwhelming, like any move to a new home. Questions swirl in your head as you think: what kind of rental unit suits my needs now? Is it long-term? How many bedrooms do I need, and how much space? Because that determines affordability and looking at a budget is always a good idea. From the amenities nearby, to ground-level to top-floor, and all of the necessities in between, there are many aspects to consider.

But to help make the experience of renting a little simpler we’ve put together some tricks and tips from the trade to be rent-savvy!

Where to Begin on This Rental Journey?

Let’s get down to the brass tacks of renting. Understanding how to approach the rental market can result in a smoother, more cost-efficient and organized journey as you make the big move. First, take a moment to think about what home means to you. Imagine what that looks like, whether it’s the surrounding community and amenities, to cost of living, and the interior design.

Make a list of what those must-haves are, but also identify what things you can compromise on.

Community is Everything


Next, think about your location. Does it matter? If you’ve lived in Calgary for a while or are a lifelong Calgarian, chances are you probably prefer a certain quadrant of the city to live in. Start your rental home hunt there. Everyone has a personal motivation, whether it be staying close to family, creature comforts or beloved local hotspots. Or maybe now is the time to mix it up! Switch schools, live closer to work, or be closer to the mountains! It could be time to cue a change!


There are many reasons to consider the established and growing Northwest, especially University District: proximity to the mountains, the prevalence of parks and handy urban trails, and being close to the University of Calgary! Have a look at our great Northwest guide that will let you shop, play, eat and explore our area of the city.


Tip: Knowing the communities you would want to live in can help determine your budget and what’s available. Here are some considerations when looking at your top choices for a community:

  • walkability
  • commute time
  • amenities
  • schools
  • healthcare
  • public transportation
  • views
  • inner-city or the suburbs

Make a list and order the importance. Then, spend a day or two in and around the community and see if it feels like home. Have a look to see what’s around like cafes, restaurants, schools, parks and shops! Step into the shoes of a local and think, ‘Is this for me?’

Now, What Can You Afford?

Enter the renting process with a budget in mind to help determine your price range with confidence based on your income. Also, factor costs like utilities, insurance and security deposits.

Tip: A financial plan is key so you can see what the big picture will look like once you move into your home.  Apply the 50/30/20 budgeting guideline: allocate 50% to your needs, 30% to your wants, and 20% to your savings. Visit a bank and work with a financial advisor to learn what makes sense for your needs and with your income as budgeting is different for everyone.

If you’re looking to rent at U/D, find the bank around the corner to help with all of your banking needs! Scotiabank will be moving into the community as part of our retail offering, and it has specialty services and savings plans that might suit your needs. Thinking of owning a home down the road? Take a look at their rent versus mortgage calculator!

Tip: After you find your home and move in, get organized so you can really enjoy the benefits of a fresh start rather than managing clutter. Need some suggestions on what to do? Have a look at these fresh tips from local company The Space Reclaimers!

Shop Around

Once you’ve narrowed down your preferred location and budget, the true search begins and what we think is one of the most fun parts of the search! Research which rental properties are available and start scheduling walk-throughs to see the homes first-hand. Take some time to walk around the building to get a better sense of place. It’s okay to trust your instinct when falling in love with a home! The same goes for the home layout, wear-and-tear, privacy, security, parking, and storage.

Tip: Create a list of questions that you have for the landlord. Remember: there are no silly questions!  Here is a list to start: May I paint the walls? Are there move-in, move-out policies to be aware? Will the apartment be professionally cleaned before possession?  Just a few things to consider for peace of mind!

It’s the One!

You’re at the point where you’ve seen your options and that last one, maybe at Aria in University District, is definitely the clear winner! So what are your next steps? It’s time to take a look at the application process.

Tip: Applications can be filled out while you do your onsite tour, or the landlord may ask you to fill it out electronically. Be prepared to have this information handy to save time and show that you’re a qualified option as a tenant:

  • Photo ID
  • Payslips
  • Proof of employment
  • Rental history and references if applicable
  • Personal and professional references
  • Also, be prepared to do a credit check and understand what that involves.


The moment that you get the call – you’re the best tenant option! Time to celebrate, so you start dreaming about how to make your place a true place to call home. Here are a few reminders before getting caught up with the excitement. Take time to read and understand the lease and terms, from noise and visitor policies, to parking and buzzer set ups. It’s best if there aren’t any surprises before you make that move. Lastly, renter’s insurance is a must-have, not only because it’s required but it’s best to protect yourself in the event something happens out of your control.

Renting with Pets? Sealed the deal and maybe you’re ready to move in with a fur baby as part of the household? At U/D, pets are always top-of-mind and we have some tips and suggestions for quirky ways to keep your space primed for you and your furry.

Welcome Home!

Planning and budgeting doesn’t stop at renting your new home; there are costs involved with moving and naturally, the fun part of decorating! Decide on what you need to make your home feel comfortable and plan each room in phases so you’re not making large purchases all at once. Find your style and start building your vision! Have a look at local stores, especially in NW Calgary, for some inspiration and decor options that are truly unique. When in doubt, browse show suites for some inspiration. Whether it’s on-point design trends or the Pantone Colour of the Year, chances are local interior designers have already picked it up and applied it to their creations.

Have a look at what our builder partner Gracorp Properties has planned for the Aria interior design.

A Quick Recap!


Let University District be the first neighbourhood to consider renting for its prime location, exceptional buildings with quality construction by trusted builders and close-by amenities that are unlike anywhere else in the city. Here are five of the top reasons to put U/D on your rental location list and turn your compass to NW Calgary!

  1. Proximity to the University of Calgary with its vibrant classes, culture and amenities
  2. Exceptional access to downtown by car, transit, bike!
  3. Natural surroundings that are perfect for pets, healthy living and connections with green spaces and neighbours
  4. Urban living benefits that come from shopping, restaurants, doctors, sports facilities, parks, entertainment and more at our doorstep
  5. Exceptional quality construction in an award-winning, LEED-certified development

Connect with the team at Aria to learn more about the amenities, suite features, and availability and connect to their registration page. And welcome home!