Skip to content

Western landlords dangle incentives

Free rent, gift cards, cash-back among perks offered to many residential tenants in Calgary, Edmonton and Winnipeg – Vancouver not so much

Residential landlords in Calgary, Edmonton and Winnipeg are dangling incentives from free rent to free cell phones, gift cards and cash-back rewards to entice tenants as COVID-19 restrictions ease. In Vancouver, not so much, according to a national survey by Rental.Ca released June 23.

Vancouver was also found to have the highest rents in Canada, with the average monthly rent for a one-bedroom home at $1,981 and for a two-bedroom at $2,760, according to a May study by and Bullpen Research & Consulting.

A June survey of advertised rentals found that Vancouver had the fewest promotions of the big cities, and the units offered with incentives are rented quickly, according to Michael Somoza of’s marketing department.

In Calgary, a number of incentives were found for newer one- and two-bedroom apartments in the core and around the city, but some landlords renting houses and basement suites are also offering perks.

Incentives in Calgary include a number of signing bonuses and cash back offers, as well as one and two months of free rent.

At the new Upton tower in Calgary’s Beltline, as an example, tenants are offered 1.5 months of free rent, no security deposit and no move-in fee. One bedrooms rent from $1,439 at the high-rise tower, which comes packed with amenities.

In Edmonton, incentives offered by landlords include one and two months free rent, retail gift cards, free or marked down utilities such as internet and cable, move-in bonuses and cash incentives. As in Calgary, A number of promotions are earmarked for seniors, military personnel, students and frontline workers.

Winnipeg has many incentives advertised by landlords for one-bedroom apartments and condos spread out across the city. The most common deals include a number of units offered at discounted rent, move-in cash bonuses, free parking or utilities and gift cards. An example is the Hargrave Place rental tower where “limited time” incentives include two months free rent on some units and six months of free parking in the pet-friendly building where one-bedroom rents start at $910.

Among the best incentive found in Vancouver was in the Regency Park Residences on Cardero Street in the city’s West End. The landlord is offering one-month free rent for a one-year lease and two months free rent on two-year leases. One bedrooms start a $1,600 per month and the property manager told Western Investor June 25 “we have received a lot of calls, but we still have units available.”