Student Apartment Hunt


It is mid-August, harvest has begun in Westman and before long we’ll be preparing for our kids first day of kindergarten or their first day of college/university.

If the new or returning post-secondary student hasn’t already secured a place to live, they may find themselves scrambling to find an apartment for the upcoming school year. What potential renters will notice is that there is significantly less apartment availability in Brandon this fall compared to last fall. There are two main reasons contributing to this tight rental market in the city:

  1. There are three pipeline crews that have moved into the city, adding almost 1,500 people to the population until the end of December. While some of these workers are staying in campgrounds and hotels, many of them have secured apartment accommodations.
  2. Many of the military families that have been posted recently to CFB Shilo have chosen to rent rather than purchase a home.

Vionell Holdings Properties has just over 1,000 rental units (excluding life lease and assisted living) in Brandon and there currently only 12 empty apartments. This represents a 1.2% vacancy rate in our portfolio, which I suspect is standard across the city at this time.

With all of this rather discouraging information, what could you be doing do to find accommodations for the new school year? Here are my suggestions:

  1. Start looking RIGHT now, find the place that offers the best value. Consider location in proximity to your school and other amenities, but be flexible.
  2. Be prepared to sign a year lease, many rental companies are changing to year leases from a month-to-month system to ensure that the tenants they are selecting will commit to at least one year in the apartment. Keep in mind that you can assign your lease if you plan on leaving at the end of the school year.
  3. Be sure to have a co-signor arranged to ensure your application is approved by the rental agency expediently. Also be prepared with all other required documentation and information.


Vionell Holdings Partnership (VHP) provides rental housing and property management for an array of residential and commercial customers, including Condominium Management. VHP currently has nearly 4,000 units under management in Manitoba. For more information please visit

VHP has committed to constructing 128 multifamily residential units in Portage la Prairie that will be ready for occupancy in spring of 2019.