Fernie is a casual town and many landlords are just homeowners renting an extra room; people often enter into rental agreements without a formal lease. If you’re comfortable doing that, go ahead but be warned, if there are any arguments down the road, you don’t have anything on paper and likely any authority will sign with the local resident and landlord.
A formal lease should be written and both you and your landlord should have a copy. Click here to download the formal Residental Tenancy Lease. Make sure that ALL the people in your house sign the lease; you’re on the hook if you sign and someone else doesn’t – and you don’t want that.
Your lease should cover:
• Length of lease
• Pets policy
• Amount of rent and amount of damage deposit
• Who pays for utilities, and how much (estimate; make sure you see the prior renter’s bills for winter)
• Contents of the house
Landlords can only legally charge half a month’s rent as a damage deposit when the tenancy agreement is made. The deposit should be returned (assuming there’s no damage) within 30 days of leaving.
When you’re planning to leave, it’s your obligation to give at least one month’s notice before your next rent payment is due.
Roommates can be awesome; they’re always around to hang out with, party with, ride with, and they share the expenses so they ultimately help you live cheaper, meaning you have more dough to do what you want.
Roommates can also be the worst for the same reasons; they’re ALWAYS around, they’re ALWAYS partying (when you’ve got to work the breakfast shift), they share the expenses – and then share all your stuff too, from food to laundry soap.
Really, it can go either way. Bottom line, most of the time the roommate situation will work and realistically in Fernie, you don’t have a choice for financial reasons. So, the best thing you can do for yourself is know when to say when. Set up the payment system for bills, food, and everything else from the beginning; don’t let yourself get taken for a ride.
Don’t be on the hook
Rule #1 in shared accommodations is usually don’t put your name on the phone bill. In Fernie you will likely need to put down a deposit to get a land line; ensure that all the roommates are on the phone bill, or consider getting a cell phone for yourself.
A great option for long-distance travelers is to purchase pre-paid phone cards, which you can get at pretty much any convenience store in Fernie.
Honour Big Mama
Mother Earth will appreciate the extra mile you have to go recycle here. It’s not easy in Fernie, but it is do-able, and it’s a great way to make up the last two bucks you need for a shuttle to the hill or wing night at The Pub.
Beer & liquor bottles can be returned for cash to the BC Liquor Store (beside Overwaitea), to the cold beer and wine at Park Place Lodge and to the Bottle Depot on 13th Street just across the tracks. Pay attention; there are limits on both the amounts and the time you can recycle – posted in the store.
Pop bottles can be recycled at Overwaitea, and you get 10 cents back for every bottle so it’s worth embarrassment of hauling in a giant garbage bag.
There’s a doorstep pickup of other recyclables every other Friday in the Downtown, Ridgemont, Airport and Annex areas; you can pick up a schedules and specifics from City Hall, downtown. Otherwise, you need to find a way to take your recycling direct to the Transfer Station on Coal Creek Road(soon to be relocated), where there are recycling bins.
Fernie does not have door-to-door mail delivery. Mail is received through Post Office Boxes ( at the Post Office, downtown, or in West Fernie, rural boxes at the end of the street). There are two ways you can go about getting your mail; one is to use the PO Box that your landlord holds for the residence; the other is to sign up for general delivery at the Post Office. Be warned – the Post Office only holds mail for a week, so you need to collect it regularly.