Saskatoon landlords are getting creative to compete with high vacancy rates.

The city’s 10.2 per cent vacancy rate is record high, according to a Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation study, and landlords like Hanif Hemani say they’ve had to provide incentives to attract potential tenants.

Hemani manages multiple properties in nearby Martensville.

“It was generally no problem finding people two, three years ago. It certainly has become more difficult to get tenants in, so we’ve had to provide some incentives,” he says.

Saskatoon’s high vacancy rates can be attributed to slow economic growth — specifically in employment and commodity prices — says CMHC senior market analyst Goodson Mwale.

“We’ve seen a moderation in housing demand and the reason that we’ve seen that is because we’ve seen employment contract,” Mwale says.

An increase in supply leaves more options for tenants and more competition for landlords.

Some landlords are offering free month's rent, gift cards, golf memberships and barbeques to entice renters.

But these incentives are just a scheme, according to Elite Property manager Dax Murdoch.

“I call it a scheme because it’s really just getting you in the door and that doesn’t really do much for people nowadays,” Murdoch says.

“Renters are very savvy. They want to see an updated place with lots of amenities.”