How do i find a place to rent
Finding Accommodation in Canada
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Finding accommodation in Canada is one of the first things any newcomer will want to tick off their to-do list. Depending on your circumstances, you may wish to find temporary accommodation first, while you search for apartments or houses for rent in Canada. From your first night, to your first lease and beyond, this article has advice for you.
Temporary accommodation in Canada
Before you arrive in Canada, it’s crucial to at least have somewhere lined up for your first few nights. Hostels and hotels are plentiful in urban areas, though you may wish to book well in advance to ensure you have the widest choice of temporary accommodation in Canada available to you. If your budget is limited while you stay in temporary accommodation, Hostelworld have an extensive collection of short term accommodation to suit any budget.
The Canadian Government helps refugees find temporary accommodation in Canada as part of its Resettlement Assistance Program.
Finding apartments and houses for rent in Canada
Some houses will be available to rent in their entirety, some will divided into several units. A house divided into two units is called a ‘duplex’. Split in three, it’s known as a ‘triplex’. In other houses for rent in Canada, rental rooms are available, with shared living and bathroom facilities.
The cost of utilities, such as electricity and water, may or may not be included in your rent. Visit our internet service providers in Canada and utilities in Canada articles for information on service providers in your area.
You can find houses and apartments for rent in Canada in the classifieds section of local newspapers, libraries, and on websites such as Kijiji and Craigslist. Newcomers Facebook groups are also useful. In many cities, you can simply walk around your preferred neighbourhood, as landlords will post signs outside their property advertising available vacancies.
- A letter from your current, or most recent, employer that indicates your annual income.
- Bank statement(s) that show you have enough savings to cover rent for a few months.
- References from previous landlords.
Many landlords will prefer Canadian documentation, and this can be cumbersome for new arrivals. However, there are landlords out there who are willing to rent their houses and apartments for rent in Canada to newcomers, so if you don’t succeed at first, keep trying!
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Important things to keep in mind:
- Rentals in Canada tend to start on the 1st of every month, with a smaller number becoming available on the 15th of every month. Plan your trip with this in mind as you want to ensure you have a good range of options. Arriving around two week’s before month’s end is advisable, as you get ample time to learn about your surroundings and find suitable apartments or houses for rent in Canada.
- Most apartments and houses for rent in Canada require at least half a month’s rent as a security deposit.
- Most rental accommodation in Canada does not come furnished, so always ask before a viewing. Furnishing a place can take time and money, so try Craigslist for cheap or free stuff. The best time to get really good deals on furniture is towards the end of the month as people are moving and will often sell their possessions at knock-down prices.
- Know your rights as a tenant. Become familiar with tenancy law in the province you plan to move to.
- Unfortunately, there are online scams that attempt to dupe people into paying deposits on properties that don’t exist. Beware of bogus ads when searching for accommodation in Canada.
How much is rent in Canada?
In a country as large and diverse as Canada, it may seem difficult to try and answer this question. However, we are nothing if not resourceful and with that in mind, we will seek to provide you with the answer to how much rent in Canada is.
A recent report released by the CBC from November 2018 has found that the average price of rent has increased by 3.5 per cent from October 2017 to October 2018. This upturn now means that the average price of a bachelor apartment is now $787 a month. On top of that, an average one-bedroom goes for $946, while a two bedroom costs $1,025. Apartments with three or more bedrooms cost an average of $1,097 a month.
What is the cheapest place to live in Canada?
From a city or regional perspective, Montreal remains the most affordable big city in Canada to rent. The average price of a month’s rent in Canada’s second-largest city is $809. This compares favorably with other Canadian cities such as Calgary ($1,272 per month) and Vancouver ($1,649 per month).
In addition, the average price of rent for Canada as a whole in 2018 was $1,059 per month. However, this average doesn’t take the massive disparities between certain cities into account. For instance, a two-bedroom condo in Toronto costs $2,393 a month, while a comparable unit in Ottawa costs, on average, $1,014 a month.
Leases and payment
Unless otherwise agreed, you will likely have signed a lease for a fixed-term, often one year. Once the fixed-term elapses, the term may renew for a further year, or switch to a ‘month-to-month’ arrangement. Discuss with your landlord before signing a lease.
In Ontario, rent increases must occur at least 12 months apart, and tenants need to receive at least 90 days of notice. The provincial government sets the maximum allowable rent increase – in 2018, this figure is 1.8%. To increase rent above this rate, landlords need to apply for special permission to do so.
Similar rules apply in British Columbia, however the maximum allowable rent increase in 2018 there is 4.0%.
City-specific guides to accommodation in Canada
Moving2Canada has a network of city-specific groups you can join to find apartments and houses for rent in Canada. They’re a great place to go to pose questions, and learn more about your new surroundings.
Your first week in Canada