One of the first things any newcomer will want to do from their to-do-list is Finding accommodation in Canada. Base on your situation, you may wish to find a temporary accommodation first, while you search for good and affordable apartments or houses for rent in Canada.
Temporary accommodation in Canada
Before you land in Canada, it’s very important to at least have some places lined up for your first few nights. Hostels and hotels are surplus in urban areas, though you may wish to book well in advance to make sure you have the widest choice of temporary accommodation in Canada available to you. If you have a limited budget while you stay in temporary accommodation, there are extensive collections of short term accommodation to suit any budget at Hostrlworld.
Finding apartments and houses for rent in Canada
There are several types of rental accommodation in Canada, including houses, condominiums, and apartments.
Some houses will be made available to rent in their entirety, some will be divided into several units. A duplex will be divided into two units. Split in three, it’s known as a ‘triplex’. In other houses for rent in Canada, rental rooms are available which have shared living and bathroom facilities.
Apartments for rent in Canada range from ‘bachelor’ units, where a single room serves as both the living area and the bedroom, to those with multiple bedrooms and separate living areas.
P!ease note that the cost of utilities, such as electricity and water, may or may not be included in your rent.
You can find houses and apartments for rent in Canada in the local newspapers, libraries, and on websites such as Kijiji. Facebook group for newcomers Newcomers are also helpful. In most cities, you can simply walk around your choice of neighbourhood, as landlords will post signs outside their property advertising available rooms or houses for rent.
Landlords will usually request for some documents before offering you a lease. This is simply to get information about your ability to pay rent. Such documents include:
- A letter from your current, or most recent, employer that indicates your annual income.
- Bank statement(s) to prove that you have enough savings to cover rent for the next few months.
- Various landlords as your referees
Many landlords do prefer Canadian documentation, and this can be very difficult for new comers. However, there are landlords out there who are willing to rent their houses and apartments for rent in Canada to newcomers, so keep trying if you don’t succeed at first.
- Plan your trip if you want to have good accommodation options as rentals in Canada tend to start on the 1st of every month, with a smaller number becoming available on the 15th of every month. Arriving around two week’s before month’s end is advisable, this will give you ample time to learn about your surroundings and find suitable apartments or houses for rent in Canada.
- For most apartments and houses for rent in Canada, the landlords will request for at least half a month’s rent as a security deposit.
- Always ask questions before paying as most rental accommodation in Canada does not come furnished. Furnishing a place can be expensive and takes time, so try Craigslist for cheap or free stuff. The end of each month is really the best time to get really good deals on furniture as people are relocation and will often sell their possessions at knock-down prices.
- Have adequate understanding of your rights as a tenant. Become familiar with tenancy law in the province you plan to move to.
- Beware of online scams that attempt to dupe people into paying deposits on properties that don’t exist as well as bogus ads when searching for accommodation in Canada.
Leases and payment
Unless otherwise agreed, you may likely have signed a lease for a fixed-term, usually one year. Upon completion of the fixed-term, the term may renew for a further year, or switch to a ‘month-to-month’ arrangement. Make sure you discuss with your landlord before signing a lease.
Increments on rent vary from province to province.
Rent increase must occur at least 12 months apart in Ontario, and at least 90 days of notice must be given to tenants. The provincial government sets the maximum allowable rent increase – in 2018, this figure is 1.8%. Landlords need to apply for special permission if they intend to increase rent above this rate.
This rules also apply in British Columbia, however the maximum allowable rent increase in 2018 there is 4.0%.
You can also see how to immigrate to Canada as a temporary foreign worker.