One of the first challenges that many newcomers to Canada face is finding a place to rent. The number and variety of different choices that are available can sometimes feel almost overwhelming. Depending on where you want to live, the housing in Canada may also be quite different from the kind of homes you are used to.
To help make your search for a home easier, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) offers the following tips on how to find a place to rent in Canada:
• Try to be as flexible as possible and be prepared to adapt to Canadian standards, as much as possible. For example, in Canada, it can be hard to find a rental property with more than three bedrooms. So you may have to rent a smaller place or live in a less central location until you can find what you really want.
• Before you start looking for a place to rent, decide where you want to live, how many rooms you will need and how much you can afford to pay. Answering these questions in advance can help you narrow down your search, and find a place to live that much sooner.
• Once you have chosen where you want to live and how much rent you can afford, check the Classifieds section of your local newspaper for a list of available places. You can also check free community or ethnic newspapers for the neighbourhoods you want to live in.
• Visit grocery stores, libraries, laundromats, health clinics, thrift stores, community centres, service clubs and real estate offices in the areas where you want to live, to see if they have any bulletin boards with notices of apartments that are available to rent.
• Contact your local library or the campus housing office of a local university or college for a list of houses and apartments for rent.
• Visit the websites of local newspapers or special housing websites that list places that are available to rent.
• If you have any friends, relatives or coworkers who are familiar with the areas you want to live in, ask them if they have any recommendations or know of any available places.
• If you know exactly where you’d like to live, you can also walk around the neighbourhood and look for “For Rent” signs on houses or buildings. If you really like a particular building, ask the superintendent if there are any apartments available to rent now or in the near future.
For more information or to obtain hard copies for FREE on other aspects of renting, buying and renovating a home in Canada, visit www.cmhc.ca/newcomers.