Tips on Finding An Apartment in Canada

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According to the recent Cost of Living Survey by Mercer, Vancouver is now the most expensive city in North America. Eclipsing Toronto, Vancouver has the priciest housing and accommodation costs. Among countries, Canada is claimed to have the most overvalued housing facilities which many believed that the price is not right. Read on the following tips on finding where to live in Canada.

for_rentEstimated Apartment Rental Rates per Month
* Within the City, 1 bedroom – 951 USD
* Outside the City, 1 bedroom – 740 USD
* Within the City, 3 bedroom – 1, 588 USD
* Outside the City, 3 bedroom – 1, 128 USD

Expectedly, rental costs within the city are high. However, living in suburbs is mundane in Canada. Apartments outside the city are sold for cheaper price tags. However, the drawbacks are long traveling hours and the person may need to hire or buy a car.

Where to Look for Accommodation
* Rental Signs
* Classified Ads or Section
* Bulletin Boards
* School and University Inquiry. Most schools allow short-term tenants especially during summer or from May to August.
* Notice Boards

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Most Common Types of Accommodation in Canada
1. Apartment. An apartment has its own kitchen area, bathroom, laundry room and other basic parts of the house.
2. Detached house. As you probably guess, a detached house is a single family dwelling. Most detached houses are bungalow type.
3. High rise apartment. A type of apartment that has at least 6 storeys. High rise apartments have security systems, elevators and recreational facilities.
4. Rooming house. It is equivalent to “bed spacer”. The kitchen and bathroom are usually shared by other occupants.
5. Duplex. A type of accommodation that is attached to another house but is mediated by a wall to prevent sounds from transmitting from one room to another.

What to Consider When Selecting for Accommodation
* Safety and security of the place
* Number of bedrooms (single or shared), windows, bathroom (private or common)
* Presence of smoke alarm and emergency routes
* Availability of public transportation
* Friendliness of neighborhood
* Water supply and interruption
* Accessibility to shopping malls, schools (for children), recreational facilities and worship centres

Tips When Signing a Rental Agreement
* Always ask for receipt in every transaction.
* Keep a copy of the rental agreement or lease contract. However, it is best to avoid signing a lease contract as it is uncommon in Canada since most rentals are short-term. Also, the person can get blind-sided by signing a lease. For example, it may be another way of saying that he or she is held responsible for any existing damages caused to the unit. Because lease agreements serve as legally binding contracts, read on between the lines the terms and conditions. However, if only planning to live for several months, never sign a 1-year lease.
* Take note of any existing damages to the unit before moving in. A wiser idea is to take pictures of the existing damages and provide a copy to the landlord.
* If the person shares a room with someone else, let him or her sign also the agreement. Note: tenants are entitled to protection rights similar to that of Canadian citizens in terms of rental agreements.

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