navigating-canadian-housing-a-guide-for-newcomers

Navigating Canadian Housing: Types and Renting Guide for Newcomers

Navigating Canadian Housing: Types and Renting Guide for Newcomers

Aug 31, 2023

When considering a move to a new country, one of the foremost priorities is finding suitable housing. This holds true for Canada, a country renowned for its diverse landscapes, welcoming communities, and various housing options. From the bustling urban centers to the serene suburbs, Canada offers a wide range of accommodations to cater to different preferences and needs. Whether you’re a student pursuing higher education, a skilled worker pursuing career opportunities, or a new immigrant beginning a fresh chapter, understanding the types of housing available and the process of renting a house is essential.

Exploring Housing Options in Canada

Before delving into the details of renting a house, let’s take a closer look at the various types of housing options available in Canada:

1. Temporary Accommodation:

For short stays or temporary visits, options like hotels and hostels provide comfort and convenience. These accommodations are particularly suitable for individuals seeking short-term solutions while they explore the country.

2. Apartments and Condominiums:

Apartments and condos are popular choices for both urban and suburban living. Apartments are often available in multi-story buildings, while condos offer the advantages of ownership combined with shared amenities and maintenance.

3. Houses:

Houses come in various forms, including single-detached, semi-detached, townhouses, and duplexes. These options provide more space and privacy, making them suitable for families or individuals seeking a larger living area.

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4. Rooming Houses and Studio Units:

Rooming houses offer individual rooms for rent within a larger property, providing an affordable option for those looking to share living spaces. Studio units are self-contained living spaces with a combined bedroom and living area, kitchenette, and bathroom.

Renting a Residence

It’s only logical that when contemplating a relocation, the foremost task at hand is securing a place of abode. Even in the case of international transfers, individuals prefer to secure their lodgings well in advance to avoid the stressful endeavor of hastily seeking accommodation upon arrival.  As a newcomer, guidance on locating a fitting abode is essential. Here’s a helpful guide to follow:

1. Independent Search vs. Realtor

Conduct an independent search using a variety of online and offline methods:

Explore platforms like ViewIt and Condos.ca to gauge rental rates across different neighborhoods. For more attractive deals, utilize platforms such as Craigslist, Kijiji, Zumper, and Padmapper. Additionally, consider provincially recognized resources like Home Zone on Facebook (for Toronto and GTA listings) and Winnipeg Rental Network (for Winnipeg listings). These aggregators serve as platforms where tenants can directly engage with landlords.

Enlist the services of a realtor or real estate agent:

Numerous realtors and real estate agencies are available to aid you in your search. You can start by visiting Realtor.ca to identify potential agents. Alternatively, you can browse listings on platforms like ViewIt and Condos.ca, where each listing typically includes the name and contact details of the respective realtor for you to reach out to.

2. Locate the Community

Once you’ve chosen the Canadian province and city for your relocation, the subsequent task involves finding a community in which you’d prefer to reside. During your neighborhood research, take into account various factors such as:

  • The typical rental costs in the specific area
  • Duration of commute to the central downtown/city center or major business zones
  • Monthly transportation expenses
  • Ratings for walking and public transit convenience
  • Distance to schools, your workplace, supermarkets, transportation facilities, shopping centers, places of worship, and more.
  • Availability of parking
  • Crime statistics
  • Levels of noise pollution

3. Creating a Rent Budget:

The cost of rent in Canada can vary significantly due to several factors, including the neighborhood, unit size, rental unit availability, included amenities, and utilities. 

The main cost components often include air conditioning and heating expenses, with hydro averaging around $50-80 CAD monthly, while water costs approximately $20-40 CAD per month. For additional services like internet and cable TV, the combined expense can exceed $100 CAD per month. Depending on the type of housing, you might also encounter extra fees for waste management and garbage removal.

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4. Personal Preferences

Once you’ve narrowed down suitable residences – whether through online searches or realtors – communicate your preferences to potential landlords. Seek clarity on:

  • Rent breakdown, inclusions, and exclusions
  • Pet policies, if applicable
  • Guest policies
  • Lease duration and payment terms

Photograph any potential damages during your visits, aiding in rental negotiations.

5. Documenting Eligibility

In order to secure a rental property, you’ll need to furnish specific documents as evidence of your ability to make timely rent payments and manage the space financially. Landlords might request:

  • An employment letter detailing your salary
  • Your credit report
  • References (from friends, family, or past landlords in Canada)
  • Bank statements

6. Finalize the Lease Agreement

A lease agreement is a vital document that outlines the terms of your tenancy and serves as a contract between you and the landlord. It encapsulates crucial details such as the rent amount, lease duration, regulations regarding pets and smoking, as well as procedures for lease renewal or termination.

Once you’ve made your decision on the apartment, house, or condo you wish to rent, the next step involves submitting an application form to the landlord. Upon approval of your application, the landlord will provide you with the lease agreement for your careful review and signature. After completing these essential formalities, you’ll be required to fulfill necessary payments, which can encompass various aspects depending on your province. These payments may include the first and last month’s rent, security deposit, key deposit, pet deposit, among others.

7. Making the Move

With paperwork complete, the time comes to transition to your new residence. Confirm with your landlord if additional formalities are necessary prior to moving in. Some residences may have specific service elevator operating hours – particularly relevant if moving bulky furniture.

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Dev Immigration: Your Housing Partner

Navigating the Canadian housing market can be daunting, especially for newcomers. Dev Immigration understands the challenges you may face and offers expert guidance to help you find a comfortable and suitable home. Our experienced team can assist you in understanding different housing options, rental agreements, and neighborhood considerations. With Dev Immigration by your side, you can make informed decisions and embark on your Canadian journey with confidence. Your dream home in Canada awaits, and we’re here to help you turn it into a reality.

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