The steps to successfully renting an apartment in Montréal

Finding the perfect place in a neighbourhood you love is a key step when it comes to moving to a new city. Here are some tips to help you find your hidden gem in Montréal. 
Master Montréal’s housing lingo
Understanding the housing lingo here takes a bit of getting used to. Here’s a guide to help you interpret the language of real estate in Québec. Don’t be surprised, the bathroom only count for half a room!
  • 2 ½: one closed bedroom, a living room, a kitchenette and a bathroom.
  • 3 ½: one closed bedroom, a living room, a full kitchen and a bathroom. 
  • 4 ½: two closed bedrooms (...)
  • 5 ½: three closed bedrooms (...)
  • 6 ½: four closed bedrooms  (...)
In Québec, we describe the size of a dwelling by the total number of rooms it includes.
The different types of dwellings Now that you have a better idea of the size of homes in Montréal, let’s look at the types of buildings and dwellings available: 
An independent building with at least five units. 
An apartment with a declaration of co-ownership. The individual dwelling belongs to the owner, while the common areas (corridors, stairs, elevators, garden or courtyard, roof, gym, swimming pool, etc.) are co-owned.
A home made up of two separate units (where the owner generally occupies the ground floor).
Similar to a duplex, but with three units.
You guessed it! A quadruplex is a shared building made up of four separate units. 

“Plexes,” unlike apartments, are independently owned and can be detached, semi-detached or connected in a row. 
Inclusions and exclusions, explained
Are you looking to take your own furniture with you when you move, or do you need a space that’s already set up? Whatever your preference, Montréal has a bunch of options. Here’s the lingo to look out for: 

  • Furnished: includes all the furniture and appliances you’ll need on a daily basis. 
  • Semi-furnished: includes the four major appliances: refrigerator, stove, washer and dryer. 
  • Non-furnished: includes nothing but the floors, walls and ceiling!
If you’re not sure what’s included in your new place, ask the owner to clarify. It’ll save you a lot of trouble trying to find someone at work who’s willing to take care of your laundry! 
Understanding your energy bill 
In some cases, the price of rent includes heating and hot water. If they’re not mentioned in the listing, you’ll probably have to pay these costs yourself. And if someone tries to charge you for running cold water, watch out! Cold water is free here in Québec. 
How to find the perfect place for you 
Here’s a guide to help you find your dream home, from choosing a neighbourhood to picking the type of living space that suits you :
Exploring your new city is one of the most fun steps in a move! Once you’ve found your job, get to know the different municipalities and neighbourhoods in Greater Montréal to find the perfect location with our interactive map. Whether you’re looking to live close to nature or steps from the city action, Montréal has the right neighbourhood for you. 
Visit the apartments that jump out at you in the ads, to get a better feel for the space and maybe even get to know your future landlord. Don’t rush into signing a lease before you’ve checked out your options. It’s always better to be safe than sorry. 
Feeling overwhelmed with all the options out there? Don’t panic! There are tons of local websites to help you find a home.  

Check out the classifieds on Kijiji for a host of local listings. You can also take a look on sites like LesPAC, or platforms dedicated entirely to real estate listings like Louer.com and kangalou.com.

Don’t forget to scroll through your Facebook and other social feeds, and search for local groups specialized in housing by typing in “Logements Montréal” or “Logements à louer Montréal” These groups have a bunch of options for renting or subletting and make it easier than ever to connect with potential landlords. 
The lowdown on leases in Québec Once you’ve found the perfect place, make sure you know what you’re signing up for. 
Most leases are valid for one year, but some may be shorter. Talk to the landlord about how long they’re looking to rent the space out for before signing on the dotted line. Keep in mind that July 1st is the most common date for signing a lease in Montréal, but there’s no law to say you can’t sign at another time. 
The landlord may ask for your consent to run a credit check or ask you to provide the contact information of your previous landlord. This is totally normal! And even though newcomers to Canada won’t have a credit history or local references, most homeowners will agree to rent them a home regardless. You can also agree to provide other documents to prove your financial stability. 
Your lease contract must be written in French or English, and it has to specify the duration of the lease as well as the amount of rent to be paid on the first day of each month. Payments are generally made by e-transfer, cheque or cash.   

If you’re planning to live with your favourite furry friend, don’t forget to check with your landlord if pets are allowed in the apartment before signing the lease. 
Your rights as a renter 
The Government of Québec provides all the relevant information about tenants’ rights and obligations here.
Among other things, you’ll learn that you’re not required to provide a deposit to your landlord. And you’re not required to share your personal information like your social insurance number (SIN) or bank account number. 
Live by yourself without breaking the bank 
If you like to live alone without having to share the remote, you’re in luck! Greater Montréal is one of the few places where single people can rent for a reasonable price. According to Numbeo, you can expect to pay around $1,440 a month for a 3 ½ apartment in a central neighbourhood. And you can find a similar sized place on the outskirts of the city for around $765 a month. 
Montréal is known for its reasonable rent prices, so you won’t have a hard time finding a place that fits your budget. 
Share the Montréal experience with roommates  If you prefer to have company, sharing a place might be the best fit for you. Living with two, three or more roommates gives you the chance to make new friends while saving money on rent and other costs. According to Numbeo, a three-bedroom apartment downtown will cost around $675 per person per month, and around $440 just outside the city. 
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