Moving and Address Change Guides » Rentals Tips in Canada

Rentals Tips in Canada

In general, your rent payment and household-related expenses should not be higher than 30% of your gross household income. Your gross household income is all income you receive before taxes and deductions. For example, if your gross pay is $4,000 a month, try to limit your housing costs to $1,200 a month or less.

What are short term rentals?

Short term rentals are rentals under 30 days and included those listed on online platforms such as Airbnb

Where are short term rentals currently permitted?

Short term rentals are currently permitted as a home occupation in single family dwellings (up to two bedrooms in an occupied home with shared kitchen and living spaces).

In addition, some short-term rentals may be allowed as a legal non-conforming use in areas zoned for transient accommodation.

What are the new regulations?

New regulations allow Short Term Rental in principal residences only*, either within a dwelling unit while the occupant is present, or in the whole home on occasion, for example when the normal resident is on vacation.

Principal residence is defined as:

The usual dwelling unit where an individual life and conducts their daily affairs, like paying bills and receiving mail. It is generally the residence used in government records for things like your income tax, medical services plan, driver’s license and vehicle registration.

These rules apply to both owners and renters (with landlord permission).

*Except for legally non-conforming units with transient accommodation as a permitted use.


Long Term Rentals

The standard regular lease term for a long-term rental apartment in British Columbia Canada is one year, with the option to extend the lease at the end of the term or go to month to month lease

How much is rent in Canada?

In a country as large and diverse as Canada, it may seem difficult to try and answer this question. However, we are nothing if not resourceful and with that in mind, we will seek to provide you with the answer to how much rent in Canada is.

recent report released by the CBC from November 2018 has found that the average price of rent in Canada increased by 3.5 percent from October 2017 to October 2018. This upturn now means that the average price of a bachelor apartment is now $787 a month. On top of that, an average one-bedroom goes for $946, while a two-bedroom costs $1,025. Apartments with three or more bedrooms cost an average of $1,097 a month.

However, remember again that these figures may represent the place you plan on calling your new home, and it’s best to be warned before you arrive that rent in Canada’s larger cities, such as Toronto, ON and Vancouver, B.C. is far higher than in smaller cities and towns. Indeed, the National Rent Report by reveals that the top 18 most expensive cities to rent in are all in Ontario and B.C.

According to cost of living comparison site Numbeo — which we highly recommend you refer to, before and after arriving in Canada — one-bedroom downtown apartments in both Toronto and Vancouver are now topping $2,000 per month. Therefore, you may need to compromise in some area; maybe there’s a more affordable neighborhood outside the city center with good public transit links, or maybe you might consider sharing on address with others, at least for starters.

What is the cheapest place to live in Canada?

Of the larger Canadian cities, Montreal, QC remains the most affordable big city in Canada to rent. The average price of a month’s rent in Canada’s second-largest city is $809. This compares favorably with other large Canadian cities. Other smaller cities in Quebec, such as Quebec City and Gatineau, are even more affordable when it comes to rent.

Their data also makes clear that while Ontario is home to Canada’s most expensive cities for renting, it’s also home to some of the cheapest. Canadians seeking more affordable rentals should look towards smaller cities in Ontario and Quebec.

MoneySense also has a useful study on rent prices in Canada, and their data makes clear that while Ontario is home to Canada’s most expensive cities for renting, as outlined above, it’s also home to some of the cheapest. Sault Ste. Marie, Timmins, and Cornwall have good accommodation for rent at a fraction of the cost you’d find in Toronto.

Newcomers to Canada seeking more affordable rentals may look towards smaller cities in Ontario and Quebec.

Leases and payment

Unless otherwise agreed, you will likely have signed a lease for a fixed-term, often one year. Once the fixed-term elapses, the term may renew for a further year, or switch to a ‘month-to-month’ arrangement. Discuss with your landlord before signing a lease.

Rules on rent increases vary from province to province.

In Ontario, rent increases must occur at least 12 months apart, and tenants need to receive at least 90 days of notice. The provincial government sets the maximum allowable rent increase – in 2018, this figure is 1.8%. To increase rent above this rate, landlords need to apply for special permission to do so.

Similar rules apply in British Columbia, however the maximum allowable rent increase in 2018 there is 4.0%.

Rents in Alberta may also only be increased if it’s been more than one year since the previous increase. However, there is no cap on the amount of increase like in Ontario and British Columbia.

City-specific guides to accommodation in Canada

The search for houses and apartments for rents in Canada begins with choosing the right neighborhood. Visit these resources to help you learn more about your new surroundings.

Where to look for housing

One of the best places to find housing is through online listings, and there are lots of sites you can search:

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