2013-05-22 06:50:21

Like most Canadian cities, Quebec also provides a wide range of accommodation for expatriates. Discover the local rental market with Expat.com.

Moving to Quebec? Have you already found accommodation? To guide you through your search, below is an overview of the local rental market.

Housing prices in Quebec, especially in Montreal, are rather affordable compared to those found in major European cities. However, you can still find local discrepancy. Some neighborhoods are being more sought-after than others like Plateau Mont-Royal in Montreal although rental prices have been increasing regularly for the past few years.

In Montreal, all leases have a one year term, starting on July 1st and end on June 30th. You can still find a home all year round, but it is better to start looking before July 1st if you want to have a large variety of housing to choose from.

Find housing in Quebec

To find housing, you can refer to real estate section of classifieds posted in free publications or traditional newspapers, use the internet. You can even roam the neighborhood you are targeting to be able to spot small posters on doors mentioning vacancy as well as the type of housing and the number to call.

There are different housing options in Quebec:

  • A "1 1/2" refers to a studio ;
  • A "2 1/2" refers to an apartment with a living room and one bedroom;
  • A "3 1/2" refers to an apartment with a living room, one bedroom and a dining room;
  • A "4 1/2" refers to an apartment with a living room, a dining room and two bedrooms;
  • A "5 1/2" refers to an apartment with a living room, a dining room and three bedrooms and so forth

You can also find some apartments called "demi sous-sol", or half basement, which are located in a basement, half-way underground with smaller windows. Half basements usually rent for less than standard apartments which are located on the first floor or above but they are not as well lit.

You may also sublet an apartment or opt for roommates, which is a widespread practice in Quebec. There are also monthly rentals, with decreasing rates if you commit for more than 6 month for instance.

Rental regulations in Quebec

Usually, no security deposit required. But an inventory is recommended. Painting the walls before leaving your rental is common practice. Note that you are liable for the whole term of the lease. However, you may sublet the apartment with its owner’s approval or transfer the lease to a third person. On the other hand, if the sub-letter does not pay the rent, you are still legally bound by the lease.

Water is free of charge in Montreal, but you are responsible for electricity and gas charges. Heating costs are sometimes included in the rental price.

In case of litigation with your landlord, you will be able to ask the Régie du Logement for mediation. They will provide you with information and useful advice regarding rental agreements.

 Good to know:

If you hold a temporary visa or a Working Holiday Visa in Quebec, landlords might ask for your Social Insurance Number (NIS) to check your credit history (which you do not have yet) and use this as an excuse for not renting you a dwelling.You are not required to provide your Social Insurance Number as this is a confidential information which should be given only to your employer, your bank or the tax authorities. If the landlord insists, go and look somewhere else.

 Useful links:

Expat.com – Housing in Quebec
Kijiji www.kijiji.ca
Easy Roommate ca.easyroommate.com
Rent Quebec Apartments www.rentquebecapartments.com
Cap Rent www.caprent.com
Craiglist quebec.craigslist.ca
Régie du Logement www.rdl.gouv.qc.ca
Montreal Official Portal ville.montreal.qc.ca

We do our best to provide accurate and up to date information. However, if you have noticed any inaccuracies in this article, please let us know in the comments section below.