cosy apartments in Montreal
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Updated 3 months ago

Before moving to Montreal, you must have a good idea of the various neighbourhoods in order to avoid unpleasant surprises. Montreal is a favourite destinations for newcomers. You can get more information during an information meeting at the Immigration Ministry. Like every region in Quebec, it is recommended to visit a neighbourhood before committing to live there.

Montreal is made up of 19 administrative divisions ("arrondissements"), four subway lines and 200 bus lines. In the heart of the city, you will find the following neighbourhoods: Plateau Mont-Royal, Rosemont/Petite Patrie, Outremont, Westmount, Côte-des-Neiges/Notre-Dame-de-Grâce, Ville-Marie, le Sud-Ouest and Villeray–Saint-Michel-Parc-Extension.

The arrondissements of Verdun, Ahuntsic-Cartierville, Mercier/Hochelaga-Maisonneuve, Montréal-Nord, Saint-Léonard, Saint-Laurent, Lachine, and LaSalle are close to the city center while L’Île-Bizard–Sainte-Geneviève, Rivière-des-Prairies/Pointe-aux-Trembles and Pierrefonds-Roxboro are further.

In the beginning, you can have a walk around to check the houses or apartments available to rent or to buy. Then, you can continue with the ads in newspapers or specialized websites.

What you need to know

When you are looking for accommodation in Montreal, you must take into account the price of the rent, the number of floors, the price of the utilities (heating, power, water, the Internet, appliances, furniture and laundry room if available).

There are also regular bedbugs outbreaks. When you visit an apartment, ask the landlord about the last fumigation and preventive measures in the building.

Make sure the neighbourhood is safe, the necessary stores are nearby and the public transportation is easily accessible. It is also complicated to park your car in the city centre, so do not overlook this point.

The jargon to know

When you are looking for a house or a flat for rent in Montreal here are a few words you should absolutely know:

Descriptions like "2 1/2, 3 1/2, 4 1/2…" are related to the number of rooms in the house. The "½" part indicates the bathroom.

The word "semi-meublé" (semi-furnished) means that the apartment has at least a stove and a fridge.

Words like "chauffé/ non-chauffé" or "hydro inclus/ non-inclus" indicate if the heating and the power are included. If it is not the case, you must register with Hydro-Québec to get access for the apartment. That also means another bill to pay.

Hydro-Québec will also help you have an idea of the total amount of the bills calculated upon the previous tenant's consumption and can then devise a yearly payment plan for you. Please note that the budget you decide for the rent, the heating, the power, the insurance, and the phone should not go over 30% of your gross income.

The phrase "enquête de crédit" indicates that the landlord wants to do a credit check. He will then need your name, your address and your birth date. If you have just come to Canada, your credit check will be blank. In this case, you should rather offer to provide your previous lease contract or your work contract.

Regulations

The landlord is not supposed asking for your social number or keeping a copy of your identity card. The law also forbids security deposit, but the landlord may ask you to pay for the first month.

You can get more information about your rights and duties as a landlord from the Régie du Logement. They will provide you with forms like a lease contract, a lease transfer or a sublease contract.

Most of the landlords in Montreal do not accept pets. Cats are generally better accepted than dogs, but they must be neutered and declawed. If you have pets, make sure you receive the approval of the landlord before moving in with your pet.

The lease in Montreal

It is recommended reading the lease before signing it. Make sure the lease contract is written in French or in English according to the preferences of the two parties and verify it mentions the first day of the renting period, the duration of the renting period, the rent price and the services included in this amount.

You will be required to pay your rent on the first day of the month according to the amount stated in the lease. If the landlord wants to increase the rent, he must warn you at least three months before the end of the lease. If you do not agree with the increase, you can ask for advice to the Régie du Logement.

When you decide to leave the apartment, you must give a notice to the landlord between three and six months before leaving. If you do not do it, the lease will be automatically renewed.

If you want to leave before the end of the lease, you must ask the landlord if you can transfer the lease or sublet the apartment. The transfer of lease frees you from any responsibility while the sublease can become dangerous.

Tips

A lot of lease contracts expire on June 30th. However, it is possible to find an apartment at any time of the year. It is recommended to rent a moving van in advance, because the prices and availability may vary during the year. Most people move around July 1st.

If you are alone, it may be cheaper to share a house. This is very common in Montreal and you will get to share the rent and the utilities (like the heating bills) with the other people living in the house.

In addition to that, a lot of shared houses have a common laundry room. If you have your own appliances, check whether the apartment has the correct electric outlets.

Be careful with basement accommodation because there will be very little daylight and sometimes no daylight when it snows. Double-check also that you can access easily public transportation, supermarkets, and stores. Take some time to visit the surroundings and to check everything you will have access to before you agree to the lease.

 Useful links:

Kijiji
Craigslist
Lespac
Appartmap
Tout Montréal
Logis Québec
Hydro-Québec

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