Tips for finding and renting an apartment during the pandemic

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26th November 2020 Safrine Mouajou
Lifestyle
Montreal
Students

Apartment hunting is a little different now than it was pre-pandemic. Here are a few tips to aid in your search!

  • Given the extraordinary situation, try to arrange a virtual visit of the apartment: you may ask the landlord for a visit via Skype or FaceTime.  If you do decide to visit the dwelling in person, make sure to respect social distancing practices (2m) and take safety precautions, such as wearing a mask, not touching your face and washing your hands before & after the visit. Most importantly, if you feel sick, don’t visit an apartment in person – a virtual visit can be just as helpful! 
  • Ask the landlord any questions you have.  
  •  Ask about the unit’s history with vermin, pests, and damages.   
  •  Clarify what would be included in the rent and what is your responsibility.  
  • Check the checklist in our resources for more things to look out for! 

 Remember:

  • Deposits for more than first month’s rent are not permitted in in Quebec, a landlord cannot ask you for anything more than the first months’ rent  
  •  If you sign a rental application and are accepted, you are legally obligated to sign a lease. Therefore, refrain from signing multiple applications at once 
  •  Landlords cannot ask you for your SIN (social insurance number), student visa, credit card or photocopy any of your personal information, though they can verify your name and address with a piece of photo ID.  
  •  Often the costs of heating and electricity aren’t included with your rent. You can check Hydro Quebec for the approximate cost of your electricity bill: www.hydroquebec.com/portail/en/web/clientele/estimation-consommation/ 

Resources:

HOJO offers the Classifieds website as a means for Concordia students to browse off campus affordable housing. 

In addition, we created likehome.info. This is a website we have created that offers useful information about different aspects of renting an apartment in Montreal. Browse through the different resources and information, especially likehome.info/housing/ for information on renting in Montreal and likehome.info/neighbourhoods/ to learn about different Montreal neighborhoods.