It may take a few weeks to find a house with all the desired features, especially considering the low vacancy rates in some Canadian cities. In the interim, long-stay hotels are possible alternatives, as they provide fully-equipped kitchens or kitchenettes and laundry facilities. Most hospitality properties offer embassy or government rates, if asked, and may offer lower rates for longer term stays.
t is advisable to enlist the help of a real estate agent either before or upon arrival in Canada. Agents are familiar with most available properties, occasionally before they are listed on public sites. Real estate agents or realtors can schedule viewings and provide valuable advice on a unit, offer rental price comparisons and assess the location of the property.
Some agents may offer transportation to and from the properties to be viewed. Others may suggest meeting directly at the location. Usually, 24-hour notice is required by the landlord or the landlord’s agent to view a property.
Most landlords require a contract—a lease—to be signed. This usually commits the tenant for a term of one year, where rent is paid monthly. Terms of six months or month-to-month rental agreements are sometimes offered. Once a lease is signed, the first month’s rent is usually paid to the agent. The tenant also gives a deposit to the landlord, which is applied to the last month of the lease term, except in British Columbia (see below).
Here are some important points to consider before signing a lease: