Housing - Renting

Renting a house or apartment

An easy way to find houses or apartments for rent is to look in the classified advertising section of your local newspaper. It is also a good idea to walk around the area where you would like to live and see if there are any For Rent signs posted on buildings. There may also be Internet sites that advertise houses or apartments for rent in your community.

For more information about renting in Canada, visit the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation website for newcomers to Canada. Information on renting a home is available in eight languages.

Choose carefully

Do not agree to take the first place you see. Instead, try to look at many houses or apartments to see what is available. You may find great differences in costs for rental properties.

Rental agreements

Some apartments can be rented by the month, but to rent a house you usually need to sign a rental agreement (or lease) for a year. This is a legally binding contract between you and the landlord.

Make sure you understand exactly what you have to pay for and what is included in your rent before you sign a lease. If you are unsure about anything, ask questions and make sure you understand and are satisfied with the answers you get before you sign any lease.

Read and understand a lease before signing

Make sure you read your lease carefully and understand it. If you need help, contact an immigrant-serving organization. It is important that you do not sign a long-term lease if you plan to move again soon as you will generally be responsible for all rental costs for the full period of the lease.

Security deposits

You may also be asked to pay a security deposit to rent the property you have chosen. A security deposit is an amount of money that the landlord keeps in case you damage the rental property. It usually equals one month of rent. If you do not cause any significant damage to the rental property while you live there, the deposit must be returned to you when you leave.

In some provinces and territories, it is illegal for a landlord to ask for a security deposit or a damage deposit. Each province and territory has its own laws that govern the rights and responsibilities of landlords and tenants.

Contact your provincial or territorial government to find out what laws apply to the area where you want to live.


You can purchase household insurance to cover the cost of replacing the contents of your house or apartment in case of fire or theft. There are many private insurance companies that offer different types of insurance coverage at different prices. You should contact a few insurance companies and compare the coverage they offer as well as the price. Insurance companies are listed in the yellow pages of your telephone book.

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Housing video

  • This video offers information about:

    • Renting a home or a room
    • Lease agreements
    • Rights and Responsibilities
    • Getting phone, television and mail service

    To watch the video, select your language and the topic “Housing”

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