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Renting a Home as a Newcomer in Canada

Posted by: NIC Online Date: May 31, 2023 Category: Blog

For many newcomers, finding a place to live is one of the biggest hurdles when moving to a new country. That said, renting a home can be a daunting experience for newcomers unfamiliar with the Canadian landscape. Fortunately, there are many resources and laws to protect those looking to rent a home in Canada. Continue reading for more tips on the topic! 

Determine Your Budget

Identify how much money you are willing to spend on rent. This information will allow you to narrow your search based on your budget. Remember to also account for other expenses such as transportation, utilities, internet, and additional recurring costs based on your lifestyle. Be realistic about what you can afford! 

Lastly, some landlords may want to conduct a credit check on potential tenants. Newcomers without Canadian credit history may be asked to provide references or pay a large deposit. Moreover, landlords generally want two months (the first and last months) worth of rental cost for security.

Use Reliable Resources

Newcomers have fallen victim to rental property scams. These scams can involve asking for bank transfers or deposits to secure the rental location. Conduct a thorough walkthrough of the home before signing any agreements. Be skeptical of landlords that refuse to show the rental unit during the negotiation phase.  

Use trusted sources such as real estate websites, property management companies, and classified ads to protect yourself from fraud. Always go through official channels and avoid looking on unregulated forums. Please be careful when using websites and be wary of questionable practices to avoid rental property scams.  

Understand Your Rights as a Tenant

Landlords in Canada must follow specific rules to ensure their tenants have proper living conditions. Some tenant rights include: 

  • The right to a safe and habitable dwelling
  • The right to privacy and peaceful enjoyment of the property
  • The right to request repairs and maintenance
  • The right to receive notice before any rent increase or eviction

While specific rights may vary depending on your province, it is important to have a general understanding of tenant rights. Knowing these rights can help you be better prepared if you experience unfair treatment.

For more information and resources about housing laws in Ontario, visit Community Legal Education Ontario (CLEO) by clicking here.

Understand the Lease 

When the time comes to sign the lease, read the document carefully. The written lease should outline all the terms of the tenancy. Ensure you thoroughly read and understand the terms and conditions before signing. Some important details to look out for include the following:

  • Lease length
  • Payment terms
  • Restrictions on property use

Speak to the landlord to address any questions or concerns about the lease. Lastly, make sure everything discussed is documented in the lease. Always keep a copy of the agreement readily available to protect yourself if disputes arise.

Be a Good Tenant

Maintain open and honest communication with the landlord throughout your tenancy. Being a good tenant will help reassure your landlord when you renew your lease. Some things you can do to be a good tenant include: 

  • Paying rent on time 
  • Keeping the property clean 
  • Avoid damaging the property 
  • Respecting your neighbours
  • Following the rules set by your building or neighbourhood

Want more Settlement Advice? 

Newcomers in Ontario can connect with the experts at NIC Online for more settlement and employment assistance. Access a variety of informative resources and connect with our expert counsellors. NIC Online services are completely free! 

Sign up today by clicking here

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