Accommodation in Montreal
Montreal is a great place for expats to rent or buy accommodation, offering a wide range of options and price points. Property in Montreal tends to be less expensive and easier to find than in other cities in Canada.
When investigating areas and suburbs in Montreal, expats should consider factors such as location, proximity to schools or their workplace and how safe the area is. However, one should also factor in the excellence of the public transport system when making this decision.
Most expats choose to rent property in Canada rather than purchase it. However, those planning on staying in Montreal for an extended period of time might opt to buy property instead.
Types of property in Montreal
There is a range of accommodation options available in Montreal. However, the choice available will depend on the area individuals are interested in living in.
In the city centre, expats will find apartments and condos in modern complexes. As is the case in most metropolitan cities, the cost of housing located centrally is at a premium and space tends to be limited. For this reason, most Montrealers live outside of the city centre where they have access to larger properties. Most rented houses are partially furnished and will have air conditioning and central heating installed.
Expats in Montreal will find that accommodation outside of the city centre is relatively affordable. However, it should be noted that utilities are not usually included in the monthly rent and heating and air conditioning costs can add up.
Finding accommodation in Montreal
Expats should not have a problem finding housing. The only overwhelming aspect of finding accommodation in Montreal is deciding on one of the many neighbourhoods. However, expats can enlist an estate agent to help them with this.
An interesting quirk of renting property in Montreal is that moving day is traditionally the first of July. It's not unusual to see hundreds of moving trucks around the city on this day of the year, with people moving their furniture out onto the street.
While most people stick to this tradition as it fits in with the end of the school year, smaller apartments are usually available to rent all year round. Expats should, however, keep in mind that the best time to look for a place to live in Montreal is in March, when many people start advertising.
Renting property in Montreal
When deciding on a house to rent in Montreal there are a number of factors to be considered. Expats should compare the cost of the house or apartment with its size and location. The condition of the building should be inspected both on the inside and outside, and the landlord should also be asked when the building was last renovated, as well as how much heating costs during the winter months.
Most leases in Montreal are valid for one year. Expats who sign a lease will need to provide their banking information and undergo a credit check. They will then be expected to pay their first month’s rent in advance as a deposit. Expats living in the city centre should try and negotiate that a parking space is included in the lease as parking can be a problem in the city.
Utilities are not usually included in the rental price of a house in Montreal. However, when renting an apartment, it is more likely that some utilities will be included in the monthly rent. Heating costs are something to consider when moving to Montreal. If possible, expats should try and arrange for their heating costs to be included in their rent.
In terms of home security, most houses have secure door locks and burglar alarms. Many areas in Montreal also have neighbourhood watch programmes that keep an eye on the area and report any unusual activity.