- Download our Moving to Montreal Guide (PDF)
When investigating the areas and suburbs in Montreal, expats should consider factors such as location, safety and proximity to schools and places of work. Fortunately, the public transport system is extensive and efficient, so expats should be able to commute easily from anywhere in the city.
Most expats choose to rent property in Canada rather than purchase, but those planning on staying in Montreal long-term might opt to buy instead.
Types of accommodation in Montreal
There is a range of accommodation options available at different price points in Montreal. Expats will generally find apartments and condos in modern complexes in the city centre, but the cost of housing in central areas is high and space is limited. For this reason, many locals live outside the city centre, where they have access to spacious properties at more affordable rates.
Home security in most properties is also reliable, with most houses offering burglar alarms and secure door locks. Most rented houses are partially furnished and will have air conditioning and central heating installed.
Utilities are not usually included in the monthly rent and heating and air-conditioning costs can add up quickly, so expats should budget accordingly.
Finding accommodation in Montreal
Finding accommodation in Montreal is relatively painless. The only overwhelming aspect is deciding on one of the city's many neighbourhoods. Expats can enlist the services of a real-estate agent to help with the process. Online property listings are also a great way to start the house hunt.
An interesting quirk of renting a 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.
While most people stick to this tradition as it ties in with the end of the school year, smaller apartments are typically available to rent all year. Expats should keep in mind that the best time to look for a place to live in Montreal is usually around March when many landlords start advertising.
Renting accommodation in Montreal
When deciding on a house to rent in Montreal, there are a few factors house hunters should consider. Expats should compare the cost of the property with its size and location. We also recommend that they complete a full inspection of the building and confirm the details of the last renovation, as well as the average heating costs during the winter months with the landlord.
Most leases in Montreal are valid for one year. Expats who sign a lease must provide their banking information and prepare themselves to undergo a credit check.
Additionally, expats living in the city centre should try to negotiate for a parking space, as parking is limited.
Deposits in Montreal are one month's rent. If the property is left in an acceptable condition upon the tenant's departure, the deposit should be returned.
Utilities are not usually included in the rental prices of houses in Montreal, but when renting an apartment, some utilities will likely be included in the monthly rent. If possible, expats should negotiate for their heating costs to be included in their rent.