Moving to a new country is an exciting experience. Although, it can be tough to find a place to live in a town or city you've never travelled to. To make this transition easier, here are some things to think about when looking for off campus housing:
- Try to see the house you will be renting in person before you pay a deposit.
- Can I walk to my campus or bus stop?
- Is there furniture (bed, table, sofa)? What supplies are provided (cooking appliances, utensils)?
- Are utilities included (cable television, Internet, etc.) or are these added costs to my budget?
- How much is the damage deposit fee?
- Does the rental have parking?
- Is there a washer and dryer to clean my clothing? If not, is there a laundry mat nearby?
- Where will I live short term if my move-in date does not match my arrival date in Canada?
An easy way to find housing off campus in Terrace, Smithers or Prince Rupert is through online listings. Here are the most popular places to look:
How much are you able to spend each month on rent? Planning your budget before arriving in Canada will save you money long term. In Terrace, Prince Rupert and Smithers you can expect room rentals to be $500-$800 per month. House, apartment and basement suite rentals are usually $900 or more per month.
A rental agreement is a binding document or contract between you, the tenant and the renter or landlord. This agreement will have rules and conditions about what is and isn’t allowed while you occupy the rental. It also states how much the rental will cost you per month, and when that fee is collected by your landlord. This document must be signed by the tenant and the landlord.
You have rights
Every person renting a house, apartment, condo or basement suite in British Columbia has tenancy rights. These rights and regulations are stated in the BC Residential Tenancy Act. Review these rights to ensure that you are aware of what is and isn’t acceptable when renting in BC.