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  • Writer's pictureDaniel Ouimet

5 THINGS UNIVERSITY STUDENTS NEED TO KNOW BEFORE RENTING IN MONTREAL

Student rentals can be tricky. Especially in Montreal where the market is hot, and the best (and closest) locations go fast. Still, you don’t want to rush into a new apartment or condo without making sure it’s the right fit for you (and your roommates). But before you scroll down for the latest tips, here’s some important terminology about Montreal apartment sizes that you’ll need to know:

  • 1 1/2: is a single-room studio apartment (one room with kitchen and a separate bathroom)

  • 2 1/2: Includes 1 bedroom and a living room, plus a kitchen and separate bathroom. Note that the two rooms may not be physically separated by a wall, but will be larger than a 1 1/2.

  • 3 1/2: includes a distinct 1 bedroom, living room, kitchen, and separate bathroom.

  • 4 1/2: includes 2 separate bedrooms, living room, kitchen, and a separate bathroom.

  • 6 1/2: includes 4 bedrooms along with a living room, bedroom, kitchen, and a separate bathroom.

IS THERE A MAINTENANCE PERSON AVAILABLE?

Moving out and far away from home can be a little overwhelming, especially if you’re traveling from another country. It can be comforting to know that if you have any questions about how to use an appliance, have lost your key, or need someone to come tighten a leaky faucet, you can call or text someone who will always respond quickly to help with whatever you need and send a specialist when required.

WHAT APPLIANCES AND FURNITURE ARE INCLUDED?

Laundry

Renting an apartment or condo with your own private washing matching and dryer in your unit is a real bonus! But if it doesn’t have it, find out if it’s available in your building, and whether it’s free or not so you can budget accordingly. Otherwise, you’ll want to find out how far the nearest laundry mat is since winters in Montreal are cold, the sidewalks are slushy and icy and you’ll want to rent a place that’s not too far or difficult to get to.

Kitchen

Make sure the kitchen apartment or condo includes a functioning refrigerator/freezer, oven/stovetop, and ideally a dishwasher to help you keep your kitchen clean (especially if you plan on having roommates!). Bonus if it also includes, small appliances as well like a coffee maker and toaster, as well as pots, plates, and utensils – but don’t expect it as it’s not very common.

Furniture

Does the rental come fully furnished? If so, what does this mean? Is it just a bed and mattress, or does it also include living room furniture, a desk, lamps, a television, kitchen table, etc? It’s important to know ahead of time so you can plan to purchase what you need to live comfortably.

WHAT ABOUT HEATING?

While air conditioning is not must-have, a well-heated apartment is crucial in those cold winter months in Montreal! Find out if heating costs are included in your rent and ask how much you can expect to be billed for. You can go to Hydro Quebec’s website to get an idea of heating costs. You’ll also want to know if you can control and adjust your own heating the way you like it or if the heating is controlled by the landlord or at the building level (meaning everyone in the building is heated at the same temperature).

WHAT ABOUT WI-FI?

Having a seamless, powerful Wi-Fi network connection is crucial for homework, attending online classes, and of course downtime for streaming music and catching up on your favorite Netflix show! Unless you’re living alone with no roommates you’ll need more than the minimum speed. Find out if Wi-Fi is included in your rent and how fast it is. If it’s not included you’ll want to shop around and make an appointment to have it installed as soon as you move in.

Some of the popular businesses in Montreal that offer Wi-Fi services are BellVideotron, Virgin, and Fizz.

HOW DO I GET AROUND THE CITY OF MONTREAL?

If you live in downtown Montreal, you won’t want a car since parking can be a hassle and costly expense. Luckily all restaurants, shops, entertainment, gyms, and coffeehouses you need will either be within walking distance or just a metro or bus ride away. You can also flag down a Taxi or get an app for a drive share service like Uber. Another option if you have a valid driver’s license is Communauto, where you can gain access to a fleet of hundreds of vehicles parked around the city that can be rented at low costs for a few minutes, an hour, a whole day, or longer. And of course, there’s BIXI, where you can rent a bike at one of the 700 Montreal BIXI stations.

GOT MORE QUESTIONS ABOUT RENTING IN MONTREAL?

If you have any other questions or concerns about renting a place near McGill or Concordia University, feel free to reach out to McGill Living’s customer service team via email Housingmanager@mcgillliving.com or by visiting our website at McGillLiving.com.

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