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How To Rent In Canada As A Nigerian
If you're moving to Canada from Nigeria, finding a place to rent is definitely on your priority list. In this guide, we break down what you need to know to rent in Canada as a first-timer.
Documents To Provide.
To rent in Canada, you will be required to provide certain documents to your prospective landlord to convince them that you can pay rent on time each month. You will usually be asked for the following:
Letter of employment
References from previous landlords.
Given that you are new to the country, you may be unable to provide some of these documents. Thankfully, your bank statement should suffice in most cases. If you don’t have one already, opening a bank account in Canada is very easy. Also, if you have friends or family residing there, they can serve as co-signers/guarantors for you.
How To Find An Apartment In Canada.
The best place to start your search is on Canada's biggest and most reputable rental listing sites, as they offer a lot of options and flexibility. They allow you to filter by desired city, price range, size, amenities, and more.
Some of the popular sites to explore in your search are:
How Much Does Rent Cost in Canada?
Here is a breakdown of the average monthly rent for a 1-bedroom apartment in Canada’s ten provinces:
British Columbia - $2,800
New Brunswick - $2,391
Ontario - $2,026
Nova Scotia - $1,883
Quebec - $1,325
Prince Edward Island - $1,205
Manitoba - $1,205
Alberta - $1,195
Saskatchewan - $1,100
New Foundland and Labrador - $575
The exact amount you will have to pay for rent depends on the property type, the neighborhood, and whether you are opting for a short-term or long-term rental.
Short-term rentals are properties that are rented for a small amount of time, such as daily, weekly or a few months. They are usually more expensive than long-term rentals on a month-to-month basis. Long-term rentals, on the other hand, are rented for a period of at least six months and tend to be more affordable on a month-to-month basis.
Another cost associated with renting is the security deposit, also known as the last month's rent. It is used to cover repairs for any damages that may happen to the property during your rent duration, and is usually not more than one month's rent, although the exact amount permitted by law varies by province.
How to Recognize Rental Scams
As a newcomer, there are certain red flags you should look out for when renting, such as:
Being pressured to pay deposits immediately before seeing the unit.
Being asked to send money to someone outside the country.
The monthly rent being significantly lower compared to similar properties.
To protect yourself against scams, make sure to:
Schedule a house showing with the landlord before paying.
Research the address.
Request a lease/contract and review it thoroughly before making any payment.
Your Rights and Responsibilities as a Tenant
As a tenant in Canada, you have legal rights and responsibilities that may vary slightly depending on the province or territory you live in. These largely cover your right to privacy in your home, the need for proper notice from your landlord before a visit, and the right to escalate any issues between you and your landlord to the relevant government residential authority.
Additionally, you are obligated by law to:
Pay your rent on time.
Contact the landlord immediately if there are any serious issues with the house that need to be fixed or addressed.
Keep the rental property clean and repair any damage caused to the property under your care.
Your Landlord's Responsibilities.
By law, your landlord is obligated to:
Keep the home in good condition, in compliance with housing, health, safety, and maintenance standards.
Ensure that utility services are in place.
Not harass or interfere with you as the tenant.
Once you've found a place that meets your requirements, the next thing to do is submit your application. If accepted, you will sign a lease agreement with your landlord. The agreement usually specifies things like your rent amount, method of rent payment, move-in date, and rules attached to living in the space, etc.
We hope this guide is helpful in finding your dream apartment/home in Canada.
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