Here are some basic suggestions
to follow to safely rent an apartment in the greater Montreal area.
these basic suggestions, you can avoid some possible problems and inform
you on your rights as a tenant :
- more Montreal apartments is not responsible for the content of the
ads and does not have additional information on the ads displayed on
the site. We only manage a site where advertisers (landlords, roommates,
sub-letters) place their ads. The contact information and the validity
of the ads are not checked except for certain ads that could be problematic
based on certain criteria. Please use your good judgement.
In Quebec, landlords can ask for the first month's rent in advance, but they can't ask for a security deposit or any other amount (see article 1904 of the Quebec Civil Code). But there is an exception : fully furnished apartments
by the month, in this case it is normal that the landlord asks for
a deposit to make a "reservation". But, also in that case, always have
the full contact information for the landlord and pay any amount
with a check or any way that can be retraced or stop the payment
of problems. So don't send money via Western Union or other ways
that can't be retraced if you are asked to send money to "reserve" an
apartment. P. S. Landlords usually prefer
to meet in
person future tenants when renting apartments with yearly
- Always sign a lease before moving into an apartment
or pay the first month, whatever the type of rental (yearly lease,
or sublet). The lease is the most important document that protects
you and legally bind you to the apartment. Make sure that the lease
is signed by the landlord except if it is a sublet (in that case, make
sure the subletter has a lease and that the landlord is informed of
- You will find on the CMHC's web site a list of questions a landlord can/cannot ask a prospective tenant. A PDF document intitled "The lease and protection of personal information" is also available on the Commission d'accès à l'information du Québec's web site.
- A sublet implies that the subletter (the current tenant who has the
lease) will sublet for a certain period of time and will then take
the apartment back at the end of the sublet. A lease assignment means
is transferred to you at the same condition as the previous tenant,
you will become the only one responsible for the lease, the previous
tenant doesn't have any rights to the apartment anymore.
- It is recommended that you visit the apartment before signing the
lease. If you come from abroad, it is strongly suggested that you come
Montreal 2 or 3 weeks before moving in and take an hotel room or a
room in a bed and breakfast, this will give you the chance to visit
person. You can also use a relocation
agency, or check if there such
a service in your company's human resources department (if you are
transferred to Montreal) or if you are a student, you can use the university's
apartment search service for foreign students (if you come to study
- Be careful if ads only contain
hotmail or yahoo (or other free email services) but don't have a phone
number to contact the person who placed the ad. A hotmail or yahoo
address is usually not enough to make sure of the identity of the person
who placed the ad. Always get the full contact information of the landlord
or person renting the apartment when renting an apartment.
- Visit the Régie
du logement du Quebec's web site, you will find all the
information on tenants rights and obligations as well as landlords
rights and obligations.
- The rent depends on the neighborhood where it is located, the
number of rooms, the quality of the apartment, the services (pool,
security, etc) and furniture that is included, etc. The basic rent
is about $150 per room with a minimum of $400 for an apartment. These
are average prices with varies a lot depending on the criteria mentioned
above (rents have increased a lot in the past few years). Certain neighborhoods
are cheaper than others (inexpensive neighborhoods : Hochelaga-Maisonneuve,
South-west including Verdun, the suburbs, etc. Expensive neighborhoods
: Plateau Mont-Royal, Old Montreal, Westmount, etc).
- Here is a really brief description of Montreal's neighborhoods
- Plateau Mont-Royal : the greater Plateau area is divided in
sub-sections : the "real" Plateau is in the middle
of the Greater Plateau.
There also the Mile-End district in the north-west section (next
to Outremont) which is more culturally diverse, the Carré St-Louis
in the south-west section closer to many restaurants and clubs,
etc. Whatever your definition of the Plateau is, rents are higher
than other neighborhoods for equivalent apartments. You will
find mostly duplexes and triplexes (buildings with two or three
storeys, the front door of the apartment open up to the exterior
directly, each apartments are usually independent for heating
and hot water, etc). The main attraction of this neighborhood
is the large choice of services (markets, drug stores, restaurants,
etc) and it is well served by public transit. It is the neighborhood
with the highest population density in Canada and it's where
you'll find the most bicyclists. It is also well known for its
reputation as a "bohemian" lifestyle but there is a
great mix of people : artists and musicians, students, professionals,
- Downtown : you will find mostly large
apartment buildings in downtown Montreal. Rents can vary greatly
depending on the services offered : some have security guards at
a pool or sports center. You can find affordable apartments but they
usually don't offer any services. The neighborhood is very well
served by public transit and some other services (supermarkets, etc).
It is where McGill University
Housing and student
and Concordia University (link: Housing section)
- Old Montreal : an expensive neighborhood but with superb buildings
with great architecture. Unfortunately, this neighborhood doesn't
have many services (no supermarkets to speak of, etc) and there are
only some metro stations (no buses).
- Hochelaga-Maisonneuve : "low income" neighborhood but
rents are usually low.
- South west : there are many neighborhoods in the south-west part
of Montreal. They are : St-Henri,
etc. Some of these neighborhoods have (or had) a bad reputation,
but is not deserved. Verdun for example is divided in two sections
: east and west. In the east, you will find more stores (around the
metro station on Wellington) but the buildings are mostly triplexes.
In the west, there are less stores and the buildings are almost exclusively
duplexes. That section is less "urban". Rents are still
relatively inexpensive in the south-west.
- Villeray : the most interesting thing about this neighborhood
is the Jean-Talon market, an exterior market where farmers sell their
fresh produce. There are also permanent stores (butchers, cheese
- Pointe-aux-Trembles and Rivière-des-Prairies : at the eastern
extremity of the island of Montreal. There are many new buildings
and the rents are affordable. But it's far from downtown.
- Côtes-des-Neige : it is where the Université de
Montréal (and its business school - HEC -
and its engineering school - école
Polytechnique) is located.
There are many small apartment buildings near the university but
they are relatively expensive (but they can be share with other
students). The university's off
campus housing service can provide some addresses (there are
also student dorms).
- Quartier latin : it is where the UQAM university
is located and its student
most of the apartments near that university are located to the east
in the south-central district. But since the main campus is directly
connected to the Berri-UQAM metro station, any apartment near a metro
station on the green or orange line is close enough.
- There are of course other neighborhoods : Outremont and
Westmount (rich neighborhoods where the rent are usually expensive),
Ahuntsic (in the north-central part of the island, there are small
semi-detached houses and small apartment buildings),
Rosemont (some great duplexes, there are many parks), West Island
(more english speaking part of the island, the commuter trains going
downtown have some stops there), Laval and North Shore and the South
Shore (off island suburbs, less expensive but public transit is very
- Apartments are advertised with their number
of rooms, not by their square footage (except for lofts). A 1 1/2 is
one main room with an open kitchen and a bathroom. A 2 1/2 usually
means that there one closed bedroom and one main room and a bathroom,
etc. By the way, the 1/2 represents an indoor bathroom (that is the
main theory, no one knows the exact origin of the 1/2.
Other sites of interest : STM (Société de
Transport de Montréal, maps and bus schedules,
du logement du Québec (rights and obligations of tenants
and landlords, very important), Ville
de Montréal (garbage pickup and recycling schedules, boroughs
etc), moreMontreal eguide (detailed
information on all aspects of life in Montreal, description and maps
In conclusion, if an apartment sounds too good to be true because of its description and low rent, be even more careful. And as always, use your good judgement.
Thank you for your understanding