When you’re new to Vancouver, the city can be overwhelming. Whether you are renting or have deep enough pockets to buy, Vancouver accommodation can be expensive, and the competition is plentiful. Here are some tips to help you newbies find a place to call home.
Vancouver accommodation tips
- Get organised. Have your Canadian phone number, Social Insurance Number (SIN), and landlord references ready. Most landlords are likely to request proof of your reliability before you sign a lease.
- Have your deposit ready to go, usually half a month’s rent. If you’re transferring funds from your home bank account, be aware that it typically takes a few days to show up in your Canadian one.
- Craigslist has a comprehensive list of Vancouver accommodation available for rent. Start off with an in-depth search and when you check back later, you can narrow the search to within 24 hours to see the latest listings. Remember to set a budget limit, don’t tempt yourself with places you can’t afford! Other sites such as Kijiji, Padmapper, and RentItFurnished all have listings too. You’ll also find lots of people posting in Facebook groups, so keep an eye on our Moving to Vancouver community. A lot of rentals happen through word of mouth.
- Try to arrange viewings in close proximity to each other. Going back and forth across the city can be exhausting.
- Know your budget. The cost of living in Vancouver is expensive. Don’t ruin things by living beyond your means from the get-go.
- If you don’t have a workplace to narrow down your search, concentrate on where your friends are. When you’re new, it’s nice to know your friends are just down the road and makes it easier to meet for a quick catch up. Otherwise, focus on your interests. Some Vancouver neighbourhoods are havens for the health-conscious, others are a mecca for art and music. Do some research to find your sweet spot.
- Don’t hand over money without viewing the place first. Unfortunately, some online Vancouver accommodation listings may be fake, or the photos are old. Bear in mind that landlords generally won’t ask for cash.
- Sell yourself. If you want to be taken seriously, dress to impress. Just because you are homeless doesn’t mean you have to look homeless.
- Be informed – stay on top of your rights and responsibilities as a tenant. The B.C. Residential Tenancy website has all the facts for renting in Vancouver. Don’t hesitate to ask questions when you’re viewing the place to make sure you have the full rundown. Are there house rules? Are pets allowed? Which bills are included?
Last of all, don’t panic. Search wisely and you’ll find somewhere. Vancouver is a big city with lots of wonderful options, you will never be short on quality.
– If you happen to be stuck for a few days, there are plenty of short-stay beds around Vancouver.