The “Main”, otherwise known as St. Laurent Street, loosely splits what traditionally has been the francophone (French-speaking) area from the Anglophones (English-speaking) area.
If you’re a new tenant renting an apartment in Montreal, however, this distinction holds far less true nowadays, as Francophones and Anglophones have been increasingly been sharing the city in harmony.
Choosing your charming Montreal neighbourhood
Montreal is well serviced in terms of transportation, so if you’re looking for an apartment in Montreal as a student or a professional, you’ll find it easy to get around from just about anywhere.
The metro lines consist of a Green line, the Blue line, the Orange line and the Yellow line. There are lots of easy visual maps available online.
Montreal is a very walkable city, despite the long winters and hot summers; most people find it convenient to walk everywhere or take their BIXI bikes across town. Depanneurs (convenience stores often called simply “deps”) are found in most neighbourhoods, which makes it easy in winter to get your basic necessities without having to travel far to a grocery store.
Montreal is also famous for its underground city, with more than 30 kilometres that run under the city, connected by metros and packed with everything from shops to art galleries.
Renting cost for accommodation in Montreal
Compared to other cities of its size, Montreal is still a very affordable city with a relatively low cost of living.
Rental accommodation has become more expensive over the years as the city has evolved, but you’ll still find decent rental apartments at affordable prices, especially if you’re a student.
Some areas are more expensive than others, especially if you’re looking for rental accommodation downtown, in the Old Port, in Westmount, or in Outremont. The McGill Ghetto area used to be a cheap place for students to rent apartments, but this has become an expensive part of town for renters.
Still very popular is the Plateau, although the many artists and students who were attracted by the cheap rents have since moved on the Griffintown or other areas, since the prices have risen in this lively Plateau neighbourhood.
If you’re looking for affordable rental apartments, try the southwest (Griffintown, St. Henri, Verdun) and NDG-west, which are close enough to downtown for students and professionals, but still more affordable than downtown. Also popular are the Village, Hochelaga Maisonneuve, and Park Extension: all three are colourful, lively neighbourhoods.
One option if you’re trying to cut costs is to find a roommate or two and sharea larger 2+ bedroom apartment. If you do get roommates, though, make sure that your rental insurance is in your own name but try to get the same company for all of you who rent the apartment together.
When you visit the neighbourhoods, keep an eye out for “For Rent/À louer” signs, or take a look at the listings on RentQuebecApartments.com to find your ideal rental accommodation. If you find a place that sounds appealing, call the landlord right away to set up an appointment to view the place.
In Montreal, most apartments are rented unfurnished. Short and long-term furnished rental accommodation is available but tends to be more expensive. Hot water and heating is often included in your rent, but it’s always best to check with the landlord so you understand the true cost of the rental.
Keep your handy rental accommodation checklistof what to look for with you, and be ready with your references. In Quebec, landlords don’t have the right to ask you for a deposit, so instead they usually check your credit score and references quite thoroughly. They can, however, ask you for a minimal sum for a key deposit if you’re renting in a high-rise.
Read over your lease in detail before you sign it – it’s an important and binding document that governs the rights and obligations of both parties, including whether you can sublet it or not. You always have the option of assigning (transferring) your lease if you want to leave your apartment early and you can’t sublet.
July 1 (Canada Day) is Moving Day in Montreal, so be prepared! Most Montrealers plan ahead and book movers well in advance, so don’t leave it too late or you’ll have a hard time finding help to move into your Montreal apartmentrental.
Handling conflicts with landlords for rental accommodation
Montrealers renting in the city have solid tenants’ rights that protect them in case of disputes with landlords.
Rental increases are governed by the Régie du logement, which publishes guidelines every year. You can even do the calculation online. The landlord has to let you know 3 months in advance if there will be a rent increase, but you can use that time to negotiate and come to an agreement.
If conflict erupts, you can contact the Régie du logement for assistance, and get some guidance from the