British Columbia not only offers a world class education, it’s also a great place to live. There are many safe housing options both on and off-campus.
The cost of living in BC may be higher than what you are used to at home. It’s important you understand the costs of living in BC so you can prepare to support yourself.
Your housing costs will be different depending on whether you live on- or off-campus. Living in Metro Vancouver is expensive, and it could be difficult to find affordable accommodation.
Talk to your school, college, or university about the resources they have to help you find suitable accommodation for your stay. EduCanada’s website is a helpful resource to prepare your budget and understand living costs while studying in Canada.
Living off-campus is another way to learn more about the area and explore BC. If you live off-campus, your rent may or may not include heat, electricity, water, telephone, or internet service. This is an important thing to ask your landlord, as these costs can add up. Typically, landlords expect rent to be paid monthly. Rental costs depend on the city, ranging from roughly $600 to as much as $3,000 per month.
Where to search:
Not all renters are protected by the Residential Tenancy Act. If your name is on a tenancy agreement as a tenant and you pay rent to a landlord who does not share kitchen or bathroom facilities with you, then you are likely considered a tenant and protected by the Residential Tenancy Act. You can only apply for arbitration through the Residential Tenancy Office if you are covered by the Residential Tenancy Act.
Lease is the commonly-used local term for a tenancy agreement. It is a legal document in Canada that an individual may sign with a landlord or property manager in order to rent a property. Once a lease is signed by both parties, a tenancy is begun and the leaseholder and any other occupants listed on the lease (i.e. family members, housemates, etc.) become tenants.
What to know before signing any lease
Here are some things to check
Here are some things you should ask before you rent
Living on-campus is a great way for you to meet new friends and learn about the culture of your campus. To find out the availability of on campus housing, contact your institution’s international education office.
On-campus housing varies depending on your institution and whether you have a single room, double room, or a room in an apartment-style suite. Costs range from roughly $6,500 to $20,000 per academic year (September to April).
Homestay offers you the opportunity to learn about life in BC by living with a host family.
This type of accommodation involves staying with a Canadian host or host family, who offer a furnished room and meals for a set fee. Homestay accommodation is inspected, and family members are screened either by your school or the agency.
Contact your institution’s international education office for more information on homestay opportunities. If your institution does not co-ordinate a homestay program, it may be able to provide contact information for an agency that does.
You should consider purchasing renters insurance to cover your belongings against fire, theft, and damage. To purchase renters insurance, visit any insurance broker or credit union in your area. Rates may vary depending on where you go.