When looking for your first university apartment, it can be easy to become overwhelmed by the sheer amount of information needed to navigate the housing market. Lease agreements are no exception to this; whether you don’t know who to ask to be a guarantor, how to set up an account with Hydro Quebec, or you’re unsure about what to expect on the lease agreement, we’ve compiled a comprehensive guide to help you navigate the complex world of leases with ease.
What You’ll Need Before Signing
While many landlords have different requirements for tenants before signing a lease, it’s very common to be asked to provide basic information to prove your reliability and ensure you’ll meet the requirements set out in the lease.
Proof of identity
This is common practice, and while they may ask for proof of your identity, they cannot photocopy or save a photo of it or the information listed on it.
You may be asked to provide a reference from a previous landlord, which is why it’s important to stay on good terms with your landlord, or you may be able to send a reference letter with copies of a credit report or a collection of bills you’ve consistently paid.
Credit / Guarantor
As a student, you likely have not rented before or even established much credit yet. You’ll require a guarantor to vouch for you and provide a guarantee that the financial requirements of your lease will be fulfilled.
What to Expect on Your Lease
After viewing an apartment, meeting the landlord or superintendent, and getting pre-approved for the lease, landlords will have you sign a Quebec lease agreement, with an addendum or list of rules and regulations specific to that building that’s added to the end of the lease. Standard information that is covered by lease agreements includes:
The amount of your rent and what it covers
Does it include internet, heating, and hydro? What about snow removal? If your building has amenities, are they included too? If hydro is not included, ask the landlord for the costs or use this resource to estimate your monthly bill if the heat is electric.
Whether or not it’s a joint tenancy
Make note if it’s a joint tenancy, this means all tenants are equally responsible to cover the rent; if one tenant decides to leave then all remaining tenants will need to ensure the full rent continues to be paid. Joint tenants can sign this agreement to establish how they will split the rent.
Building-specific procedures and policies
This can include how to dispose of garbage and on what days it’s collected, if there’s laundry in the building and how much it costs, whether tenant insurance is required, and how the unit is heated, among other things.
Who are the building managers? Is there a superintendent on site? Make sure you know who these people are and how to contact them.
This will be different on each lease and can include the landlord’s policy on allowances for things like pets, parties, fire escape procedures, accessibility needs, and more.
What to Watch Out For
In Quebec it is not legal for landlords to require a deposit when signing your lease. It is legal for them to require first month’s rent when you sign, which may be paid well in advance of when you actually move. Your first month’s rent functions as a deposit would, which is legal because it’s basically a pre-payment of rent. However, this means your next rent payment will be due on month two of tenancy; make sure you aren’t asked for money beyond the first month’s rent when signing. Additionally:
- Landlords cannot ask for more than one month’s rent at a time
- They cannot charge a damage deposit
- They cannot ask for a key deposit or post-dated cheques
Other Things to Know
Beyond the lease agreement, there are other standards and practices that you need to know about when renting an apartment in Quebec.
While Quebec renting laws tend to favour the right of tenants to retain occupancy, landlords can legally file for eviction if they wish to subdivide, enlarge substantially, renovate, or change the use of the property. If attempting to evict their tenants, landlords must provide an eviction notice with the reason and the date of the eviction. A landlord must provide the following amount of notice to evict:
- Six months before, on a lease of six months or more
- One month before, on a lease of six months or less
- Six months before, on a lease without a set term.
A tenant then has one month from the time they receive the eviction notice to notify the landlord whether they accept or reject the eviction notice. If a tenant fails to respond appropriately within that window, it is assumed they have accepted the notice to evict.
Since many students spend their summers elsewhere, having someone live in your space and supplement your rent can really ease the financial burden. Here’s the form you need for that.
Whether it’s intentional or by coincidence, many leases in Quebec run 12 months long and commonly start anywhere from May 1st to July 1st. This means that move-in day for many people falls on July 1st, Canada Day. If you’re booking a moving truck for that day, you’ll have to prepare well in advance since it is often a day of chaos and mass movement in the province.
When to look for apartments
For leases beginning in May, June, or July, make sure you start looking for what’s available in January, that way you won’t get stuck living somewhere you don’t want.
In Quebec it is typical for your landlord to send you a notice of renewal 6 months or so before your lease ends. Once received, you’ll have 30 days to respond if you are staying or leaving. Without providing notice you may get locked in to an additional year or be forced out earlier than you wanted.
Remember to ask questions about your lease and consult more than just your landlord. Don’t be afraid to advocate for yourself or seek help when it comes to even basic things like choosing which internet provider to use. If you’re unsure whether something is legally permitted in your lease, check out the website for the Régie, now known as the Tribunal administratif du logement. The Régie holds jurisdiction over all matters relating to renting in Quebec and is an invaluable resource for anyone renting an apartment. They exist to help renters navigate housing and also to enforce legal renting practices. Always refer to the Régie to clarify what is and is not legal, what your rights are, and how to receive legal help in matters of renting.
This space will make you feel right at home in the heart of the city, and it’s so close to campus you could fall out of bed into class.
Your fab 4 squad will absolutely love this charming four bedroom, two bathroom apartment; it’ll have you wishing you could be a student forever (so you could live here forever, of course!)
Enjoy a fully equipped kitchen with brand new, stainless steel appliances, a comfy seating area perfect for hanging out and relaxing, and tons of storage space in every room for all your personal belongings. This unit comes in a captivating burgundy colourway, adding charm and style and making it feel homey and comforting for you and your roomies.
Each bedroom has its own personal study nook for when you need to buckle down for a late-night study sesh, as well as a bed in an alcove with built-in shelving and lighting for late night reading.
🛏️ A bed nestled into an alcove with enough room to store your luggage underneath
💡 An open shelf above the bed with lighting underneath for late night reading or studying
📚 Cabinets (large enough to fit books and anything else you may need) above the bed for extra storage and your fairy lights!
✨ A vanity bedside table, mirror, and cabinet with storage for small personal items, including hooks inside for jewelry and other small items to hang
👚 An armoire with wood laminate doors and a full-length mirror, including roomy drawers, a shoe rack for up to 8 pairs of shoes, and a full-length cabinet with a hanging rack and enough room to fit a laundry hamper inside
🪑 A study nook fully equipped with a desk, chair, lamp, and wall shelves
🎨 A large cork board on the wall making it easy to hang art or photos, and providing solid soundproofing to help roomies & neighbours get along
🖤 Black out curtains for deep sleep when you need to catch up on 💤
🌡️ Thermostat to control the temp for your individual comfort
🎒 Hooks for bags and any stuff you need to grab and go!
🛀 Two bathrooms, one with a shower and one with a bath
💊 A vanity with spacious drawers and a full medicine cabinet for individual storage
🌟 A mirror that lights up so you can get ready in style
🧻 Extra storage for bathroom items, ‘cos nobody wants to run outta TP…
💎 Fully equipped with brand new, stainless steel, energy efficient LG appliances, including extra-large fridge, electric stove with a fan, microwave, and dishwasher – no arguing over dishes again!
🔪 Tons of counter space, perfect for cooking by yourself or with your roomies
🍽️ Lots of cabinet space for storing kitchenware
🍳 Spacious corner cabinet with a lazy Susan inside for easy access, great for storing pots and pans or bulkier kitchen items
♻️ Hidden garbage and recycling bins included in the cabinet under the sink
🧳 Locker-style entrance closet included for each renter’s things
🔮 Large mirror (for last looks before a big night out! 💃)
🛋️ A cozy couch with an ottoman and a chaise lounge for chilling, movie watching and hangs!
💻 Two laptop tables that can easily be tucked away for extra floor space
🖼️ A cork board to easily hang up artwork or photos to add your own flair to the space
📺 A TV stand (television not included, so it’s totally up to you and your roomies what screen size or consoles you go for!)
🍺 A dining area with a table and four chairs for communal meals, studying, or just hanging out…
🧺 Laundry rooms – coin operated
📓 2 Study areas
🛋️ Lounge space
🚴 60 Bike parking spots
🔒 FOB entry front entrance
📹 Security cameras on every floor
🛡️ Security on weekends
***Disclaimer: Features may differ from how they appear on our website.
This checklist will help you ensure that you have everything you need for your first apartment. Adulting can be hard, so we’re here to make sure you’re fully stocked up and ready to make the most of your experience as a uni student.
This checklist tells you what items are not included in your University Apartments student apartment, so make sure to stock up on these before you move in! We’ve included items that’ll help you make your place as cozy as possible, as well as some more functional stuff that often goes forgotten.
The excitement that builds up during frosh week always sets the stage for the upcoming school year. Like all events in 2020, Frosh was canceled and a whole cohort of first years didn’t get on campus at all, raising the stakes for Frosh 2021. Of course, it also looked and felt a bit different from past Frosh weeks due to safeguards for COVID-19.
Orientation events weren’t permitted on campus, and McGill itself didn’t do their usual coordinated Frosh. Instead, smaller individual Frosh Faculty groups organized COVID-19 compliant events and some of them banded together for coalition events.
In this light, it was more grass roots, organic, and oddly chaotic than Frosh in years past – and the spirits were higher for all the efforts students went to to celebrate a return to campus and initiate their new peers. University Apartment took to the streets with Frosh groups and local venues to welcome Froshies to Montreal and McGill, and we had a great time connecting with new and returning students. After a year of remote learning, quiet lecture halls and virtual events, the excitement amongst McGill Froshies was palpable and the atmosphere was positive and upbeat.
As a sponsor of Frosh Week, we hosted multiple activations to welcome first year students to McGill and introduce ourselves. Through interactive events, our team was able to hear from students directly, helping us in our mission to develop beautiful spaces tailored specifically to McGill students.
Management Montreal Crawl
On day 1 of Frosh week, 500 McGill Management students participated in the Management Crawl and spent their Friday afternoon running around the city from one pub to the next. We offered a rest-stop at Jeanne Mance Park during the event for students to relax and grab a bite to eat before hitting the town once again.
Entertainment consisted of some super intense games of beer pong and drunken debate; froshies faced off and argued about some ridiculous hypotheticals like who would make a better omelette, Justin Bieber or Justin Trudeau? As you can imagine, we were not disappointed in their hot takes!
Arts & Sci Movie Night
Later that night, we welcomed Arts & Sci Froshies to Cinema Du Parc for movie night, complete with popcorn and, of course, bingo! We played a few fast-paced games of Surviving McGill bingo and Froshies got a taste of what’s to come in their upcoming uni experience. Stumbled down St Laurent Drunk? Running for a SSMU position? Went to class hungover? Well, if those were on your bingo card, you were that much closer to claiming a DoorDash or Amazon gift card!
Arts Frosh Crawl @ Muzique
Arguably the best stop on Arts Frosh Pub Crawl was at Muzique, it had a real party vibe. Our team had a blast singing the night away under disco balls and strobe lights while hosting wild dance-offs. We even had two groups (17 & 24) battle it out right in front of us! Arts Frosh brought their A-game and showed off their go-to moves on the dance floor. Of course the best dancers of the night didn’t walk away empty handed… Don’t forget to check out our TikTok to catch the killer dance moves! 💃🕺
Arts Frosh Crawl @ Jeanne Mance Park
As much as we wish we could dance the WHOLE day away, it never hurts to take a bit of a break. As part of Arts Frosh Crawl, we set up a chill rest station at Jeanne Mance Park where Froshies had a chance to relax, grab a bite to eat and chat with our team about our exciting new LeMILDORÉ building going up right on Peel, and our #SurvivingMcGill Contest. We loved chatting with students about their first few days on campus, everyone was stoked!
Arts & Sci Treasure Hunt
At the last stop of the Arts & Sci Treasure Hunt, Froshies made their way to 2025 Peel St., the location of our forthcoming LeMILDORÉ student apartments (apply now to rent for September 1, 2022!)
Here, we gave froshies the final clues to solve their scavenger hunt riddle… What were our clues you may ask? The oh-so-secret Krusty Krab Krabby Patty recipe of course! What else?! The Arts & Sci Froshies proved to be dedicated Spongebob fans and blew our team away with their childhood TV show memories. As they gathered that final clue to solve the treasure hunt, we had great conversations with Froshies right by the LeMILDORÉ worksite.
For our final day at McGill Frosh, a coalition of faculties banded together to put on one of the biggest events in all of frosh week. More than 800 students including Arts & Sci, Education, Music, Arts, Management, Physical Therapy, Engineering, and Mac Campus bar hopped in small groups across the city.
Students visited University Apartments at Majesthé for a rowdy and entertaining event filled with everything from bingo, impromptu karaoke, faculty chant competitions, trivia games and hilarious drunken debates! Coalition Crawl was the perfect event to wrap up our team’s time at McGill Frosh 2021.
It was invigorating to be at the centre of the action as we know from our current tenants how difficult the last year has been for students at a crucial time in their lives. Seeing vibrant first years, frosh leaders and coordinators full of hope, joy and curiosity reminded us all why we do what we do.
LeMILDORÉ is Montreal’s first building that is built from the ground up specifically for students. Just steps from McGill University, we hope it to be the first stepping stone in demonstrating that the solution to the student housing crisis can be homegrown, affordable, and sustainable, while supporting local innovation (Tomesco).
Cheers to all the frosh organizers, leaders, coordinators and McGill Froshies for a great return to campus! You can head to our full McGill Frosh 2021 gallery on Facebook for more photos!
Tomesco, F. (2021, June 22). $48.2M real-estate project targets students in downtown Montreal. Montreal Gazette. Retrieved from https://montrealgazette.com/news/local-news/48-2m-downtown-montreal-property-project-targets-students.