Off-campus housing



Before planning your trip to Canada, make sure you meet the requirements to be allowed to travel to Canada. Have a close look at the “Travelling to Canada – International Students” page to get all the information you need for your trip to Canada. You should also familiarize yourself with the information on our “Vaccination, testing, and quarantine requirements for entering Canada” page.[/boite_bleue]

You can find off-campus housing by reading the petites annonces (classified advertisements) in the daily news-papers Le Soleil and Le Journal de Québec.

Many offers are also posted directly on buildings and houses using signs announcing À louer (For rent).

On campus, you can look at the bulletin boards located throughout the different buildings.

On the Internet, you can look at:

Around the campus, you can find many apartment buildings and student residences. This list is not exhaustive.

Québec City is very spread out, and not all areas are well served by public transit. If you want to be close to everything you need and enjoy campus and city life, we recommend living along one of the bus routes serving the university—the 800, 801, 804 or 807 —between Boulevard Henri IV and downtown (Saint-Roch). Neighbourhoods popular with students include Montcalm, Saint-Jean-Baptiste, Sainte-Foy, Saint-Roch, Saint-Sacrement, Saint-Sauveur, and Old Québec. However, these areas are among the most expensive in Québec City. If your financial means don’t allow you to live in these areas, the Beauport and Limoilou neighborhoods, as well as Québec City’s South Shore (Lévis, Saint-Romuald, Charny), are often more affordable. You’ll need to plan your bus time accordingly.

Rent for a room in a house or shared apartment varies by neighbourhood. Plan on spending between $400 and $700 per month. Apartments have an average monthly price of $1213 for a one-bedroom and $1450 for a two-bedroom. Apartments are generally unfurnished.

Helpful tip!

To save money on furniture or household items, consider buying second-hand goods or take a look at our “Bargain stores” section.

Before renting

You may feel more comfortable reserving a room or an apartment before arriving in Canada, but be careful. We recommend never sending money until you have actually seen the room or apartment with your own eyes either in person or through a virtual visit to prevent fraud. Otherwise, may arrive to find that the room you paid for doesn’t exist, has no windows, or is too small, too far from the university, or in a bad state of repair. Don’t take any chances. Always see your room or apartment either in person or through a virtual visit before handing over a deposit or rent. If you plan on finding a place to live after arriving in Québec City, plan a place to stay while you wait for housing that meets your needs to become available. Make sure you have someone you trust to stay with, or the financial means to pay for temporary accommodation for several weeks.

The landlord will ask you to sign a lease to confirm your mutual agreement regarding the unit. This is a legal contract, and you may be subject to penalties if you ask to break the contract early. A lease represents a commitment to pay the rent as agreed, even if you are unable to arrive in Canada for the lease start date. Therefore, if this will be your first time in Québec, it is strongly recommended that you wait until you have received confirmation of your study permit before signing a lease.

Types of housing and rental options

Here are brief descriptions of the types of housing available in Québec.

Room When you rent a room in a private home or boarding house, you share the common areas (kitchen, bathroom, laundry room, living room, etc.) with other tenants or the owners. Generally, all furniture and household appliances are supplied. Renting a room is easy and inexpensive. However, before you rent, make sure you come to an agreement with the owner about the rental terms and conditions, the use of household appliances and the laundry room, whether visitors are allowed, etc.

Apartment (1 ½, 2 ½, 3 ½, 4 ½, etc.) In Québec, apartments are designated by the number of rooms they have. The bathroom is considered half a room.

Furnished, semi-furnished, heating/lighting included A furnished apartment (meublé) includes all furniture, a refrigerator, a stove, and sometimes basic kitchen utensils and dishes.

A semi-furnished apartment (semi-meublé) includes only a refrigerator and stove.

An apartment advertised as chauffé et éclairé means that heat and electricity are included in the rent. Some may only include heat (chauffé). When you rent an apartment with an owner-controlled heating system, the owner is required to keep the temperature at or above 21°C.

Apartment sharing (colocation)

This arrangement involves two or more tenants sharing a larger apartment. It’s a practical way to cut apartment costs (telephone, Internet, heat, etc.). It is very common among Québec students, and you will find many apartment sharing offers on campus bulletin boards.

Subletting (sous-location) A tenant who leaves town for a while but wants to keep his or her apartment will often look for someone to sublet. Usually, people who sublet their apartment leave a lot of their furniture there. Before signing a subletting agreement, make sure that the owner of the building allows subletting.

Tips on choosing the right housing

Spotted a place that seems to meet your needs?

  1. Contact the landlord right away to get all of the details (number of bedrooms, utilities included in the rent, what floor it is on, available parking, balcony, laundry facilities, etc.).
  2. Get as much information as possible so that you don’t waste your time visiting a place that doesn’t suit you.
  3. If it sounds good, make an appointment with the landlord or concierge to go and visit during the day, when the lighting is better. If you are unable to visit the apartment in person, ask about the option of a virtual tour of the property.
  4. Be sure to inspect all of the rooms and check whether household appliances work properly if they’re included in the rent.
  5. If applicable, check the common areas (laundry room, storage areas, etc.).
  6. Many landlords will require a credit report or co-signer. If this is your first time in Canada, you will have no credit and will not be able to provide a credit report. Make sure the landlord will accept a co-signer, or rent without proof of credit, before you commit to renting.
  7. Ensure that a rental contract is in place (Lease). We strongly advise you not to move in with a landlord who has not signed a rental agreement beforehand. This contract is essential to ensure that your rights as a tenant are respected, and that you can be sure of the quality of the accommodation. See the Rental agreement (Lease) section for more details.

Tip! Always visit the unit before making a financial commitment or signing a lease. When calculating the cost of renting an apartment, remember to include utilities and services: heat, electricity, insurance, transportation, telephone, and other services like cable TV, parking, and Internet.

Rental contract (lease)

Once you’ve found the perfect apartment, there’s still one thing to do before moving in: sign the lease.

In Québec, leases generally expire annually on June 30. However, it may be possible to sign a lease any time of year for any duration. Before signing the lease, read the entire document very carefully. It is a binding contract between you and the landlord, and you may be subject to penalties if you want to break it.

Make sure that:

  • The lease covers all the terms and conditions you discussed with the owner
  • You thoroughly understand which utilities you will pay for and which the owner will pay for
  • The unit shown on the lease is the one that you visited and agreed to rent
  • You understand your responsibilities if you share an apartment

By law (Act respecting the Régie du logement) you are entitled to receive a copy of the lease within 10 days of signing it.

Paying rent

As a tenant, you must pay the entire month’s rent on the date indicated in the lease—generally the1st of the month. The landlord must also obey certain rules. For example, the landlord can ask only for the first month’s rent to be paid in advance, and cannot require you to provide post-dated cheques or a financial deposit.

Use and maintenance

By signing a lease, the landlord promises to deliver functional accommodations that are clean and in good condition. As a tenant, you promise to keep it that way. If the accommodations you are renting have defects (e.g., certain things are broken), make sure they are indicated in the lease.

Renewing your lease

As the end of the lease draws near, you have to decide whether you want to stay where you are or move. By law, the landlord must notify you in advance of any upcoming changes to the lease, generally three to six months before the end of the lease.

When you receive the notice of changes to the lease, you have one month to inform the landlord in writing whether you accept the changes, reject the changes but wish to stay anyway, or intend to move when the lease ends.

If you do not respond to the landlord’s notice, the changes are deemed to be accepted and the lease is automatically renewed.

Leaving when your lease ends

If you plan to leave when your lease ends, you must notify the landlord ahead of time in writing. For a one-year lease, notice must be given between three and six months before the lease ends, otherwise the lease will renew automatically with the same terms and conditions. For shorter leases, the advance notification period may be shorter.

Rights and obligations

Tribunal administratif du logement (Housing Board, rights and obligations)

Le Bail (advice and support)

Electricity and water

In Québec, electricity is provided by Hydro-Québec. If the cost of electricity is not included in the cost of your rental housing, you need to contact Hydro-Québec to activate service.

Hydro-Québec 1-888-385-7252

Tap water from the municipal water system is potable and free, and service is automatic, so you do not need to buy bottled water or contact a water utility.

Some student associations welcome their members and help them find accommodation. To find an association that matches your interests, consult the list of student associations.

Housing search assistance services are also available. Consult OMHQ‘s free assistance or Reloc- Québec‘s chargeable assistance.