The days when Montreal was famous for its affordable rent are quickly receding into the past. Rents around the world are going up, and Montreal is not isolated from the phenomenon.
Whether you’re trying to find the absolute cheapest rent that you can find or you’re looking for bigger, nicer, or more central places to live, you always want to evaluate your options and decide what best fits your lifestyle and how you can get more for your monthly rent payment.
1) Saving Money: Sublets and Roommates
If your main goal is saving money, you can still find good deals on Montreal apartments for rent, but you may have to look for sublets, lease transfers, or roommates.
In Quebec, rent control is meant to keep the cost of apartments under control whether or not there are tenants occupying the apartment. In practice, however, rents often do rise between tenancies, which means that the best ways to look for cheap rent include renting a room in an apartment with people who have already been living there for a while, or subletting from someone.
2) What Building Amenities Are Really Worth It?
How much per month is in-suite laundry worth to you? What about a rooftop patio, a gym inside the building, or a pool?
Make a wish list of your must-have and nice-to-have amenities, and start looking at online listings to see how big of a difference in rent they tend to make between similar apartments. From there, decide which amenities are worth fitting into your budget and which you can live out. For example, laundry in the unit may be an absolute must, while you can live without some of the frills that come with modern condo buildings.
3) Transportation vs. Rent Savings
City living is often a balance of costs vs. convenience. Many people are willing to pay a premium to save themselves time and stress as long as they have the extra income to pay for it. This makes apartments in downtown or amenity-rich neighbourhoods more expensive than places that are further out on the periphery or far from the metro.
It’s not just space, amenities, or the age of a building that determine the price of an apartment. In fact, it’s usually based first and foremost on location.
Rents in central locations are closer to jobs, universities, stores, nightlife, and entertainment. Apartments in suburban areas or neighbourhoods further out tend to be cheaper because they come with longer commute times.
It’s up to individual renters to calculate the difference in savings. While you may save on rent by moving further out, you may also need to put that money toward a car, which can wind up being even more expensive. If owning a car is not optional for you, the extra savings can be worth it.
When you’re next on the hunt for an apartment in Montreal, do the math on what matters most to you. Once you decide what you’re willing to pay for and what fits in your budget, you can start finding the best listings for your lifestyle.