How to Find Rooms for Rent and Flatmates in Vancouver, BC, Canada Fast
Sometimes you just need a place to crash—fast. Maybe you’re moving to a new city or town quickly, you’re unsure how long you’ll stick around, or you just don’t have the money or income to sign a yearlong lease on your own.
Whatever your reason, there are times in your life when you may want to know how to find rooms, flats, or houses to rent. Here’s how to pull it off and find the best place for you to rent.
What are the benefits of renting a room?
You can find all kinds of rooms or flats to rent on iROOMit, but sometimes all you need is a single room to call home.
In most cases when you’re renting a room, you’re subletting from a tenant. With the exception of those cases in which you’re renting from the live-in owner, most room rentals don’t require a lease, defaulting instead to a month-to-month room rental. For some, being free and having flexibility in rent can be a godsend.
In addition, room or flat renters with poor credit, no money saved, or a new job might have an easier time finding a room to sublet versus an entire flat. While some subletters do require the standard first and last months’ rent for a room or flat plus security deposit, many do not—and most won’t run your credit before you rent.
Know what you need
Regardless of your location, and whether you want to rent in a big city like Vancouver, Toronto or a smaller city like Ottawa, your search for a room or flat to rent can be stressful and fast-paced. You’re probably on a tight deadline—and so is everyone else. Before you start responding to listings for rooms to rent, decide your primary requirements: Do you need your own bathroom or are you willing to share with a flatmate? Should the room you rent come unfurnished or furnished, or do you have a king-size bed you need space for in your bedroom? Don’t compromise on your choices or pretend you don’t care.
“Room hunters should be completely themselves from the very beginning,” says personal rental expert with Zillow. “Because if you act like someone you’re not, then your new flatmate will be going in expecting a different flatmate from the one they’re getting.”
Also ask yourself if you are free and open to multiple flatmates or just one flatmate, and which gender you prefer. If you aren’t picky, you’ll have a wider array of flatmate options—but spend time with potential flatmates and make sure you can see yourself cohabiting with them in a house, flat, or room.
Can you rent a room with pets?
Pets add an additional layer of difficulty when you rent or choose a flatmate. If you’re bringing along Fido or Meowth, some subletters might not want you to move in because of allergies, noise, pet messes, or otherwise. To sweeten the deal, offer to pay “pet rent”—typically around $25 per month, depending on the city. Or you can search specifically for listings of “pet-friendly” rentals. And no matter what, make sure that the landlord or flatmate is aware of your furry pals right away, otherwise you could be violating terms of the lease and find yourself unceremoniously kicked out.
Where to find rooms to rent
Keeping your requirements in mind, start scouring the internet for places to rent. Our own rental search is a great place to find listings for a room or house to rent, but here are other sites that offer rooms in other people’s homes:
- iROOMit and Zumper consolidate listings for rooms to rent from other sites, and can be an excellent way to get a broader overview of what the rental market looks like around where you’re hoping to live.
- Look around universities. Students often leave campus for a semester or two to study abroad or take an internship, and are desperate for someone to sublet their room.
- Craigslist‘s sublet section is a popular option, but beware of scams. Dial down your search as finely as possible (like bedroom and private bathroom that cost less than $600 in a particular neighborhood, or furnished and unfurnished), otherwise you’ll find yourself flooded by unrealistic options.
Prepare to sign a sublease
Many people who accept you as a flatmate will want you to sign a sublease—and even if they don’t, consider requesting one before you rent.
A sublease is similar to a full-term lease, but it’s signed between three parties: you, the sublessor, and the landlord. It provides some legal protections—like your not being liable for damages that occurred before you moved in. That way, you won’t get stuck coughing up more rent than you’d bargained for—better to be safe than sorry.