Renting in Canada [#3]: Rules of the game

What you will never hear from a real estate agent in Russia is the following: “It is all the same everywhere!”. Canadian rental contracts are very standardized and subject to regulations while in Russia it is all different and depends on particular property owner. Russian property rents are unregulated and done under the table to save on taxes while renting property out is officially a big business in Canada. Is it good or bad? I let you decide, but here are some facts we’ve learned that will help you to compare two markets.

What is included in a rent? Russia vs. Canada

Here is a typical contract for both countries:

Russia Canada
Apartment + +
Parking – (included in ‘elite’ rentals) + (20-50$ extra each month or $70 per year to park on a street)
Water
Hot/Cold
+
Heating + + (not included if heating is electrical)
Garbage
collection
+ +
TV
subscription
+ – (sign up individually)
Land-line
telephone
– (can opt-out and not to pay) – (sign up for it individually)
Internet – (sign up for it individually or pay to the provider in place) – (sign up for it individually)

Inside the apartment:

Appliances Russia Canada
Fridge + +
Cooker + +
Microwave oven – (if installed)
Hood and Vent + (if installed) +
Washer + – (shared laundry downstairs)
Dryer – (shared laundry downstairs)
Dishwasher – (included in ‘elite’ rentals) + (if installed)
Furniture +

Here is a financial parameters comparison:

Condition Russia Canada
Lease duration May vary, but typically 1 year lease. Can be terminated at any time. 1 year, then month-to-month with 30 days notice. If you leave before 1 year, security deposit is not returned.
Security deposit 1 rent 0.5 rent (capped by the law)
Upfront pay 1 (first month) + 1 (agent) 1 rent
How do you pay? Cash Cheque or bank draft. Cash is fine for some property owners.

What makes Canadian rents more affordable is of course a smaller security deposit, smaller upfront payment (1 rent instead of 2 rents typically in Russia), and running water included in the rent. At the same time if you have never rented before, you have to spend sizable money to stuff you apartment with furniture. This might be expensive.

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