Looking to live off-campus? From finding a place to handling living expenses, there are many things to think about when looking to move into a rental house. Here are some tips and resources to help you make the transition from #rezlife to off-campus easier!
Finding a Place
Landlords will start posting their properties as early as October. If you want to live with a big group of people or live in a house, the sooner you start looking the better. If you have a specific place in mind, a good way to go is to talk to the current tenants. They may be happy to put in a good word for you, and landlords can appreciate the referral from a good tenant. If they’re graduating students, they’ll quite likely want to sell you their furniture at a great price! Most leases run for a year starting in May so if you’re going on an exchange or won’t be there over the summer, you can talk to your landlord about subletting.
Place du Parc (Little Forks) is a very affordable and close option and Connolly is another popular spot to get an apartment. If you have a car, you might consider getting a place in Sherbrooke. Kijiji is a great place to hunt for apartments in the area, allowing you to set your price point in the parameters and narrow down your search. Before signing the lease, make sure you establish a list of things that need to be done before you move in, such as any painting, cleaning, or repairs.
Moving & Furniture
Before you move in, try to take an inventory of everything you have and everything you will need. Make sure you know what is included in the lease and what is not, such as utilities and appliances. Bell and Videotron are the most popular internet providers, but Virgin Mobile also has a great rate and reliable service, and some startups like TekSavvy or Ebox may have great deals for you. If you have to pay for hydro, you can set up pre-authorized payments so you don’t have to worry about forgetting to pay the bill. Having a dishwasher is an added bonus that will save you some time and a headache!
The best deal on furniture will be from other students: scour the Web for local furniture swaps. Walmart and Canadian Tire will have almost everything you need at a great price, and they are a short 15-minute drive from Lennoxville. While you’re home, you can ask your relatives if they have any extra furniture lying around: you never know what you’ll find! Kijiji and Facebook Marketplace are also good places to look for affordable things, but make sure you look items up in French.
If you live further away you won’t want to bring all your things home and then back, so the easiest way to move in is to work with the people who currently live there and move your stuff in after your exams. When moving, give your house a good clean before putting things in.
Provigo is the closest and most conveniently located grocery store in town, but if you have access to a car, Maxi, Super C, and Walmart are usually more affordable. If walking or busing are your primary modes of transportation, Marché 5ème saison is located right beside the Lion pub and offers affordable fresh fruit, veggies and ethnic foods. There’s also a Metro on Belvédère that offers student discounts if you take the 11 bus.
Accumulating points on rewards cards are a great way to save a little bit on your groceries and allow you to take advantage of drop-offs as well. You can also save by buying in bulk; look into a Costco membership with your roommates or see if your family can extend their plan to you.
Really not a cook?
No worries, you can still get a meal plan to Dewies. There are also faith-based groups that host free meal gatherings on certain nights. If you want to order in, you can use Skip The Dishes or Uber Eats. There are also plenty of restaurants around to try!
Living with other people can be fun, but it can also be very challenging. Make sure you establish the levels of cleanliness you want to have, whether it’s about taking turns cleaning, having set chores or a certain cleaning day. You should discuss about when things need to quiet down and when guests are appropriate. Set boundaries on shared belongings such as clothes and food. Make sure you are all in agreement because fighting with those you live with is no fun!
Have a written agreement that if one of you leaves the lease, they will either need to find someone in replacement or continue to pay; you may think that will never happen, but it does. Reading up on your rights and obligations as a tenant as well as those of your landlord according to the law is also a good idea. You can look them up on the Régie du logement’s website.
Know yourself – if you’ll be too distracted living with other people or prefer to do things on your own, get a place solo. Instead, you can make friends with your neighbours and spend time with your friends at their place or yours. Take into consideration that your very best friends might not be the best roommates, and know if you want a social atmosphere or a quieter one. Whether you want to do your own thing or be best friends, spending time with your roommates is always nice. You can watch a movie or have a meal together!