The standard of accommodation in Waterloo is generally high and in line with what one would expect throughout Canada.
All homes have heating systems to ward off the worst of Ontario’s weather. Home security is not a major issue, and as long as they exercise some basic common sense, expats are unlikely to experience any problems.
Types of accommodation in Waterloo
There's a wide range of housing options for expats moving to Waterloo. Rental prices for accommodation in Waterloo are reasonable and generally more affordable than in Toronto.
Many modern apartment complexes and condos are being built in the Waterloo-Kitchener area and rental prices for these luxury properties are more expensive.
Most couples and families rent houses rather than apartments. An option for those on a tighter budget is renting a basement apartment attached to a large house or renting a room as part of a house or flatshare.
Both furnished and unfurnished properties are available to rent in Waterloo. Properties that are advertised as unfurnished can usually still be expected to include a refrigerator and stove, and perhaps even a washing machine, dryer, dishwasher or microwave.
Finding accommodation in Waterloo
Expats planning a move to Waterloo should ideally begin their search for accommodation before they arrive. We recommend that expats do some research to pinpoint the areas and suburbs in Waterloo that offer the best range of housing within their budget. It's important to also consider an area’s proximity to public transport, road links and good schools.
The best place to begin a search for property in Waterloo is online. There are plenty of online portals where properties are advertised.
Nevertheless, new arrivals may prefer to enlist the services of a real-estate agent. Estate agents can provide extra assistance and help house hunters find a property to suit their needs and budget.
Renting accommodation in Waterloo
Expats who wish to rent a property often require a copy of their passport, employment contract and references from previous landlords.
Lease agreements are usually followed to the letter in Canada. Tenants should read their contract carefully, as its conditions are legally binding once signed.
The duration of the lease is usually 12 months. The agreement will also cover any forfeiture conditions, explaining how any breach of the contract leaves the tenant liable for eviction from the property.
The deposit is usually two months’ rent, refundable at the end of the lease.
After securing a rental property and signing the lease, expats will need to ensure that the utilities are turned on and transferred into their name. Water is usually included in the rental charge, but tenants generally pay for gas and electricity usage.