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Student Housing in Montreal : The risks

Updated: Oct 26, 2023

That was the sad reality that foreign students, such as Thibault, Antoan, Rosalie, amongst others, had to face when they arrived in Montreal. They were promised "high-end apartments at a below market price".


The reality? A 3-bedroom apartment meant to be shared by 4 people, an apartment with cardboard walls, a shared flat with libraries meant to separate the different rooms, dubious fees. These problematics are quite frequent, especially when it comes to the dubious fees. As a rule, it is prohibited in Quebec to ask for a security deposit, a practice that differs from most European countries. Hence, Quebec landlords take advantage of this lack of information to ask for illegal deposits which, often, are not returned to the tenant. Renting student housing, furnished apartments, or individual furnished rooms in Montreal without prior viewing is always a risky endeavour. However, a significant number of international students and workers still choose to take that chance due to the complexities of immigration procedures. It is not uncommon for the IRCC to require immigrants and foreign nationals to provide proof of housing in order to obtain their study permits, work permits, and other legal documents. Consequently, they find themselves in a situation where they must sign a lease and make payments for their future furnished apartment in Montreal that they've never actually seen, with landlords whose identities cannot be verified. That's why international students/workers opt to have their prospective apartments visited, inspected, and negotiated on their behalf while still in their home country.


This article written by La Presse summarizes the risks foreigners face when coming to Montreal, read the full story.


Example of an apartment scam in Montreal
Example of a room with cardboard separations.


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