Housing search techniques
Printable version
Immigrate and settle in QuébecWorking in QuébecLiving in QuébecWhere to settle?Learning French

Housing search techniques

To rent

Like most Quebecers living in urban areas, the majority of newcomers are tenants. In Québec, the rental contract, called a “lease”, usually expires on June 30 of every year, which means that the best time to look for a place to live is March, April and May. It is possible, however, to sign a lease at any time during the year and for any length of time.


Once you have decided on the neighbourhood or municipality that most suits your needs:

  • Take a walk along its residential streets to see what is available for rent, indicated by a “for rent” sign (“à louer” in French).
  • Check the classified section of newspapers and housing search Internet sites.

How to choose your housing

  • Visit those places that have the most potential. If possible, take someone with you.
  • Inspect the condition of the premises and ask to see all the rooms.
  • Evaluate the repairs that need to be done and make sure that at least one of the telephone outlets is working.
  • Find out which services (heating, electricity, paint work, plumbing maintenance, etc.) and what furniture and appliances are included in the rent. Also ask if there is a caretaker for the building and if there are regulations regarding the enjoyment of the premises and the use and upkeep of the apartments and common spaces.
  • Assess the dwelling from the point of view of security, noise and proximity to services (supermarkets, public transportation, schools, etc.).
  • If you have one or more pets, make sure that there is no building regulation or clause in the lease prohibiting them.


  • Before renting, take the time to explore the immediate area as well as the neighbourhoods in the municipality where you have decided to settle. Housing costs vary according to sector. Be sure to also evaluate your needs and resources.
  • Some neighbourhoods have a tenants’ association, often called a “housing committee,” that can help you with all aspects of renting a dwelling.

INFORMATION: Consult our Directory of services offered by the Ministry’s partners to find the organizations that can help you find housing.



To learn more

“House-talk”: some key terms


To buy


Once you have determined the neighbourhoods or municipalities where you would like to live, you can follow one or several possible avenues:

  • Visit the places (neighbourhoods or municipalities) where you would like to live and take down the telephone numbers on the signs in front of the properties on sale that interest you.
  • Check the classified section of newspapers.
  • Visit the Internet sites of real estate agents.
  • Ask a real estate agent to suggest properties that meet your criteria.

Before buying

  • Evaluate your finances and how much credit you could get from a banking institution.
  • Set yourself a maximum amount you are willing to spend.
  • Visit the houses you like best and examine their condition carefully. Ask the seller about the annual taxes and maintenance costs and, of course, the asking price.
  • It is wise to have the property professionally evaluated.
  • Inquire about any servitudes on the property, that is, restrictions to your ownership rights.


Useful links

  Haut de page
Policy on privacy | Médias sociaux | Déclaration de services à la clientèle | Accès à l'information | Accessibility
Last modification : 2018-07-18
Portail du gouvernement du Québec