Vancouver is ranked as one of the best places in the world to live by a number of renowned international newspapers and websites. With a booming economy and a temperate climate (for Canada) it has one of the lowest vacancy rates in North America. However, with many post-secondary students living in Vancouver there is constant turn-over of apartments and other rental units.
It will be difficult to find accommodation more than 60 days prior to your desired arrival date. Most residents rent month-by-month, or lease by the year, and are required to give one month's or more notice before leaving. Some can wait two months before notifying their landlord.
Cost of accommodations in Vancouver can vary from
$450 (if you are willing to share with others) to over
$2000 (if you want to live on your own in a deluxe condominium). This tremendous variation in costs can sometimes make it difficult for students to find a place that most closely matches their needs.
VFS provides a housing search through our housing service. Our housing coordinator will search on your behalf for the most appropriate housing that fits your budget/needs.
Note: The fee for this service is
$375.14 + tax). Applicable taxes are British Columbia's 12% Harmonized Sales Tax (HST). If you are applying to share with one other person, the service fee is
$350.00 each (
$312.50 + tax). Although your spouse/partner is not considered a second person, he/she must fill out the Tenancy Application as a co-applicant. If three people are applying for one place, the service fee is
$300.00 each (
$267.86 + tax). For students who wish to bring a pet, an additional fee of
$100 (including tax) will apply. All amounts above are in Canadian dollars. Payments must be made when we meet you in-person to deliver keys. International students may reclaim any British Columbian taxes paid.
Bell Accommodation Services specializes in short- and long-term housing. Vancouver Homestay International specializes in homestay accommodation, and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or 604 929-9286. Both agencies have worked with VFS students for a number of years.
There are six types of housing that our students typically reside in. They are:
Throughout Vancouver and the Greater Vancouver area, apartments and condominiums are everywhere. Apartments are typically two to ten storey buildings and can be new or thirty (or more) years old. Typically these are less expensive than condominiums.
Condominiums are typically towers made of concrete. Much of the building boom recently experienced in Vancouver has been due to condominium developments. These can be secured on your own or can be shared with a roommate and typically range in age from brand-new to about twenty-five years old.
3) Basement Suites
Vancouver home-owners frequently subsidize their mortgage by renting out their basements. Usually these are self-contained units with their own living room/dining room, kitchen, and bedroom.
4) Shared houses
A shared house is a rental house, where roommates pay rent to a single lease-holder for a bedroom, and some or all of the following are shared: living space, bathrooms, kitchen, and a central entrance/hallway. Sometimes a house is divided by floors (e.g. 2nd floor, Main floor, and basement) and sometimes there are several separate units on each floor.
5) Long-term hotels
Some hotels will rent by the month. Rates are typically more than what you can secure in an apartment, but usually include housekeeping.
Many Vancouver residents open their homes to students from around the world. Usually they charge for room and board, sometimes for room only. Any homestay host will need to understand that VFS students sometimes are not able to return until late in the evening due to evening classes, homework, group work, etc.
The information that has been presented to you has no affiliation with VFS and is listed for information only. Please read carefully the full text (and the fine print) of any contract in which you engage and be sure you understand it before you sign. VFS is not responsible for terms and conditions imposed by third-party services.