How to Find an Apartment Rental or Room for Rent in Victoria BC


How to Find an Apartment Rental or Room for Rent in Victoria

According to the City of Victoria website (http://www.victoria.ca/cityhall/departments_plnsph_housing.shtml), the average rental rates for 2010 were: $668 for a Bachelor suite, $817 for a 1 bedroom, $1044 for a 2 bedroom and $1295 for a 3 bedroom.  The 2010 vacancy rate is 1.30% compared to the national vacancy rate of 2.60%.

When I first moved here, I found the following sites very helpful in my quest for a place to call home.  One word of warning before you begin your search — because the vacancy rate is on the low side here, there are some scam artists who will try to take your money and run.

The short answer on how not to get scammed is do not wire money to anyone.  Do not rent a place unless you have seen the inside of it, have signed a lease, and have been given the keys.  Following these simple precautions will weed out 99% of rental scams.  Most rental scams have a temptingly low rental rate and a very, very good reason why you can’t see the apartment (owner is out of the country doing missionary work, etc.).  Rule of thumb: If it seems suspicious, just don’t do it.

My daughter often writes me e-mails forwarding work from home offers or various things and asks me, “Ma, is this a scam?”  They always are.  Rule of thumb #2: You weren’t born yesterday.  If you think it might be a scam, it probably is.

List of Apartment and Room Rental Sites for Victoria BC:

  1. Rent BC (http://www.rentbc.com/victoria-apartments.html) – This is actually my favorite site and the one that I ended up using to find an apartment.  It allows you to narrow your search by apartment type, whether they allow pets and rent.
  2. Rental Source (http://www.rentalsource.com/rentals/British-Columbia/Victoria/): Another great site.
  3. 247 Apartments (http://www.247apartments.com/rentals/british-columbia/victoria.asp): Also a helpful alternative.
  4. Vancouver Island Rentals (http://www.vancouverislandrentals.com/): Although this one has relatively few listings, it has some nice ones that are not usually mentioned on other sites.
  5. Craigslist Victoria (http://victoria.en.craigslist.ca/apa/): Good old Craigslist.  Craigslist is always a mix up of a little bit of everything.  To risk being cliche — the good, the bad and the ugly.  There are some scammers everywhere and maybe more than average on Craigslist, but a lot of legitimate offers here too.  I have posted my services as a tutor on Craigslist for example.  Just be careful.
  6. Used Victoria (http://www.usedvictoria.com/classifieds/apartment-rentals): If you are not from the Victoria BC area, you might not be familiar with Used Victoria.  This is a very popular classified ad site here.  This is about as popular as Craigslist.

Well, those are the places to look and happy hunting!  If you have suggestions that I missed, please let me know.Also, if you want to find out your rights and responsibilities as a tenant, please contact the Residential Tenancy Branch of the Government of British Columbia (http://www.rto.gov.bc.ca/).

And here are a couple of links about subsidized housing in Victoria, BC:
Capital Region District of Victoria Housing (http://www.crd.bc.ca/housing/).
BC Housing (http://www.bchousing.org)

I welcome any and all comments and suggestions as usual!


Comments

  1. Charlotte Cowley says:

    Couldn’t agree more – I’ve used a few of the sites you listed and find that getting on there at 9am (latest) is key because if landlords are posting they probably do so first thing in the morning to catch the keeners!
    I’ll make sure to pass on your post to anyone I know moving to town.

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