Step by step guide  to Rent a property in Vancouver, by Van Sweet Home’s expert

Find your home away from home in Canada with the help of an EXPERT

Moving to Canada doesn’t need to be a stressful process, Van Sweet Home’s mission is to help Latinos find their “home sweet home” in Vancouver and Toronto. We are abut to share with you their expertise and explain step by step how the rental process in Canada works.

Van Sweet Home is a Canadian consulting company that has been operating for the past 2 years, their founder Diego Gomes, a ‘carioca’ from Rio de Janeiro, started the company with a simple goal in mind,  to help Latinos find their home in Vancouver and Toronto before they arrive.


 We’ve gathered the essentials to help you plan your move.

Expectation Vs. Reality 

Aligning your expectations with the reality of Vancouver’s real estate market is the first step to avoid frustration during your search for your new home. It’s important to bear in mind the specific characteristics of each area of the city and types of housing in order to plan accordingly and make decisions that are aligned with the reality of the market.

Filters, filters, filters

Location, pet friendly, furnished, no carpet, utilities included, everything you want and… Affordable! We like to tell clients that ‘the more, the merrier’ is not true when it comes to renting in Vancouver. The more filters you have, the harder it is to find a property. Our advice is to try to rank your filters by what are the ‘must-haves’ and what is ‘desirable’, and go from there. 

Let’s talk application

Different from other countries where you simply draft a proposal, here in Vancouver you will have to submit different kinds of information – personal, professional and financial – for the analysis of the landlord (the owner of the property). This process is called application. Your documents will then be scrutinized by the landlord and/or rental office and you should expect to hear back a positive or negative answer in a few days. In a dynamic market where the demand surpasses the offer, the rules of the game are in the hands of the lessor, not the lessee. 

Security and pet deposits

The security deposit is equivalent to 50% of the rent amount and is paid after your application has been accepted by the landlord. The paid deposit is what will hold the unit for you. For pet owners, a pet deposit is charged in addition to the security deposit. It is also equivalent to 50% of the rent amount. What that means for pet owners is that an additional full rent amount will be charged on your first month. You shouldn’t worry, however, because these deposits are returned to you at the end of your lease, provided the apartment is in the same conditions as it was when you moved in. 

The lease contract – Tenancy Agreement and move in dates

In Vancouver, the lease contract is usually drawn upon the standard model designed by the Province of British Columbia. There is no contractual catch outside the common sense of good housing conduct. The signing of the lease usually occurs the moment the applicant is approved, followed by the payment of the deposit(s) and settlement of the start of the lease, most frequently on the 1st of each month. 

After all this, you’re probably thinking ‘okay, renting in Vancouver is impossible, is not going to happen’. Well it’s time to break the myth about Vancouver’s crazy housing market and teach you how to do it without a consultant. 

Follow this step-by-step guide to help you on your search, or in case you still want an expertise company on the business to help you, we have a great one to recommend.

Step-by step guide  to rent a property in Vancouver:

  1. Set goals and expectations – location, price, characteristics
  2. Search and contact – looking through housing and rental offices websites
  3. Visits – scheduling and visiting units
  4. Application – filling out and submitting application forms and supporting documents to landlords/rental offices
  5. Payment – deposits and 1st month rent
  6. Utilities registration – setting up a profile with energy and gas companies 
  7. Move-in inspection and keys – scheduling move-in date, lease signing and inspection of the unit

If you still have any questions or feel insecure about the whole moving process, VSH has a wide range of services to support you on one of the most important moments of your life, your relocation to a new country. Send an email at [email protected] or contact them through their website VSH team is ready to help you out and answer all your questions.

Van Sweet Home

Don’t forget to follow VSH on social media for more expert housing tips.

Facebook: @vansweethomeco


Newsletter Sign Up

To get our free biweekly newsletter. Receive information about Latin American news in BC and in the world..